Holistic Massage School Reveals Five Fabulous Strategies to Fight Belly Fat


Overweight of the women with  fruit. Young female body on gray background. Weight loss, diet

With Thanksgiving Day fast approaching, and the holidays just around the corner, Paula Curtiss, Founding


Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health challenged her Faculty to suggest a list of their favorite holistic health practices for keeping belly fat at bay.   “In an effort to help our students ward off the extra pounds often packed on during the Holiday season, our Faculty submitted a long list of  easy to implement lifestyle changes”, said Paula Curtiss.  “These five fabulous strategies were chosen for their effectiveness in helping manage your weight while enhancing your health and well-being in the process”, she added.


Fat Fighting Tip #1 – Eat More Protein: 


While carbohydrates usually take only 2 hours to digest, Protein takes longer, a total of 4 hours on average, helping you to feel full longer.  Avoid proteins with saturated fats, which boost cholesterol, by choosing protein with unsaturated fats such as walnuts, legumes,


Fat Fighting Tip #2 –  Eat a Nutritious Breakfast:


High stress levels increase food cravings and cortisol levels which negatively impact the body by storing belly fat.  In addition, deficiencies of important nutrients such as Calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C and Magnesium can also raise Cortisol levels and negatively impact mood.  To fight back, start your day with nutritious foods that are high in these nutrients.  Consider a handful of blackberries (high in Vitamin C) mixed into 6 ounces of your favorite Greek yogurt which has twice the protein of regular yogurt and provides an ample supply of the stress-busters Calcium and Magnesium.


Fat Fighting Tip #3 –  Eliminate refined-flour and sugary food products:belly salad


The average American eats about twice as many simple carbohydrate foods (muffins, cakes, breads, and pastas) as they should.  These foods are considered the biggest source of empty calories consumed and the reason so many Americans remain over-weight.  Simple carbohydrates will give you a huge sugar spike followed by a sugar crash and unhealthy food cravings.  To avoid these sugar spikes and resulting cravings, opt for smaller portions of complex carbohydrates (brown rice, whole grain breads, etc.) and combine them with a lean protein source to stabilize blood sugar.


Baby smiling in bed with eyes closed and arms out.Fat Fighting Tip #4 –  Get the sleep your body needs:


Recent research supports the fact that most adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to bring their body into balance.  In one study, Individuals who failed to get the minimum 7 hours experienced a substantial increase (23%) in their appetite for sweet and salty foods.  Sweet and salty foods, as we know, can negatively impact mood and drive both blood pressure and blood sugar levels up, wreaking havoc in many systems of the body. 


Fat Fighting Tip #5 –  Eat high-volume foods:


Nobody likes feeling hungry.  Choosing low calorie foods that are high in nutrients, fiber and water, can help anyone to feel full longer, decreasing the amount of food/calories they consume daily.  Also, nutrient dense foods such as fruits and green leafy vegetables can help you lose weight while supplying your body with ample amounts of energy so you may enjoy an active lifestyle.


At Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, students can learn all about Nutritional Superfoods. Healthy Dietary Practices and many other holistic health practices for optimal health.  For more information about Healing Hands School or the 80+ Massage and Holistic Health courses offered, please visit us online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.

Holistic Massage School Announces Winners of 2015 Constitution Day Contest!


We the People of the Untied States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Ms. Curtiss offered students the following example:   ‘Secure the blessing of Liberty’ –   By being trained in a profession I love, I will have the freedom to choose my favorite job.  All contest entries would be reviewed by HHSHH staff and the student with the winning response would be awarded a $50 gift certificate towards a HHSHH class of his/her choosing.


“Thank you so much for your stellar responses to our Constitution Day Contest!” announced Ms. Curtiss.  “We appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm for the contest and their many creative responses.  Please know that we had great difficulty deciding on a winner. Below are our top three responses. Our staff loved Alex’s succinct and insightful statements on a ‘Perfect Union of Healing’ (response #1 below) as well as Randy’s creative version of the Preamble as edited in (response #3).  In the end, however, it was Adam’s insightful interpretation of the phrase insure domestic tranquility…promote general welfare” that made him this year’s winner.  Please join me in congratulating Adam, whose essay exemplifies the Spirit of a true healer,” she added.




‘In Order to form a more perfect Union’

By being trained in massage and holistic health I have the privilege to work with people on their healing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We work together in a union to heal together because as they are healed, I am also healed. What a truly perfect union that is.


-Alexandra Dexter



As one of our Nation’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, was the primary author for our Declaration of Independence, which paved the way for the United States to become the True Democracy, which he among other founding fathers envisioned. Jefferson believed this True Democracy would be comprised of freedom of speech and press as well as an educated commonwealth as a cornerstone in the new nation’s society and government.  In the Constitution of the United States of America, which laid the principles of our nation’s democracy Jefferson wrote:


“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” 


As a proud American student at a Holistic Health School, these words ring true to me today as they did for the American citizens during the birth of our great Nation. I feel as though I can apply them to my life as a Student at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, specifically, where Jefferson wrote “insure domestic tranquility…promote General Welfare.”


Although when Jefferson wrote “Insuring domestic tranquility” he probably meant that he wanted a nation that was free from turmoil in domestic politics, free from foreign conflict (ie Britain), free from governmental control over the people and freedom from conflicts between citizens of the USA that would affect the stability of society as a whole. My take on “insuring domestic tranquility” in modern-day US society differs from Jefferson’s original point of view. Even though my current interpretation of Jefferson’s words differ, I feel Jefferson would still find my opinion admirable. Since our communities are now plagued by overworking, lack of holidays, and general stress, I feel that tranquility goes to a more individual level. Therefore, when it comes to insuring domestic tranquility it means that I will go out into the community as a Holistic Health Practitioner abiding in equanimity, free from prejudice, ill-will, aversion, which will in turn serve as an example to those with whom we come into contact. Furthermore, I will contribute to the society’s tranquility through massage and healing practices which will help the US populous have reduced stress and therefore less likely to get in conflict and/or kill each other. 


As for “Promoting General Welfare” I feel that being a Student at a Holistic Health school idealizes this part of Jefferson’s Constitution. First, I will be promoting health in my clients which in turn will create happy, healthy people who will be more productive in their relationships, work, and life.   This in turn will create a more empowered and creative workforce that will generate more capital, new business, and increased efficiency in the United States economy that will bring about a higher standard of living for all.   Furthermore, by having an in demand career as a massage therapist from quality institution, where I gained the skill set and know how, I will be able to charge a fair yet lucrative fee for my services as a massage therapist that will in turn promote my own welfare. 


Although Thomas Jefferson is not around today to witness the changes this great nation has gone through. I feel that he would be very happy for the array of educational opportunities that exist today in the USA.  He might be disenchanted to find out the current cost of most education in the US but if he were to know about Healing Hands Offering the best curriculum in its field at a cost far below its counterparts he would be proud, just as I am. So in the pursuit of education for a better democracy where domestic tranquility and a promotion of general welfare exists, let’s remember Jefferson’s other words: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free it expects what never was and never will be.” – Thomas Jefferson.  Long live Jefferson, long live the Constitution, long live the United States of America, long live Healing Hands School of Holistic Health!


-Adam Van de Bovenkamp




“We the students of Healing Hands, in order for a more perfect massage, establish connection, insure relaxation, provide a common sense of wellbeing, promote digestion, and secure immune system to ourselves and our clients, do go above and beyond this classroom for the foundation of our careers that starts with Healing Hands.”


 -Randy Fruchter


To learn more about Healing Hands School of Holistic Health and the over 80 Massage and Holistic Health classes offered, please visit us online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 for our campus in Escondido.

Massage Therapist Training is Changing Students’ Lives

Established in 1992, by Paula and Neha Curtiss, Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, HHSHH has two Certification Programs and over 80 different Massage and Holistic Health classes to offer.  Serving residents in Escondido and Laguna Hills for more than 24 years, HHSHH is nationally accredited and has prepared more than 6,000 students for successful careers as Massage Therapists and Holistic Health Practitioners. 


Having met stringent qualifications, HHSHH is listed on California’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL), established in compliance with the Dept. of Labor’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to provide employment training resources and funds to unemployed adults and dislocated workers. By working with WIA counselors to promote an interest in the “high-demand” field of Massage Therapy, HHSHH has helped many WIA clients achieve financial independence in a career that offers many avenues for specialization.


Recently, Paula Curtiss, Director of HHSHH received a letter of appreciation from a female WIA client whose life was changed for the better as a result of her experience at HHSHH. We hope by posting ‘Christine’s Story’ those of you who are at a career crossroads may be inspired to consider the emotionally satisfying and financially rewarding career of Massage Therapist.


Christine’s Story:


As I am writing this, tomorrow is my last day at HHSHH after completing the 1000 hour – Holistic Health Practitioner Program.   I want to say thanks to all those involved with my education. Thank you for giving me hope, thank you for giving me the chance to make a change in my life for the better, and thank you for helping me become a part of the working world again!


chris baker

Christina Baker

In December of 2012, my employer, a Non-Profit organization, closed down due to lack of funding. December 20, was my last day of employment there.  After being let go, I sought employment for two years but had zero luck in finding a job. I wondered….how could I, a 56 year old with only a high school diploma have a chance at landing a new job when up against 20-30 year olds with college degrees? Not a chance, I feared.  Recently divorced with no job, no money and the need to make a career change ASAP, I considered the field of Massage Therapy and did some research.  I found out that the WIA program and educational funds were available to individuals 55 and over who did not have a college degree. Well, that was me, a perfect match!  I immediately made an appointment to get the process started.


I chose the 1000 hour Holistic Health Practitioner Program at HHSHH and embarked on an adventure to become a Certified Massage Therapist/Holistic Health Practitioner.   While I expected school to be a lot of work, I never imagined how much actual work it would turn out to be!  Having never gone to college, I didn’t know the first thing about studying, taking a test, or listening skills.  During my first month in school I kept thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” Thankfully that feeling of overwhelm dissipated and gradually, I learned how to become a student.


HHSHH is quite an amazing school! They have the very best teachers, each extremely knowledgeable of their subjects, caring and sincere. They truly care for each of their students, and strive to do everything in their power to help them pass each test or final exam. What was especially nice is that when students fail a test, they are given several additional chances to pass. I find this very helpful, as not all people are good at taking tests and many freeze up just hearing the word “test.” I am one of those people. I might know the information, but for some reason, my brain just freezes! At HHSHH the teachers will support you with the information, techniques and tools needed to pass each class. At one point, I became quite ill with Pneumonia and got behind in a couple classes after being hospitalized then staying home to recuperate. My teachers were more than patient with me, and helped me catch up. It took some time, but I did it thanks to their patience and guidance.


As I write this, I am filled with much joy and pride in myself, but also a little sadness to be saying goodbye to the Healing Hands family.   Everyone at the school is so loving, supportive and respectful of each other. We all struggled, laughed, massaged each other like crazy, saw funny things I cannot mention, and really got to know each other well.  I will miss those friendships and the love I felt as part of a team. Now, at the end of my Program, I can say:  I am done, I did it! This almost 57 year old woman worked very hard this past year, studying for test after test and too many final exams to count!  But finally I have passed them all, including the National Board Mblex test, a state requirement to earn the title of Certified Massage Therapist.  Just today, October 19, 2015, I received my State License from the CMTC, and am now official! How ironic to receive Certification a day before my last day of class on 10/20/15, exactly one year after I started school.  I cannot believe how fast one year has passed and how much my life has changed as a result!


Best of all, on 10/17/15, I was offered a position as Massage Therapist at Massage Heights in Irvine. I accepted the job offer and already worked my first day on 10/18/15. I am also employed with “Zeel” and “Soothe,” two mobile massage companies that serve the Orange County area. To say that I am full of joy and gratitude would be putting it mildly.   


HHSHH’s made a world of difference for me when I was a very depressed 56 year old woman who felt her world had crashed and she would never find work again. Thanks to WIA funding and HHSHH I enjoyed an incredible year of personal and professional growth that I will never forget.  It is my hope that this letter may inspire others in similar situations to be brave, take a chance and move forward toward their goals even if it appears there is no way to make it happen.  Just, take a chance, call HHSHH and find out if a career as a Massage Therapist is right for you.  IT WAS FOR ME!!!


                                                                                       – Christine Marie Baker, CMT


To learn more about Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, our Programs, classes or Student Financial Aid options, please visit us online at: www.HealingHandsSchool.com, or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.

Tuna Fish Cakes with Garlic Herb Sauce

Tuna is an excellent source of selenium, niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and protein. It is a very good source of phosphorus as well as a good source of vitamin D, choline, potassium, vitamin B1, 

How good does that look?!?

vitamin B2, and magnesium. Some of the selenium is found in the form of selenoneine, which is especially valuable in terms of its antioxidant properties. Tuna is also a very good source of energy-producing vitamin B6 and thiamin. In addition, it is a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (including EPA, and DHA), bone-healthy phosphorus and magnesium, and heart-healthy potassium.

To get more of these valuable nutrients, pick up a few cans of Albacore Tuna and try this healthy recipe for a quick and easy meal you can put on the table in just minutes!  Servings: 4, Preparation Time: 10 minutes, Cooking time 20 minutes.


2 – 14oz. cans of Tuna in water (flaked to separate)

6 Scallions (finely chopped)

1 Lime (juiced and grated)

1 Egg (beaten)

2 ½  cups Baby Arugula

1 ¼ cups Ricotta Cheese

2/3 cup of Mayonnaise

1 Garlic clove (crushed)

3 Tbs extra virgin Olive Oil

2 tsps lime juice

1 tsp Dill Weed (chopped)

1 Tbls fresh Cilantro (chopped)

½ tsp Salt

½ tsp Black Pepper

¼ tsp Cayenne pepper

Directions for Tuna Cakes:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine Tuna flakes, Scallions, Lime Zest, Dill Weed, Egg, Ricotta and Salt and Pepper.  Reserve 2 tsp of the lime juice then add the remaining lime juice to the Tuna mixture. Mix thoroughly then form into 12 small cakes, each about 3 inches across.


In a medium size skillet, add half the oil, and 6 Tuna cakes into the skillet.  Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.  Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and keep warm in a preheated oven (325) while you cook the remaining 6 Tuna cakes.


Directions for Garlic Herb Sauce:

Add 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tsps lime juice, chopped Cilantro and Cayenne Pepper to Mayonnaise in a bowl and mix well. Taste, and add more garlic according to taste.


Directions for Arugula Salad:

Beat the remaining oil and lime juice together then toss with the Arugula leaves.

To Serve:

Place 1/4 of the Arugula Salad on each of four plates then place 3 Tuna cakes on top.  Spread a tsp of Garlic & Herb Sauce to the tops of each Tuna cake and serve.


Holistic Massage School Offers Advanced Classes in Sports Injury & Neuro-Muscular Therapies


In Ray’s Sports Injury & Neuromuscular Therapies classes, students look at the normal range of motion of the body and learn to assess injuries and movement limitations. In addition, Ray educates students about the mechanics of an injury, how it may progressively debilitate the patient and its implication towards treatment.  Students learn how to identify trigger points, areas of obstruction and/or blockage, nerve entrapment and postural distortions. The class also covers corrective protocol for soft tissue sprains and strains. Through lecture, demonstration and hands-on practice Ray teaches students how to perform various techniques to diminish symptoms resulting from injury and to restore normal function.  These techniques include: soft-tissue mobilization, friction massage, trigger-point therapies, myofascial release and neuromuscular forms of bodywork.


A Physical Therapist Assistant for over 30 years, Ray Fecteau brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his position at HHSHH.  Through the years, he has worked with hundreds of injured
athletes, individuals recuperating from strokes, and children with injuries or orthopedic issues that required serious rehabilitation. In addition to possessing an advanced understanding of sports
injuries and neuromuscular therapies, Ray has a gift for breaking down complex physiological principals so they are easily understood by students.  Voted “Teacher of the Year” in 2014, Ray is held in the highest-regard among HHSHH Staff and Faculty.  Students who’ve had the pleasure of attending one of Ray’s classes, say his teachings allowed them to take their massage practice to a new level of effectiveness and that the skills learned in his class allow them to facilitate “serious change” for their clients.

 lower body

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 23 years.  To date, HHSHH has prepared more than 6,000 students for successful and rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health. To find out more about  Ray’s upcoming class Sports Injury and Neuromuscular Therapies for the Lower Body (beginning Nov.15th) or any of the other 80+ classes Healing Hands offers, please visit us online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.