“…The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an Attribute of the Strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Learning the art of forgiveness can not only make our experience of life more pleasant and harmonious, it can also make each of us healthier” said Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health. “The results of multiple long-term studies on the physiological impacts of forgiveness point to one inarguable truth: forgiving those who we perceive have wronged us benefits our health in many important ways,” she added.
Forgiveness is defined as a process in which one makes the choice to give up feelings of resentment or revenge towards someone they feel has wronged them. Forgiveness does not mean that the offended party must condone the act or behavior, excuse the offense, or forget that the offense occurred. Instead, forgiveness is a process.
To truly forgive another, it’s important to re-frame the experience and replace negative thoughts associated with the offense with more positive thoughts. These more positive thoughts will evoke more positive feelings, and feelings are chemicals. Good feelings evoke happy brain chemistry which contributes to good health, while negative feelings evoke stressful brain chemistry which negatively impacts one’s health.
In one ground-breaking study called: “Forgive to Live,” Luther College psychologist, Loren Toussaint and colleagues investigated the health benefits of forgiveness among 1500 adults age 66 and older. The study showed that individuals who would only forgive others on conditional terms, died earlier than those who scored low on this measure. The reason – individuals who made conditional demands for forgiveness continued to harbor negative feelings such as resentment, anger, hostility, victimization, or the anxious anticipation of an apology that may or may never come. By ruminating on negative feelings of un-forgiveness over long periods of time, individuals experience higher levels of stress, hostility, and anxiety which negatively impacts their heart and immune system health.
In contrast, individuals who forgave their wrong-doer without requiring an apology were more able to begin the healing process and move forward with their lives. In addition these individuals experienced renewed hope, feelings of empowerment, higher self-esteem, greater psychological and Spiritual well-being, and healthier relationships in general.
Other medical studies have found that people who have forgiven others for a major transgression have lower blood pressure, heart rates and other stress related symptoms compared to those who have not. In one study held at New York University using cardiac patients, researchers found that higher levels of forgiveness were associated with lower levels of perceived stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as lower levels of “LDL” and “HDL” cholesterols.
Another study at the Virginia Commonwealth University found that one’s motives for forgiveness also has an effect on the benefits received. The study found that individuals with altruistic motives behind their forgiveness reaped far more physical, emotional and Spiritual rewards. This was likely due to the fact that they’re the ones who managed to truly forgive.
In 2005 researchers at East Carolina University studied the effects of hostility and forgiveness on the body’s systems. This study found that forgiving someone will make you sleep better at night, reduce blood pressure and other stress reactions in the body. In contrast, they found that holding on to a grudge or resentment is likely to lead to insomnia, hypertension and coronary heart disease.
Doctors and other health-care providers are full of anecdotal stories about patients who let go of resentment and got off of various medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure meds and sleeping pills. The moral to this story – holding a grudge can literally make you sick! So, give yourself the gift of forgiveness. Let go of any anger and resentment you’re holding and know that your reward will be a greater sense of peace, wellbeing and a longer, more enjoyable life experience.
Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH) has been serving residents through two regional campuses for over 24 years. With more than 80 Holistic Health courses and two Certification Programs to offer, HHSHH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health education in Southern California. To date, HHSHH has prepared more than 6,500 students for rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health. To find out more about the educational programs or financial aid available at HHSHH please visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.
Journal of Bio-behavioral Sciences – Benefits of Forgiveness
University of California at San Diego – www.ucsd.edu/learn/research/
Duke University Researchers – research.duke.edu/
The Journal of Behavioral Medicine – www.sbm.org › Publications
East Carolina University – www.ecu.edu/
Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School- www.medschool.vcu.edu
New York University- www.nyu.edu/
Here’s a super duper tasty chicken recipe! Enjoy!
In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week Paula offers readers the following list of Natural Strategies to Improve Sleep that have been shown to help folks get the sleep they need to maintain optimal health and wellbeing.
Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents through two regional campuses located in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 24 years. With more than 80 Holistic Health courses and two Certification Programs to offer, HHSHH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health education in Southern California. To date, HHSHH has prepared more than 6,500 students for successful and rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health. To find out more about the educational programs or financial aid available at HHSHH please visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.
“The term ’Super-food‘ is used to describe a food considered especially nutritious and beneficial to health and well-being”, says Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH). “Nutritional Superfoods are an essential part of any holistic self-care program. Not only do they supply our bodies with the energy we need, they provide the essential nutrients that repair and build bone, muscle, and other body tissues. Other well-known health benefits of nutritional Super-foods include: reducing or preventing inflammation, regulating your metabolism and burning fat, reducing bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, and protect us against cancers and heart disease.” she added.
“At HHSHH, the Directors of Education understand the importance of good nutrition and have incorporated three great ‘nutrition’ classes into the curriculum” said Harmony Curtiss, Laguna Hills Campus Director. “These include: Health & Dietary Practices, that teaches how eating habits can affect an individual’s nutrition and health and Holistic Nutrition, which reviews the basic nutrients in food and examines how food affects the mind/body connection. Nutritional Super-foods, is yet another course that identifies a variety of Super-foods and discusses how each prevents disease and promotes wellness. This class explores the full spectrum of greens, from wheatgrass to seaweeds to fermented foods and more.” she continued.
All HHSHH’s nutrition classes give students a clearer understanding of how to use nutrition to facilitate optimal health for themselves, their clients and their loved ones. The classes also touch on food trends and recent research; such as how combining specific Super-foods can unlock more nutritional value than eating them alone. Below are a few examples of how Super-food combos give you more nutritional bang for your bite!
Protect Your Skin! Sprinkle Olive Oil over Sliced Tomatoes. Tomatoes, which contain the powerful antioxidant, Lycopene, has been shown to help prevent sun-damage, a huge contributor to skin aging. Olive oil protects against the oxidative stress that causes skin to age. When combined, these foods give you softer, smoother, and younger looking skin. For the greatest benefits from this combo, heat the tomatoes to release more skin protecting Lycopene
Ease Symptoms of PMS! Egg Omelet with Broccoli. A recent study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who regularly consumed Vitamin D and Calcium were 30 to 40% less likely to suffer from PMS than those who didn’t. Eggs are a great source of Vitamin D, and Broccoli contains one of the most easily absorbed forms of Calcium. Together in an omelet they become super-foods able to dramatically reduce the irritability and other symptoms that accompany monthly hormonal changes.
Protect Your Vision! Mix Spinach and Avocados.
Packed with Lutein and Vitamin A, Spinach is a powerful vision protector. When combined with Avocados, which also contain Vitamin A and Lutein, your body gets the essential fats needed for the body to absorb the many nutrients.
Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH) has been serving residents in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 24 years. To date, HHSHH’s staff of highly qualified Instructors have prepared more than 6,500 students for successful and rewarding careers as Massage Therapists and Holistic Health Practitioners. To learn more about HHSHH or the 80 + classes offered, please visit us at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.
“Today’s Scientists are discovering a wide range of immediate and long-term benefits that can be derived from regular meditation practice”, said Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH). “Recent studies have shown that meditating for just 20 minutes a day for even a few weeks is enough for subjects to begin experiencing the many benefits meditation provides. That’s why the faculty at HHSHH encourages students to include the practice of meditation as an essential part of their holistic self-care program,” she added.
No one knows the exact date of meditation’s origin, however, Archaeologists and Scholars agree that it dates back about 5,000 years. Since the 1950s there have been hundreds of studies on the effects of meditation, which has become a growing subfield of neurological research. Technologies such as MRIs and EEGs are used to discern what happens in the body when one meditates, and how their bodies and brains change after meditating on a regular basis.
Although there are hundreds of types of meditation, most fall into one of two categories. The first, Focused Attention Meditation, is when an individual focuses his/her attention on something specific for the duration of the meditation session. This ‘something’ may be their breath, a mantra, visualization, part of the body or object such as a crystal or flower. Examples are: Buddhist Meditation, Chakra Meditation and Sound Meditation.
The second category, Open Monitoring Meditation, is a process of non-reactive observation of one’s moment to moment experience of their thoughts, feelings, memories, sounds, smells, surroundings, etc. Examples of Open Monitoring Meditation include Mindfulness Meditation, Vipassana, as well as some Taoist Meditations.
Regardless of the style, meditation provides numerous benefits to one’s Mind, Body and Emotional Wellbeing. As you’ll see from the lists below, just 20 minutes of meditation a day can make substantial changes that can dramatically improve your quality of life. (Note: These lists represent some but not all of the benefits with sources provided at the end of this post.)
Benefits to your Mind:
Benefits to your Body:
Benefits to Emotional Well-being:
Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 23 years. Offering day, evening and weekend classes, HHSHH’s staff of highly qualified Instructors have prepared more than 6,000 students for successful and rewarding careers as Massage Therapists and Holistic Health Practitioners. To learn more about HHSHH or the 80 + classes 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.
Time Magazine, American Heart Association, HealthCentral, Bloomberg, NCBI, American Psychosomatic Medicine Journal, Journal of International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology, The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, NPR News, ScienceDirect (1), ScienceDirect (2), ScienceDirect (3), Medical News Today, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, HealthCentral, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics Journal., ScienceDaily, NCBI, PLOS One, Stanford School of Medicine, Sage Journals.
Happy Spring! 400 years ago, William Shakespeare wrote one of his most often quoted lines: ‘Above all else, to thine own self, be true.’ Healing Hands strives to help the student of holistic health to learn their new skills, while also encouraging the student, the teacher and the school, to stay true to your vision. This Spring we again offer a wide spectrum of holistic health topics. Healing Hands students design their own focus for their holistic health education. We thank our wonderful teachers for bringing your wide variety of holistic health expertise to our program including the Holistic Living Retreat, Energywork for Bodyworkers, Chakra Balancing, Sports Massage, Anatomy for Bodyworkers and Neuromuscular Therapy. The student of holistic health has much to explore at Health Hands School. This Spring, Chris Harmon’s ‘On-site Bodywork for the Athlete’ teaches how to manipulate the tissue and triggerpoints for pre-event and post event work. Perla Pintado returns to bring us her Chakra Balancing class. Richard Jordan presents CranioSacral Therapy and Somatics. Ray Fecteau offers Sports Injuries and NeuroMuscular Therapy. For those who wish to learn healing techniques in a natural setting, we invite you to come the Annual Holistic Living Retreat. Held over Easter weekend, we invite you to come camping with us under the big oak trees, play in the creek, sleep under the stars, and experience workshops and lessons away from the distractions of modern conveniences.
It is with a deep and abiding love that we congratulate our latest Holistic Health Practitioner graduates. This list includes very special healers who have had many unique challenges. As we look forward to hearing of the healing work you are about to accomplish, we take this time to recognize the healing work you have done to bring you here, your graduation as a Holistic Health Practitioner. We wish you the very best in your personal healing as well as the highest success as you enter into this profession. Great job Matthew Alduenda, Tashena Marie Auld, Keila Baca, Cecilia Baeza, Rachel Bender, Robyn Benjamin, Melissa Castro, Irina Degtyareva, Rebecca Deroest, Ellena Dien, Nicholas Duran, Emily Foster, Beth Ann Swift, CJ Harper, Elise Henderickson, Christian Hernandez, Whitney Hollison, Jane Howells, Cassandra Huff, Audra Kelly, Marissa Larry, Ian Losey, Camille Mackey, Christal Maxedon, Claire McCarthy, Veronica Miles, Christopher Morgan, Rose Mulder, AnnMarie Newton, Janna Lee Novell, Sarah Phillips, Richard Powell, Itzayana Ramirez, Katherine Salerno, Angela Salinardi, Kathleen Schraiber, Adam Van De Bovenkamp, Elizabeth Vasquez, Tawnya Wallinder, and Daniel White.
This Winter a new little soul joined the Healing Hands tribe. Congratulations to our Office Angel Brandon as he and Aubrey welcome their lovely daughter, Juniper to their family.
We also wish to share our support for Tawnya in her time of grief. May healing come to you in the fullness of time. Our hands and hearts are here for you, whenever you need us.
May Peace Bring its Blessing to All,
Paula and Neha and All of Us at Healing Hands
Here’s a delicious parfait recipe that’s sure to make your mouth water!