Holistic Massage School Supports National Sleep Awareness Week

“Sleep is essential to feeling rested and refreshed, and is an crucial contributor to holistic wellness”, said Harmony Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (Healing Hands) – Laguna Hills.  “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that “insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic conditions and diseases ranging from Obesity and Depression to Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease”. With more than 10% of our population experiencing Insomnia and over 25% falling short of the recommended 7 to 8 hours, we’re happy to educate students about natural, holistic remedies that can make all the difference!  In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week (March 11 to 17) we’re offering the followingWellness Reminder’ for our students, Alumni and our Healing Arts community”, she added.


Use your body a couple hours before bed

(and Enjoy it’s Many Healthful Benefits)

Move Your Body! –Multiple clinical studies have confirmed what active folks have known for years, people who are physically active during the day fall asleep faster and experience a better quality of sleep than those who remain sedentary.  So, whether you choose a 30 minute nature walk, or a challenging 60minute Aerobics or Zumba class, getting your body moving every day is one of the best ways to ensure a better night’s sleep.  So get out and exercise, daily! 

Reduce Your Intake of Caffeine – Avoid caffeine boosted energy or sports drinks, and coffee especially after 5pm.  Substitute herbal teas such as Siberian Ginseng, Chamomile, Hawthorne, or Passionflower, which are known to help the body relax.

Be comfortable!

Get Comfy – An old, uncomfortable bed or pillow can hinder a good night’s sleep so be sure your mattress isn’t too hard, soft or lumpy, and replace your pillows annually or as soon as they lose their shape.

Treat Your-self to a Therapeutic Massage – After just one hour of massage, the Cortisol (stress) hormones that keep us awake are reduced by 30-40%, while raising Serotonin by 30-40% which supports a better night’s sleep.  Effects of therapeutic massage have also been found to be cumulative, meaning that the more you receive massage, the more it can positively effects your mind/body.

Create a Nurturing Bed-Time Routine – Try sipping a cup of calming Herbal tea while relaxing in a hot bath with Epsom Salt to promote muscle relaxation.

Drink some relaxing tea!

Try Sleep-Friendly Herbs – Natural sleep aids like Valerian and Melatonin are available in most health food stores,  and pharmacies.  Taking 1-2 capsules of the sedative herb, Valerian, plus .3 mg of the sleep-regulating hormone Melatonin, a half hour before bedtime, has been used effectively to improve sleep for centuries.  And of course, always check with your doctor if you are unsure about an herb.

Learn and Use Relaxation Techniques – Bio-feedback, Yoga, Tai Chi and many forms of meditation are helpful in reducing stress and anxiety and promoting a better night’s sleep. 

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents in SoCal for over 24 years.  With more than 80 Holistic Health courses and two Certification Programs to offer, Healing Hands is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health education in Southern California.  To date, the school’s top-notch Faculty has prepared more than 7,000 students for successful careers in Massage Therapy and can do the same for you! To find out more about the educational programs or financial aid available at Healing Hands 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, or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego. 



  1. Andrew Weil, M.D.. DrWeil.com/drw/u/ART02037/sleep-aid
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Retrieved on January 9, 2012 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/sleep/.

Deep Tissue Manipulation: Getting To The Root Of An Injury

When we’re not obviously in pain, we’re often unaware of the small ways we’re injuring ourselves over time. From looking at screens to doing physical labor, our body goes through a lot of strain throughout the day. These small “injuries” can lead to scar tissue adhesions accumulating in your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. When this problem goes unaddressed, the result is pain, discomfort, and lack of mobility.


To remedy this, a deep tissue manipulation, or deep tissue massage, invigorates and manipulates the deep layers of tissue within the body, including the fascia and other supportive tissue that make up the muscles and joints. Compared to other massage techniques — such as the Swedish massage or acupressure, which tend to be lighter in pressure and can involve moving the body into certain positions — deep tissue massage is generally slower and firmer. This is due to deep tissue massages being meant for therapy and rehabilitation as opposed to relaxation.


Due to the intense nature of this massage, some pain may be experienced. However, as long as the pain isn’t unbearable, remember that this is a sign that your injury is being taken care of at the core. The pain can also be from the massage’s movements against the muscles rather than moving with them. The benefits of deep tissue massages include dramatic improvement in your posture, flexibility, range of motion, and energy level, while at the same time providing relief from tension, aches, pains and stiffness.


In our Deep Tissue Manipulation course, students will discover the Deep Tissue techniques of Muscle Sculpting and Structural Organization as pioneered by Ida Rolf. Students will learn how to manipulate “fascia” (the collagen web-like network that permeates the entire body) to create more balance (as it relates to gravity) and ease of movement in the body. This work requires client participation, and special emphasis is given to the mind-body connection. Students are taught effective communication skills to facilitate the emotional awareness associated with this kind of deep bodywork.


Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been helping men and women satisfy their passion for learning and building a successful career in massage therapy for more than 25 years. We have programs, including financial aid, available for qualified students. If you are interested in a career in massage therapy, you can make an appointment and learn more about our massage therapy or holistic health program. Click HERE or call us at (858) 505-1100 in San Diego,  (760) 746-9364 in Escondido or, (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.


Holistic Massage School Hosts TuiNa (Acupressure) Public Day For Massage Enthusiasts

Welcome to Public Day!!!

“At Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (Healing Hands), our nationally accredited programs ensure students are given a strong foundation in Anatomy and physiology, plus access to a variety of massage modalities and complementary holistic health courses” said Paula Curtiss, Founding Director.  “Our 100 hour TuiNa (Acupressure) class teaches a massage modality based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. This modality involves stimulation of acupressure points to affect the flow and balance of “chi”, (life energy) through “meridians” or pathways in the body”, she explained. 


On February 5th, Healing Hands Escondido campus hosted “TuiNa Public Day”,

Practicing the Tui Na Technique of Rolling

directed by Staff Instructor, Raina Colvin.  Public Day is part of Healing Hands student evaluation process and is mandatory for a passing grade in any massage class.  On TuiNa Public Day, students were required to perform TuiNa massage on several public volunteers tasked with evaluating the student’s therapeutic performance and communication skills. 

In Raina’s class students learned dozens of manipulation techniques to move chi through ill and injured areas of the body where blockages tend to occur. They practiced specific treatments to address chronic pain and disorders of the spine and joints, such as Rotator Cuff problems of the shoulder or Sciatica which can send pain across the hip and down the leg. Through hands-on demonstration and hours of practice, students learned to  master oscillating techniques to increase energy, as well as the traditional compressions and pulls characteristic of Tui Na. Benefits of this traditional modality include:

  • Chair Massage basics

    Increased blood flow thru the body.
  • Reduces muscle stiffness and pain.
  • The warming of stiff muscles, tendons & ligaments which greatly reduce the potential for injury.
  • Increases range of motion and flexibility.
  • Positively impacts the nervous system by reducing stress hormones (Cortisol) and increasing pleasure hormones (Endorphins).
  • Helps speed healing of injured muscles and body tissues.
  • Speeds muscle recovery from over-use.
  • Calms the nervous systems and encourages relaxation.
  • Improves circulation of blood and lymph flow to the massaged area.


Raina Colvin – Tui Na Acupressure Instructor

Raina Colvin is a National Board Certified Massage Therapist, Holistic Health Practitioner and has been a Staff Instructor for Healing Hands for over 20 years.  A multi-modality Massage Instructor, Raina teaches both Eastern and Western modalities including:  Circulatory Massage, Massage, Tui Na Acupressure, Shiatsu, and Chair Massage. Recognized for her exceptional knowledge, engaging sense of humor and skillful therapeutic body-work, Raina is one of Healing Hands most beloved Instructors.   

To learn more about Healing Hands,  TuiNa (Acupressure) Massage, upcoming Public Days, or any of the 80+ courses offered, please visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (858) 505-1100 in San Diego,  (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills. 

Three Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy

sports massage LA marathonPhysical exercise is essential for keeping your body happy and healthy. However, if you’re an athlete who is working out more than the average person, your body undergoes an immense amount of stress. To keep your body in peak condition all year round, consider investing in sports massage therapy sessions. These soothing yet effective massages will provide you with these three main benefits:


Alleviate Muscle Tension

Heavily exercised muscles tend to lose their capacity to relax. This causes chronically tight muscles and loss of flexibility, which predisposes athletes to injuries; especially muscle pulls and tears. Since blood flow through tight muscles is very poor, excess pain can occur in the athlete’s injury. Since massage therapists can specifically target tender or tight areas, the pain is alleviated much quicker than if you left it untreated. When pressure and massage techniques are applied to an injured area, it signals the mind and body to relax and increases your overall range of motion.


Stress and Pain Reduction

Part of the alleviation that someone experiences during a massage is due to the release of endorphins. Endorphins are morphine-like chemicals produced by the body that help diminish pain while triggering positive feelings. They’re often referred to as the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals and are the body’s natural painkillers. These help decrease anxiety, provide pain relief, improve your mood, and enhance a person’s state of well-being. Whether an athlete receives a pre or post-event massage, this euphoric state of mind benefits them in both situations.


Improve Recovery

When an athlete is injured, it’s a tremendous setback for their career. However, massage therapy sessions can speed up their recovery time by increasing circulation to injured muscles, which helps eliminate toxic debris and enables the muscle to have a healthy healing process.

Our Advanced Circulatory Massage class introduces students to new ways of using their thumbs, fingers, and palms as well as their elbows and knuckles, taking Circulatory Massage to new healing heights. The Sports Massage portion of the class teaches techniques to treat a variety of clients ranging from the moderately active to the serious, competitive athlete. We also provide our students with knowledge about deep, invigorating massage techniques to enhance the performance of athletes at athletic events or prior to weight training. Special focus is given to cross-fiber techniques that release old adhesions and scar tissue thereby promoting better performance and faster healing. This class equips the student with a whole new range of Massage techniques that enhance their bodywork and its impact on their clients.

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been helping men and women satisfy their passion for learning and building a successful career in massage therapy for more than 25 years. We have programs, including financial aid, available for qualified students. If you are interested in a career in massage therapy, you can make an appointment and learn more about our massage therapy or holistic health program. Click HERE or call us at (858) 505-1100 in San Diego,  (760) 746-9364 in Escondido or, (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.