Holistic Massage School – Winter Schedule Newsletter

Hello Healers,

Happy New Year, 2018! We look back on a wonderful year of healing and growth and welcome a new year of potential and hope.

Chakra Balancing, Hot Stone, and so much more!

Our new classroom location in San Diego continues to grow! Our variety of Holistic Health Practitioner courses exemplify the scope of holistic education for which Healing Hands School is renown.  Our Advanced Circulatory & Sports Massage course teaches the anatomy and hands on skills needed when working with every aspect of repetitive stress, whether you are a San Diego Socker player or a Weekend Warrior. The Chakra Balancing course  refocuses internal energy, Somatic teaches movement therapy, Hot Stone is a delicious course for mid-Winter, and Lymph Drainage Massage tunes and tonifies the immune system. Our Escondido location continues to flourish offering five 100 hour courses in the Massage Therapy Program as well as the full Principals and 10 Sessions of Structural Organization. In Laguna Hills, we present the Massage Therapy program, as well as the Reiki and Spiritual Healing courses, the 100 hours NeuroMuscular Therapy course, and the comprehensive Holistic Nutrition course. Please see the schedule for the full array of courses offered this quarter.

Congratulations Holistic Health Practitioner Graduates!!!

Congratulations to our latest Holistic Health Practitioner graduates: Julia  Alvarado, Teddie V. Andrade, Tacita Archambault, Connie Bond, Philolus Barbara  Coward, Alexandra Dexter, Devon M. DiBona, Molly G. Ferrall, Jennifer Gonzalez, Gloria Gonzalez- Calderon, Teri Haley, Sophia  Karam, Ana Lazetic, Kimberly Lynne Minzlaff, Shervin Modir, Carlie Nagy, Anita Razo, Sokhim Ricard, Estefani Salas, Janet (Lythia) Sanchez, Diana Shriver, Nathaniel Tong, Felipe de Jesus Tovar, Gordon Tucker, and Ben Walder. Each student brings their unique life experiences to Healing Hands School. When we first meet you, we know so little about you. Where are you from? What did you do before you came to us? What led you to Healing Hands School?   Working with each of you affords us the opportunity to know you as dedicated students, and as devoted healers. Thank you for choosing Healing Hands School for your training. We look forward to hearing of you success and sharing your story.

Shannon Gonzales

Dr. Shannon Gonzales

Each year we choose one teacher from our faculty of master teachers, to be honored as our Healing Hands Teacher of the Year. As with all our students, when we first met Shannon Gonzales, we knew little of her. Shannon came to us in 2004. We knew Shannon as an earnest student, dedicated to perfecting on her hands on skills. We also came to know Shannon as a woman working on her inner energy. To describe Shannon is to describe a woman of inner strength and deep faith in the healing process. Shannon finished her Holistic Health Practitioner program at Healing Hands School in 2005, and began teaching in 2006. Shannon’s thirst for understanding healing led her to study Traditional Oriental Medicine where she became a Certified Acupuncturist. It is this dedication to understanding the power of inner healing and her faith in the healing process that are a wellspring of inspiration for her students. Shannon, it has been truly wonderful to see your growth from a beginning student at Healing Hands School blossom into the master teacher you have become. Congratulations Shannon Gonzales, Healing Hands Teacher of the Year!

The New Year is often showed as a new baby. This year, Healing Hands School staff welcomed new babies to Teo and Blueray, and Shannon and Kenny. Welcome Amelia and Eli and all the new babies of the year!

We wish you peace in this New Year. May your health, your happiness and your homes overflow with love and joy.

Paula and Neha

and All of Us at Healing Hands School

Holistic Massage School – Best Study Tools for MBLEx

Passing the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination, better known as the MBLEx, has been a requirement to become a Certified Massage Therapist in California for almost 3 years.  Through these years many students have come to us with various study apps, tools, books, and they all have same question: ‘Which one is best?’

Here is a list of potential tools for the massage therapist to study the MBLEx with some of the pros & cons we have found:

Resource Name

Book, app, ect



ABMP Exam Coach

Online, mobile friendly

Made specific to MBLEx content, this program changes as the student studies – tailoring its content to the students individual needs.  It includes definitions,  flashcards, quizzes, and practice tests.  Preferred by Healing Hands School

No picture questions

AMTA Exam Prep


Practice tests and quizzes.  Illustrations are the same used in the MBLEx.  FREE!

Does not change content based on what a student has studied.

Plain & Simple Guide to Therapeutic Bodywork


Great if you need a refresher on Anatomy content.  Paragraph format with quizzes at the end of each section

Ethics, business & professional boundaries are a larger part in the MBLEx then this book trains for. 

MBLEx Study Guide


FSMTB (they own the MBLEx) version of what you need to study.  Outlines all the subjects you need to know.

General information.  It doesn’t specifically help you study the section that you need.

Best if used with something with more content like the Exam Coach


Online app

 Tests, tests TESTS!!!! As many tests as you can practice.  Great for practicing tests.

Tests questions are based off of the old National Board Certification Exam – not specific to the MBLEx. 

Holistic Massage School – When Should I Renew My License?

In the state of California there is one state wide Certification for Massage Therapists issued by the California Massage

CAMTC Certification RENEWED!

Therapy Council.  It is a voluntary Certification, but it takes the place of most city licensing so that a Massage Therapist can work in multiple cities without having separate licenses for each city.  A Certification by the CAMTC is required by the vast majority of employers since it guarantees that the Therapist has had a background check, and proper training before becoming a Certified Massage Therapist.  So most massage therapists in California are CAMTC Certified.

A CMT (Certified Massage Therapist) is supposed to renew their CAMTC Certification every two years. 

 We STRONGLY advise massage therapists to renew their license / certification 60-90 days before it expires.

This will guarantee that there is no gap, or lapse while the license is being processed.  We have heard several stories from our graduates where a therapist didn’t renew until close to their expiration.  When their license expired, and they were still waiting for their new one – they were unable to work. So – make sure to renew your CAMTC Certification early!

Bill & Tedd’s Excellent Adventure: A story about turtles & growth

Bill & Tedd

Bill & Tedd are two red-eared slider turtles housed at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, the Laguna Hills campus.  Today they turned 5 years old! 

The growth of Bill & Tedd is directly tied to my growth into the Director of Laguna Hills.  Here is our story:

My name is Harmony Curtiss, I am the daughter the founding owners of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, Paula and Neha Curtiss.  In some ways I have  worked for Healing Hands as long as I can remember – digging through boxes of registrations, carrying books, ect.  It was a running joke in our family that we couldn’t possibly drive into town without stopping by the school.

In 2012 I moved to Orange County to establish a full-time office presence to support our students.  I had to be self-motivated in order to fill the time with projects that would enable the school to grow.  And I am happy to say that not only did I accept the job, but I accepted the challenge that it came with.  I overcame so many struggles that first year: communication, massage clinic growth, ect.  But the hardest thing, was being alone 40 hours a week.

About 7 months into working all alone, I was out on the town with some friends in LA, when Jilly Bee, a leader in the Flow Arts Community, bought a pair of turtles as a surprise gift for a friend.  At the time I knew my roommate had a small fish tank he didn’t need – and I figured – ‘Hey, these guys could fit in my office! Without taking up to much space!’ And so I bought a pair of turtles for myself to keep me company.  They were about the size of a half dollar when I bought them.

At first the turtles names were Lomi Lomi and Mertle the Turtle.  Lomi was the bigger, lazier one that would punk on Mertle.  Lomi loved to bask on the rocks while Mertle loved to swim.  Constantly. But my parents insisted they be named Bill & Tedd.  Over the years, after much laughter from prospective students and current students alike – I embraced the names Bills & Tedd.  And as they have grown – so have I.

They started in a small 5 gallon tank.  And I hired my first part-time employee – Andrea Pinsonneault.  Andrea helped teach me

Bill & Tedd’s 50 Gallon Tank

 professionalism.  From dress, to marketing, and sales.  But eventually the turtles outgrew the 5 gallon tank and we upgraded to a 50 gallon tank.  About this time, Andrea moved on to be our Marketing Coordinator and I hired Haley Simon as a full-time employee and co-worker.  I moved the turtles into their new home, and proudly showed them off to visitors.  

From that moment on, I too had a partner in the office.  Hayley and I struggled to bring Healing Hands into the digital world.  Getting student files to be digital, digitizing handouts so they could be emailed, creating systems to track all these files and forms.  And as we grew into a powerful team, we outgrew our office.  In 2014 we moved into the Suite the Laguna Hills office is in today, and of course the turtles came with us.

Bill and Tedd had always been the center of the office, people sit by them, feed them, play with them through the glass.  And Bill & Tedd respond.  Don’t believe me? Just go give them a look in the tank, they will jump off and splash around – hoping you’ll feed them some shrimp. 

Bill & Tedd’s 150 gallon home

In 2015 I acquired a 150 gallon tank for Bill and Tedd.  With the help of about 20 friends, we got the 150 gallon tank up the stairs and into the small room in the back where I could refurbish the tank.  I repainted and re-glazed it so it could be professional enough for an office.  By the time I had the tank installed, Hayley was moving on to go to Acupuncture school, and I hired 2 people to replace her. 

These two people, Jennifer Acuna and Adam Bovenkamp, dealt with one of the hardest years I have had at Healing Hands School.  The laws and regulations surrounding a massage school became tighter on a national, state, and local level. 

During the height of our stress, Bill became sick!  Bill was swimming lopsided, not quite able to swim right.  So off to the vet we went!

After having to give poor Bill anti-biotic shots for pneumonia every day for 2 weeks, I got him back swimming and gave the tank a new make-over.  Increasing the plants and items in the tank, giving them both their own platforms and lights to bask on.  My turtles had become teenagers, and they needed separate areas. 

At the beginning of 2016 there was roughly 300 massage school approved by the California Massage Therapy Council.  By the beginning of 2017 there was 100.  Bill got better, and the paperwork surrounding the school stabilized.  Jenn moved on to pursue a career in counseling, and Adam moved into a partnership with a clothing company, so I hired 2 new people. 

Loving those hide-away places!

One year later my newest employees, Vanessa Leal and Trey Powell, have become Healing Hands School advocates of their

own.  Feeding the turtles every morning, turning on their lights, and turning them off every night.  They enjoy taking care of Bill and Tedd, our 2 mascots, on a daily basis.  And as my daily work load has changed to working on the future of Healing Hands – I still clean the tank.  In the end, I am still responsible for the well-being and health of Bill & Tedd just as I am responsible for the well-being and health of the Laguna Hills Campus.   And I hope we are able to grow together for many more years.

So, without further ado – HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL & TEDD!!!!!! You are some of the luckiest turtles in the world, just like the students who find Healing Hands School, may your Adventures Be Excellent!



Healing Hands Expands to San Diego!

Healing Hands Expands to San Diego!

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health brings Massage Therapy and HHP programs to IPSB location and students!

Come meet us at IPSB Sunday, Jan 8 at 7 pm!

We accept FAFSA. Begun in 1992, we provide heart centered holistic health education.

Check out: healinghandsschool.com and come and see us this Sunday!

9025 Balboa #130, San Diego, CA 92123

¡Conviértete en un terapeuta masajista bilingüe!

Clase empieza el 03 de enero de 2017 en Laguna Hills.

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health sanación da la bienvenida a Mariano Reyes. Mariano ha completado su programa de terapia de masaje y ayudando e interpretar en la clase de masaje circulatorio. ¡Tomar el advatage de esta oportunidad para comenzar su nueva carrera como terapista de masaje bilingüe! 

Regístrate ahora o llámenos para obtener más información.
(949) 305-2722

Holistic Massage School Asks: Want a New Career in the New Year?

If pursuing a new career is one of your new year’s resolutions for 2017, Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health wants you to know your timing couldn’t be better!

“In 2014, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced its projection that employment growth for Massage Therapist will continue to grow at a rate of 22 percent (vs the average 7%) between 2014 and 2024, adding 36,500 more professionals to this field” said Paula. “The astounding number of job opportunities received by HH’s Job Placement Department in 2016 is evidence of this growing demand. With the assurance of job security for years to come and a starting salary of between $25 to $45 an hour, becoming a Professional Massage Therapist is more rewarding now than ever” she added.

Massage Therapists employ their knowledge of Anatomy/Physiology plus a variety of hands-on strokes and manipulations to relieve pain, reduce stress, relax tight muscles and positively affect every system in their client’s body! With dozens of modalities to choose from, today’s Massage Therapists have a variety of ways to facilitate health and well-being for their clients. Some Massage Therapists may choose to specialize in relaxation, employing modalities such as Circulatory (Swedish) or Lomi-Lomi (Hawaiian Massage), Pregnancy and Geriatric (Elderly) massage. Those more oriented toward rehabilitation, may choose to specialize in Sports Massage, Deep-tissue Manipulations, Myo-facial or Trigger Point therapies.  Most often, however, Massage Therapists become adept in several modalities, each of which require specific skills, strokes and techniques.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for Massage Therapists was $37,180 in 2014. The best-paid 10 percent in the profession made more than $71,950, while the bottom 10 percent made less than $18,460. According to an articles published in US News, Massage Therapists rank #50 in The 100 Best Jobs and, ranked #8 in Best Health Care Support Jobs based on the following 6 component measurements:

  • Median Salary
  • Employment Rate
  • 10-Year Growth Volume
  • 10-Year Growth Percentage
  • Job Prospects
  • Stress Level
  • Work-Life Balance

What’s even more inviting, Massage Therapists now work for employers in a variety of private and public environments.  These include the traditional Spas, Massage Clinics, and Chiropractic offices plus the not so traditional jobs now being offered on Cruise ships, in Casinos, in Shopping Malls, at Gyms, and in Corporate board rooms to name a few. Regardless of their working environment, Massage Therapists still enjoy the satisfaction of providing instant relief and facilitating long-term health and healing for the clients they serve; what can be better than that!

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents through two regional campuses located in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 24 years.  Considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California, HH has prepared more than 6,700 students for successful and rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health and can do the same for you! To learn more about HH, or to explore if a career in massage therapy may be right for you, 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: Holiday Gift Ideas for Health Advocates


Santa Says…..
Stop by Healing Hands School for the
 Perfect Gift this Holiday Season!



You don’t have to be a Professional Massage Therapist to enjoy giving and receiving a therapeutic massage.  At Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH), you can learn how to give your friends and loved ones a therapeutic Circulatory Massage in as little as 1 month!  Imagine, you can start a class in January, and by February have the knowledge and skills to relieve pain, reduce stress, relax over-worked muscles and positively impact the lives of those closest to you. HH’s Circulatory Massage class can be a unique and valuable experience for yourself, a friend or a loved one. 

If a massage class didn’t make it on to your holiday shopping list this year, then consider one of HH’s holistic health classes.  With more than 80 courses to choose from, there is something of interest for everyone at HH.  In addition to dozens of massage modalities, HH offers classes in Aromatherapy, Health & Dietary Practices, Homeopathic 1st Aid, Herbal Studies and Applications, Nutritional Superfoods, Advanced Herbal Preparations plus a variety of Energy-work classes.  Our on-site bookstore also offers a variety of unique books, study-guides, and self-care products, a collection you won’t find anywhere else this holiday season.

Note: Bookstore hours are: 9am to 5:30pm Mondays through Fridays at
 125 W. Mission Avenue in Escondido or 23022 La Cadena in Laguna Hills
Visa and Discovery Cards accepted



Price Range

Instructors, Denise Fultz and Raina Colvin’s




Instructor, Shana Lipner’s Sage Country Herbs Products


Deluxe Massage Oil

Therapeutic Pain Solution (small/large)

Sore Muscle Salve

Lip Balm









Massage Tables

$290.52 Standard Plus Pkg.

$430.92 Classic Deluxe Pkg.

$430.92 Versalite Pro Pkg.

$484.92 Prima Table Pkg.

Massage Chair Package


Massage Oils, Lotions, Creams & Gels



$6.47 –  $22.73 (8 oz)

$45.95 (1/2 Gallon)

$71.95 (1 Gallon)

La Crosse Balls (for Deep Tissue and



Knobble (for Self-Acupressure)




Anatomy Study Guides 


Anatomy Flash Cards


Advanced Circulatory & Sports Massage Study guide/folder


Advanced Circulatory & Sports Massage Study Flash Cards



NOTE:  The above is a partial list of items available, please visit HH book-store to view them all.

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents through two regional campuses located in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 24 years.  Considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California, HH has prepared more than 6,700 students for successful and rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health. To learn more about HH, or to explore if a career in massage therapy may be right for you, 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 School: Circulatory Massage for Hospice Patients

“Circulatory Massage is an excellent integrative therapy that can be used to enhance the quality of life for Hospice patients”, said Paula Curtiss, Founding Director at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, (HH). “Massage Therapists who work with Hospice patients provide a very nurturing experience that helps reduce pain and discomfort while restoring feelings of self-esteem and self-acceptance”, she continued. 

Paula is a Certified Massage Therapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, and the Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH).  Possessing over 25 years of experience as a multi-modality Massage Therapist and Instructor, Paula understands first-hand how providing a gentle, therapeutic touch delivered with focused attention can diminish the feelings of isolation and loneliness many terminal patients experience. Proven to be useful as a primary or integrative therapy for any condition with a stress component, Circulatory Massage can provide substantial relief to patients diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, one of the most stress-full events one can experience.

In HH’s Circulatory Massage class students are educated about age-related changes and their impact on the Hospice patient. These include, thin, fragile skin, bones, joints as well as common clinical conditions. Students examine the causes and contraindications associated with chronic and terminal illnesses. Through lecture, demonstration, and hands-on practice, students learn a variety of bodywork styles and techniques to address aging concerns while also promoting relaxation.

Circulatory Massage facilitates the release of neuro-chemicals that reduce stress and alleviate pain.  With regular Circulatory Massage, many Hospice patients enjoy a reduction in the need for narcotic and psychotropic medications which often come with their own negative side-effects.  In addition to physical benefits, Circulatory Massage delivers many significant and immediate psychosocial benefits for terminally ill patients.  Once diagnosed, many experience a roller-coaster of strong feelings, emotions, thoughts and fears.  These may include but are not limited to:

  • Denial about their diagnosis
  • Anger about the negative mental and physical effects of their disease or treatment
  • Frustration about the limitations imposed by the disease
  • A sense of being powerless and vulnerable
  • Depression and hopelessness
  • Guilt about how their illness and dying will affect loved ones
  • Mood swings caused by drugs, dementia, or simply the situation itself
  • Fear of death – the unknown, and/or the progression of the disease


Paula shares the reality of this work with students, explaining how working with the dying isn’t easy and often presents uncomfortable, even confrontational challenges.  It requires a willingness to face our own limitations and emotional vulnerabilities and to stay present and engaged despite of our fears.  She also shares how Circulatory Massage given to the terminally ill allowed her to share many enriching and fulfilling moments with patients she might otherwise have missed. Paula believes that providing Circulatory massage for Hospice patients can facilitate profound growth, both personally and professionally for the Massage Therapist and encourages all students to explore this soul-enriching massage specialty.

Considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California, HH has been serving residents from campuses in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 24 years.  To date, HH has prepared more than 6,700 students for successful careers in Therapeutic Massage and can do the same for you! To learn more about HH, their Circulatory Massage class or any of the other 80+ classes offered, visit us online at www.healinghandsschool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.