Holistic Massage School – Sponsers

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health Acknowledges the following Generous Sponsors – for our Holistic Networking Potluck – Nov. 13, 2016


Stronglite has been providing massage equipment to the bodywork community. Over those years massage has become increasingly more mainstream, expanding its roots into the medical, sports, health, and beauty industries. With this growth, massage continues to prove its validity and massage therapists show how they are making a difference. Our goal is to continue to supply innovative massage tables, massage chairs and massage accessories at competitive prices, so that massage therapists can continue to make an impact on the people, companies, and communities around them.


SacredEarth Botanicals’® mission is to promote a line of professional massage therapy products with a focus on certified organic ingredients, environmentally friendly packaging, and sustainable business practices. We offer our customers peace of mind knowing their massage products have been thoughtfully developed with the health of the therapist, client, and the environment in mind. Our facility is certified organic by the Oregon Tilth and the USDA.


Massage Envy Spas of Orange County – Whatever life throws at you, it’s the daily wear and tear that takes its toll on your body. Massage does more than just relax the body and calm the mind. Regular treatments give you the time to check in and tune up to help you be ready for more of this wonderful thing we call living.


Burke Williams Beyond the Spa – Burke Williams created the original urban day spa in 1984, elevating the spa experience to a new art form. Drawing inspiration from world-class European day spas, we combine the finest traditions with nourishing innovations to transport you from the stress of everyday life. Our dedicated, professional therapists will treat you to the ultimate in relaxation and renewal. We are a sanctuary, a place of wellness and beauty, inspiration and optimism.

Holistic Massage School: Benefits of Meditation

The Benefits of Meditation

“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. 

Body AwarenessAlthough 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:

  • Enhances cognitive skills
  • Positively impacts creative thinking
  • Better decision making and problem solving skills
  • Increases memory retention and recall
  • Improves mental focus
  • Quicker information processing
  • Diminishes effects of ADHD
  • Helps you ignore distractions
    Hayley Simon, a student practicing in the park

    Hayley Simon, a student practicing in the park

Benefits to your Body:

  • Improves immune system function
  • Helps prevent Arthritis, Fibromyalgia & HIV
  • Lessens inflammatory disorders
  • Reduces premenstrual and menopausal syndromes
  • Increases energy levels
  • Improves breathing and heart rates
  • Reduces recurrence of Asthma
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Improves longevity
  • Increases relaxation

Benefits to Emotional Well-being:

  • Enhances one’s self-esteem and self-acceptance
  • Increases optimism and awareness
  • Improves your mood
  • Enhances emotional intelligence
  • Helps develop positive social connections
  • Reduces feelings of depression and loneliness
  • Lessens feelings of anxiety & impulsivity
  • Reduces fear and worry
  • Helps prevent emotional over-eating or smoking

Up-coming Meditation Classes:

  • Spiritual Healing with Faun Parliman
  • Chakra Balancing with Perla Pintado
  • Healing through Kundalini Yoga with Alex Young
  • Holistic Living Retreat with Paula & Neha Curtiss

This classes can be found on our schedule located here: http://healinghandsschool.com/schedule-massage-therapy.php

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.

Holistic Massage School Discusses Benefits of Yoga

Have you ever watched a dog as it wakes from a nap?  They usually will yawn, then stretch their front paws out in front of them and move their upper body to the floor stretching into an upside down “V”.  Once they have stretched to their limit, they release the stretch then end it with a full body shake, before happily trotting off on their way.  It’s as if dogs instinctively know the benefits of stretching to relieve accumulated tension, align their spine and energize their bodies. HealingHands-LagunaNiguel_048

“A well-rounded, daily practice of Yoga, can go a long way to relieve muscle and joint pain and stiffness caused by excess tension held in the body”, says Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH).  “In addition to improving circulation to the muscles; regular Yoga exercise helps you become stronger, more flexible and can enhance your over-all posture, ease of movement and mental clarity.  Because Yoga is such an important and effective self-care tool, we encourage all students to practice it regularly.  In fact, we include Yoga stretches as part of the warm-up exercises for many of our massage classes”, she added.

The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language and is considered an ancient Hindu spiritual discipline.  This spiritual science offers a direct means of stilling the natural turbulence of thoughts.  Yoga’s purpose is said to be “the uniting of the mind, body and spirit.

While there are many different versions of Yoga practiced today, most session will include breath control, simple meditation, and the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits.  Practiced regularly, Yoga’s been proven to enhance overall health by creating balance in the body and by inducing both physical and emotional relaxation.  Depending on the yoga tradition, the poses may be done in quick succession, creating heat in the body through movement; or, when done slowly they can increase strength, stamina and help to align the spine.

To find out more about Holistic Health or the 80+ Massage and Holistic Health classes offered at HHSHH, 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 Newsletter – Summer 2015

Hello Healers,

Summer of 2015 finds Massage Therapy more integrated in the American experience than ever before. The Healing Hands School clinics see more clients each week. During our On-Site Therapy course we visited 5 different facilities which are ready for our student interns. Our job placement board has more jobs posted than our graduates can fill. At Healing Hands School, we are so happy that we can teach very practical hands on skills, and yet stay true to our lineage of holistic health. Each staff member, teachers, and student adviser is a healer. We are dedicated to continuing our mission of bringing a comprehensive experience of holistic health to all our students. 

This Summer, we have a new class in our elective line-up: James Beard’s Introduction to Breathwork. James teaches several breathwork techniques which can be integrated into your massage practice. James teaches how to use the breath as a healing tool. In Laguna Hills, Shana Lipner’s Herbal Studies course is condensed to twice a week, and we welcome Shannon Gonzales back from her maternity focus to once again bring us her Energywork for Bodyworkers. In Escondido, Claudia Baben and Jennifer Peterson will teach LomiLomi Hawaiian Massage. Jennifer Johnson, owner of the Hideaway Spa at the Marriott, will teach Massage as a Business.

Please celebrate with us as we congratulate our latest Holistic Health Practitioner graduates: Justyne Carnes, Angela Carnes, Gabriella Davis, Gina Ferrera, Brittany Huggins, Jessica Kolleda Osborn, Dawn McCadden, Anneka Preston, Moises Reynoso, Wendy Taylor, Robert Thomas II. You are a beautiful and unique group of diverse healers comprised of 2 new parents, a professional drummer, a bicyclist therapist, and a U.S. Marine veteran. You came to Healing Hands with open minds and strong convictions. It has been wonderful to work with each of you. We are truly excited to hear how your healing path will unfold before you. Good work awaits your healing hands.

With the warmth of Summer ripening around us, we wish all peace and health,

Paula & Neha
All of us at Healing Hands

Summer 2015 schedule: http://healinghandsschool.com/schedule-massage-therapy.php

HHands-TextLogo-ClrWEB copy

Holistic Massage School Announces New Course Offerings in 2015

Ms. Paula Curtiss, Founder of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health recently announced the addition of 8 new holistic health classes to be offered to students in 2015.  “At Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, we believe that certified Massage Therapists and Holistic health Practitioners should have a variety of bodywork modalities at their disposal”, said Paula.  “We also believe therapist should have an understanding of the structure and function of the body as well as holistic health practices known to optimize health.  Just as importantly, our students need opportunity to fine-tune their skills with hours of practical, hands-on experience.  We believe these new classes will help students do just that”, Paula concluded. 

Advanced Herbal Formulations: Herbal plantsThis class takes the introductory herbal experience and goes much deeper. In this course students learn the benefits of various herbal preparations and their powerful role in healing. They will explore formulations that facilitate systemic balancing and are based on client’s individual constitutions or body types, as opposed to just addressing symptoms. They will also experience a variety of solvents for making advanced herbal preparations. By the end of this course, students will be able to assess typical nutritional deficiencies and prepare a variety of effective nutritional and herbal remedies to address our most common health issues like colds and flus, sinusitis/ bronchitis, urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, etc.

Community Service Internship:  24 hour to be scheduled with approved facility. Healing Hands Interns work in the student clinic, with specific population groups, and in facilities which partner with Healing Hands. Our interns work with Veterans recovery from hospitalization, peri and pre-natal patients, with disabled adults, the elderly, and in the spa industry. You will schedule your practical hours with your placement facility. Interns commit to working a minimum of 4 hours each week for 6 consecutive weeks. This course may be taken more than once.  Prerequisite: On Site Therapy for Career Development 

Herbs for the Massage Therapist:  This class covers how herbs affect the physical/emotional body and how to introduce their impact through massage. Herbal “products” can be relaxing-to-invigorating and balancing-to-rejuvenating. There are “herbal preparations” that detoxify and others that relieve stress. What appeals to you? Learn what herbs to select and blend for the right healing.

On-Site Therapy for Career Development: Learn how to give massage therapy in any environment. Learn the massage techniques that allow you to adjust body mechanic needs,

Harmony Curtiss sporting the polo shirt at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health

Harmony Curtiss sporting the polo shirt at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health

as well as effective protocol adjustment. We will examine the needs of several population groups and the facilities which serve them including: spa and beauty, chiropractor, physical therapy, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, Pre-Natal Clinic, office/professional workplace, sports events, fundraiser events, and social settings. Each lecture topic includes hands-on massage techniques for hands, feet, neck and shoulders. Topics Include: job interview skills, preparation of resume/business card, state CAMTC certification, job placement support, geriatric massage; working with homeless veterans, protocol adjustment for pre-natal massage; oncology massage, hospice care massage, and massage for job interview preparation. Upon completion, you are eligible to enroll in the Community Service internship program.

Standardized Test Practice Review: As of January 1, 2015 the California Massage Therapy Council requires state certified Massage Therapist to complete 500 hours of training and pass the Massage Therapy exam. This review class is designed to help you practice your information to prepare for the MBLx exam. We will review important anatomical terms and system functions, as well as reviewing modality specific information. We will work with study aids and practice tests designed to assure your success. This course is a ‘review’, we suggest you take this course after you have already completed at least 4 of the Massage Therapy courses including Anatomy for Bodyworkers.

Therapeutic Mobilizations: Mobilizations are a highly effective method to treat joint pain and restrictions within joints. These are well controlled passive movements which are performed slowly and with the therapist focusing his/her intention on the joints. The student learns how to handle joints effectively and with confidence. Mobilizations are most useful for synovial joints, but can also be performed on cartilaginous and fibrous joints. During these passive motions the therapist moves the joint to resemble the gliding motion between the two joint surfaces. Students are advised to re-visit anatomy prior to the class, such as classification of synovial joints, as the joint type will determine both anatomical and accessory movements possible within the joint. Mobilizations are a great addition to the tool box providing the therapist with the ability to work on a wider range of conditions and joint problems.shutterstock_130090013

Visceral Manipulation: Many people that suffer from IBS [Irritable Bowel syndrome], heartburn, constipation, bloating, internal scar tissue, and healing from pregnancy; live in constant pain. Learn to use the most effective Visceral manipulation techniques to relieve this pain.

Yoga Therapy:  Yoga Therapy is an adaptation of yoga techniques and practices that are personalized to help individuals with specific health challenges. This introductory Yoga Therapy class will address topics that you can take and use as tools in your massage or personal yoga practice. It will include yoga sequences, meditation techniques and breathe-work for various ailments. We will explore how certain poses can create space between the vertebrae, within the joints, and around the internal organs; other poses feel like they lift the heart and open space between the neck and shoulders. By improving circulation and reducing muscle tension, Yoga Therapy can become a valuable addition to any therapist’s practice.

To learn more about the 80+ massage therapy and holistic health classes offered at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, visit us on-line at healinghandsschool.com or call us at (760) 746.9374 in Escondido, or at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.

Holistic Massage School Reviews Recent Research on Massage and the Immune System

“While the relaxation benefits of massage have been known for decades, new studies are showing that its effects go much deeper” said Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health.   “In fact, studies at both Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of Los Angeles, and Touch Research Institute at University of Miami’s School of Medicine support the same conclusion: the immune system can be effectively strengthened by massage from as little as one session!   This is great news for the massage industry, as it demonstrates its essential role in any rehabilitative or wellness program”, she added.

One study refer was conducted at Cedars-Sinai and measured a substantial increase in the number of white blood cells in subjects who received just one forty-five-minute massage.  White blood cells play an important part in defending the body from disease.   Massage positively impacted hormone levels also; reducing the stress-hormone Cortisol and increasing ‘good hormones’ Serotonin and Dopamine.  Massage also lowered levels of ‘cytokines’ which contshutterstock_42359824ribute to inflammation.  Chronic inflammation breeds a wide range of ills including: cardiovascular disease, depression, and conditions like asthma and arthritis. 

Another study by Touch Research Institute on female patients with Fibromyalgia found similar evidence of a boost to the immune system.    In that study, subjects reported lower anxiety and depression, which was supported by lowered Cortisol levels immediately following their therapy sessions.

 A third study involving HIV+ gay men who received massage regularly for 1 month further supported the conclusion.  At the end of the month, all men reported feeling more relaxed with a reduction in anxiety levels.  Their blood work also revealed a substantial decrease in the stress hormone, Cortisol.  Once again, these benefits correlated with an increase in white blood cells and enhanced immune function.  

 Today, many of the acute and chronic conditions we experience are stress-induced, which is why massage therapy makes such a positive impact.  More and more studies are showing it not only relieves stress, but can reverse its deteriorating effects on the body as well.   Below is a partial list of some additional benefits found by other massage studies conducted by TRI:

  •  reducing depressive symptoms
  • diminishing pain
  • lowering stress hormones 
  • alleviating insomnia
  • increasing attentiveness/clarity
  • weight gain in pre-term infants   
  • shorter labors and less post-partum depression in pregnant women 
  • reducing high blood-pressure 

shutterstock_131745701To find out more about the study of massage and its application in science and medicine, visit Touch Research Institute online at: http://www6.miami.edu/touch-research/About.html or Cedars-Sinai research at: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Research.

To learn more about the 80+ massage therapy and holistic health classes offered at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, visit us on-line at healinghandsschool.com or call us at (760) 746.9374 in Escondido, or at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills

(Cit http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Research/Research-Areas/Immunology-Infectious-Disease/index.aspx)

(Cit: Ironson, G., Field, T.M., Scafidi, F., Hashimoto, M., Kumar, M., Kumar, A., Price, A., Goncalves, A., Burman, I. , Tetenman, C., Patarca, R. & Fletcher, M.A. (1996). Massage therapy is associated with enhancement of the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity. International Journal of Neuroscience, 84, 205-21

 (Cit: Sunshine, W., Field, T.M., Quintino, O., Fierro, K., Kuhn, C., Burman, I. & Schanberg, S. (1996). Fibromyalgia benefits from massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 2, 18-22.)

Spring Newsletter 2015 – Holistic Massage School

Hello Healers,

Spring of 2015 brings us green hillsides and a full schedule of classes. In Laguna Hills, Frida Hauksdotter will teach Therapeutic Mobilization and Visceral Manipulations; and Richard Jordan comes from Costa Rica to teach CranioSacral Therapy and Somatics. In Escondido, Faun Parliman teaches Reiki and Spiritual Healing; Shana Grover teaches Advanced Herbal Formulations; and Paula Curtiss teaches On Site Therapy for Career Development.

 As our terrain blossoms with an almost infinite variety of greenery, we see that our schedule is offering 30 different class offerings! Healing Hands School graduates are prepared to work in any environment. Our most recent Holistic Health Practitioner graduates are a truly wonderful group of students, healers, artists, and teachers. Thank you so much for choosing Healing Hands School to learn, grow and share with. Congratulations Jenn Acuña, Bridgett Bowley, Andrea Elisabetta Caporaso  Judit E. Fulop, Janna Gaston, Tommy Lee Hilliard, Mandy Jackson, Nyrma Javier, Vanessa Marie Leal, Deniz Locke, Ashley Long, Kristy Martinez, Karissa Massaro, Dove Brianna McCuistion, Maria Del Rocio Mendoza, Nelida Munguia, Deena Oliver, Anthony Pamintuan, Elizabeth Plachte, Tammy Rodriguez, Veronica Sais, Yannel Sanchez, Jason Sandsness, Tabitha Snyder, Victoria Soo, Lyndi Tennison, Adrian P. Tirado, Kassandra Lee Van Rossem, David Sidney Warder, and Ana C. Zorn. Our sincere hope is that you will magnify the work you have done with tenfold, and that your craft will become your skill, your heart song and your soul’s volition.

Author Rebecca Solnit’s tells us:  “Many events plant seeds, imperceptible at the time, that bear fruit long afterward.” Who knows which class you took, which teacher you worked with, which remark from a colleague, will spark the seed that will become the full and ripe fruit of sustenance?

And please join us as we celebrate the birth of 2 Healing Hands School babies. Melanie, JR and Jayden welcome their new Angel, Sovi AND Shannon and Kenny welcome their new Angel, Noah.

In Peace and Health, Paula & Neha
All of us at Healing Hands

Holistic Massage School Teams up to Host Therapeutic Massage Workshops

Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, (HHSHH), recently announced the release of two new health workshops for massage enthusiasts and their families.  Teaming up with area massage clinics and spas, Paula designed these information packed workshops to empower attendees of all ages.  Offered on a first come, first serve basis and delivered at the hosting Spa or Clinic’s location, these workshops serve to raise awareness of Healing Hands School while boosting memberships for spas and clinics, making it a win/win for everyone.

The first workshop to be released in 2015, Holistic Health and Wellness for All –   is a two-hour workshop offered to Spa/Clinic clients, employees, and their families.  This workshop touches on the physical, mental, and spiritual components of Holistic Health.  Attendees learn simple yet powerful holistic practices to increase their body’s energy, strength, flexibility and overall health.   This workshop has already received rave reviews from Spa patrons and has inspired new ideas for future workshops.

The second workshop, to be promoted for Mother’s Day 2015, Kneading Your Mother–  is a one-hour workshop for Spa/Clinic clients and their mothers.  This workshop addresses common problem areas of the body, and discusses how bad posture and alignment patterns can cause tension, pain, stiffness and even injury.    Paula also demonstrates correct body alignment, proper body-mechanics and exercises to help Moms of all ages keep their bodies strong and flexible.   

Credited with developing the first Massage Training Programs for community colleges in the State, Paula and husband, Neha, are considered trail-blazers of Holistic Health education in California.  Since starting Healing Hands School in 1992, they’ve prepared more than 6,000 students for satisfying and rewarding careers as Massage Therapists and Holistic health professionals. 

Currently, HHSHH offers two top-notch certification Programs and over 80 massage and holistic health classes.  Nationally Accredited and State Approved, Healing Hands is also the school of choice for So Cal therapists seeking continuing education credits required by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB).    

For more information on Healing Hands Health Workshops, or to learn more about Programs and classes offered at  Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us in Escondido at (760) 746-9364 or in Laguna Hills at (949) 305-2722.

Holistic Massage School Talks About A Growing Trend – Working in Sports Massage

“According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), more and more athletes are integrating massage therapy services into their regular training programs” announced Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH).  “As a result, our Graduates who specialize in Sports Massage work with sports teams, in sports medicine facilities and with professional athletes.   What’s more, Sports Massage Therapists (SMTs) working in athletic and/or sports facilities earn on average, $54.50 per hour (including tip) as opposed to 39.01 per hour for MTs working at a Spa or Chiropractic clinic,” she added.

A survey of Healing Hands graduates also reported a high job satisfaction rating in this sector and SMTs said the rewards aren’t just monetary.  Most athlete/clients are well tuned in to their bodies, and eager to make the life-style changes necessary to keep themselves in tip top shape.  When they do get injured, they usually seek help immediately, making it easier for SMTs to pin-point the cause and affect positive change.  As one therapist put it, “Locating an area of dysfunction, facilitating improvement, then watching the athlete go out and perform well is very uplifting”. 

That’s not the only good news for SMTs.  According to the Dept. of Labor, job opportunities for Massage Therapists will continue to grow at a rate of 22% through 2022 – faster than any other industry segment.  Additional Massage Therapy statistics reported by the AMTA in 2014 are as follows:

  • Roughly 34.9 million people received a total of 143 million massages in 2013
  • 88% of consumers see massage as effective in reducing pain
  • 88 % of consumers believe that massage can be beneficial to overall health and wellness
  • 43% of massage consumers got a massage for medical reasons In 2013, a significant increase from 2010.
  • Consumers who received massage for medical reasons cited using it to relieve pain, alleviate soreness and stiffness, and recover from injury.

For students considering specializing in Sports Massage, Paula offers the following advice:sports marathon with Brandon

“If you’re really serious about working with Athletes it won’t be enough to have a strong understanding of Anatomy and mastery of basic massage therapy techniques.  To succeed in this enviable arena, you will need to develop competency in certain advanced techniques specific to Sports Massage.  The following is a list of our faculty’s Top Sports Massage Therapy Courses:   

  1.  Advanced Circulatory and Sports Massage, 
  2. Sports Injuries & Neuro Muscular Therapy (2 classes)
  3. Therapeutic Stretching 
  4. Triggerpoint Therapy  (2 classes)
  5. Myofascial Meridians of Pain Relief 
  6. Principles of Structural Integration
  7. Structural Integration

Complimentary electives such as Deep Tissue Therapies, Nutritional Superfoods and Holistic Nutrition can also be taken to help athlete/clients optimize their physical health as well as performance.”

To learn more about a career in Sports Massage Therapy, or to find out more about the 60+ Massage and Holistic Health courses offered at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, please visit us online at www.HealilngHandsSchool.com or call us at (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.   

Holistic Massage School Reveals Research Study Findings on the Benefits of Massage

“One of the most frequently asked questions of faculty at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health is; What exactly are the latest research findings on the benefits of massage” said Founding Director, Ms. Paula Curtiss.  “To answer their questions, I often refer them to The University of Miami School of Medicine’s Touch Research Institute’s (TRI) website – www.miami.edu/touch-research .   TRI has conducted over 100 studies on the positive effects of massage therapy.  Below is a summary of general findings, plus a table describing the impact of massage on patients with specific medical conditions.  As you’ll see, the impact of massage is both undeniable and substantial, two reasons why Massage Therapy is now recognized as an important part of any holistic medical or wellness program,” she added.shutterstock_131745701

General findings by TRI on the benefits of massage include:

  • Enhanced growth in preterm infants
  • Diminished pain (e.g. fibromyalgia)
  • Decreased autoimmune problems (e.g. increased pulmonary function in asthma and decreased glucose levels in diabetes)
  • Enhanced immune function (increased natural killer cells in HIV and Cancer)
  • Enhanced alertness and performance (EEG pattern of alertness and better performance on math computations).
  • Decreased stress hormones (e.g. Cortisol)

Specific findings by TRI on massage benefits for individuals with common ailments include:



[Cit: Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., & Theakston, H. (2001). Lower back pain is reduced and range of motion increased after massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 106, 131-145.]


Massage therapy was compared to relaxation for chronic low back pain. By the end of the study, the massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, reported less pain, depression and anxiety and improved sleep. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance, and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.


[Cit: Field, T., Ironson, G., Scafidi, F., Nawrocki, T.,Goncalves, A., Burman, I. , Pickens, J., Fox, N., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. (1996). Massage therapy reduces anxiety and enhances EEG pattern of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 86, 197-205.]


Adults were given a chair massage, and control group adults were asked to relax in a chair for 15 minutes, two times a week for five weeks. Frontal delta power increased for both groups, suggesting relaxation. The massage group showed decreased alpha and beta power, and increased speed and accuracy on math computations. At the end of the five-week period depression scores were lower for both groups but job stress scores were only, for the massage group.


[Cit: Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J. & Theakston, H.(2000). High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 4, 31-38.]


High blood pressure is associated with elevated anxiety, stress and stress hormones, hostility, depression and catecholamines. Massage therapy and progressive muscle relaxation were evaluated as treatments for reducing blood pressure and these associated symptoms. Adults who had been diagnosed as hypertensive received ten 30 min massage sessions over five weeks or they were given progressive muscle relaxation instructions (control group). Sitting diastolic blood pressure decreased after the first and last massage therapy sessions and reclining diastolic blood pressure decreased from the first to the last day of the study. Although both groups reported less anxiety, only the massage therapy group reported less depression & hostility and showed decreased cortisol.


[Cit: Field, T., Grizzle, N., Scafidi, F., & Schanberg, S. (1996). Massage and relaxation therapies’ effects on depressed adolescent mothers. Adolescence, 31, 903-911.]


32 depressed adolescent mothers received ten 30-minute sessions of massage therapy or relaxation therapy over a five-week period. Subjects were randomly assigned to each group. Although both groups reported lower anxiety following their first and final sessions, although only the massage therapy group showed behavioral and stress hormone changes, including a decrease in anxious behavior, heart rate and cortisol levels.


Sunshine, W., Field, T.M., Quintino, O., Fierro, K., [Cit: Kuhn, C., Burman, I. & Schanberg, S. (1996). Fibromyalgia benefits from massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 2, 18-22.]

Adult fibromyalgia syndrome subjects were randomly assigned to a massage therapy, a transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS), or a transcutaneous electrical stimulation no-current group for 30-minute treatment sessions two times per week for 5 weeks. The massage therapy subjects reported lower anxiety and depression, and their cortisol levels were lower immediately after the therapy sessions on the first and last days of the study. The TENS group showed similar changes, but only after therapy on the last day of the study.


[Cit: Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Taylor , S., Quintino, O., & Burman, I. (1997). Labor pain is reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 18, 286-291.]

28 women were recruited from prenatal classes and randomly assigned to receive massage in addition to coaching in breathing from their partners during labor, or to receive coaching in breathing alone. The massaged mothers reported a decrease in depressed mood, anxiety and pain, and showed less agitated activity and anxiety and more positive affect following the first massage during labor. In addition the massaged mothers had shorter labors, a shorter hospital stay and less postpartum depression.