After the Certification: Where Massage Therapists Work

You have reached the end of your Massage Therapy Program – so what’s next?

Massage therapists have a large variety of settings in which they can work in. We offer our students diverse classes so they can discover what types of massage they like best.

One of the most important benefits of being a massage therapist is the amount of work environment options available. Massage therapists can work in any niche field of healing of their choice. Every work setting will provide a different experience as the needs of clients differ.

A few types of environments that massage therapists may work in:

 

Fitness Centers

Massage therapists have the ability to work in fitness centers with athletes of every kind. Sports massage therapy techniques treat a variety of clients ranging from the moderately active to the serious, competitive athlete. Therapists use deep, invigorating massage techniques to enhance the performance of athletes at athletic events or prior to weight training.

Spas

The most common places you will find massage therapists are in spas. Although spas seem relaxing for the client, that is not always the case for massage therapists as it can be a fast-paced environment. Working in spas allows for many types of massage techniques to be utilized depending on the client’s needs. Some places will offer set schedules while others are based off an appointment.

Healthcare

The need for massage therapists within healthcare environments is consistently growing. Whether it is in hospitals or rehabilitation centers, patients can heal much quicker through massages. Working in this environment is different than most settings because you are working with a team to treat patients. Self-employment options are limited when working in healthcare.

 

Although there are so many different environments in which a massage therapist can work in, the ultimate goal for all is to heal their clients. Our Massage Therapy Program allows you to choose your classes based off of preference and convenience, so that you can learn and practice the techniques you enjoy most.

Our fall schedule has been released, see what courses we are offering at each of our locations here.

What Massage Is Right For You?

A common misconception is that all massages are similar. For people who are not familiar with massage therapy terminology, it can be difficult to decipher which one is right for you.

Not sure what massage you need? The first step is to assess why you are getting the massage. Whether it is for a specific need or simply for relaxation, it is helpful to understand the differences in massages in order to get the best results for your body.

 

The diversity of courses available in our Massage Therapy Program allows our graduates to work in many different fields such as athletics, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers.

With so many types of massages to offer, we ensure our students are proficient in every course they take by giving them hands-on practice.

 

Here are some common massages we teach our students:

Swedish Massage

Also known as the circulatory massage, this technique is most commonly used throughout wellness facilities. Muscle knots are smoothed out with oils with a variety of different strokes. This movement in the muscles releases toxins and increases the flow of oxygen. This massage promotes relaxation, lowers blood pressure, detoxifies the system, and relieves pain.

 

Hot Stone Massage

This technique is used to promote deep muscle relaxation and relieve stress through heated stones placed on different parts of the body. By warming up the muscles, therapists are able to reach areas of tension more effectively. These stones also increase blood flow throughout the whole body, helping you sleep better at night and boosting your mood.

 

Thai Massage

This ancient practice is not your typical massage. By using techniques from yoga, the body is energized through movement and stretching. Thai massages are utilized to enhance flexibility, balance and increase energy, improve posture, and create a lasting feeling of well being. Our students are trained to find the energy lines within each client to perform a proper 90-minute Thai massage.

 

The type of massage you should receive will depend on your body and mind’s needs. Our main priority at Healing Hands is to provide comfort and promote wellness to our clients. When our students enroll in our Massage Therapy Program, they are required to take 600 hours of course training that prepares them with all of the essential massage modalities.

 

Be sure to check out our Student Clinic, where you can receive two 60-minute massages for the price of one. 

Understanding your Chakras

Here at Healing Hands, we introduce our students to the energetic system of the body and its energy centers, the Chakras. Balancing your own chakras contributes to restoring health to your entire system. We train our students to balance these energy centers through various methods in order to promote a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their clients.

Keeping the Body in Balance

Your lifestyle habits play a significant role in the health and productivity of your chakras. Physical and emotional distress block your chakras. Each chakra center serves a different purpose in your wellbeing. Although each center is different, striving to sync these energies is what will give you balance.

Chakra Centers and What They Mean

 

Crown Chakra

Also known as Sahasrara, this chakra is located on the head and is the pathway to all other chakras. When your crown chakra is balanced, you feel joy and spiritual enlightenment.

Third Eye Chakra

Connected to inspiration and clarity, the Anja chakra links the mind to the body. This chakra is located between the eyebrows and gives you the ability to organize your life.

Throat Chakra

A balanced throat chakra allows you to speak your truth with compassion and purity. This energy center, named Vishuddhi, is for speaking and listening.

Heart Chakra

The Anahata chakra influences our relationships with one another. This chakra holds the most human emotion- having the ability to emit the most loving pieces of our soul but our most cruel as well.

Solar Plexus Chakra

Manipura is known as the powerhouse of the chakras as it contains your physical energy. Confidence is the biggest factor in keeping this chakra balanced. The manners in which you react to inabilities to control certain areas in your life with affect Manipura.

Sacral Chakra

You can find Sacral under your belly button, and this chakra centers around self-respect and creativity. Formally named Svadhishana, having this energy balanced means that you are fulfilling your desires.

Root Chakra

You can find Muladhara at the base of your spine- the root of the human body. This chakra keeps you grounded and centers on the need to survive.  Each energy center provides different needs in our spiritual and physical lifestyle. By taking time to work on each of our chakras, we can experience our lives to the fullest potential.

We train our students to balance their own chakras through methods such as crystals, sound therapy, visualization meditations, color therapy, and hands-on practice. By actively working towards self-awareness and fulfillment, our students learn how to heal others.

To find out how you can sign up for this class at one of our locations, click here.

Holistic Massage School Asks,… …Which Massage Style Resonates with You? (Part 1 of 2)

“Regardless of their chosen specialty, a good Massage Therapist will master a wide-range of modalities to meet the individual needs of their clients”, said Harmony Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (Healing Hands).  “That’s why Healing Hands offers over 80 Massage Therapy and related Holistic Health courses.  Our Mission is to ensure that all our students receive a well-rounded, broad range of specialized skills and knowledge in the Holistic Healing Arts”, she added. 

Before any legitimate therapeutic massage, a client should be given a brief intake questionnaire and range-of-motion movement test.  During the assessment, the Practitioner asks questions and searches for dysfunctional anatomy, physiology or movement.  The process helps identify the source of discomfort, pain, stiffness, referred pain, numbness or tingling and allows the Practitioner to discern the best therapeutic approach.

During the massage, the client can expect to have his body draped with a sheet for privacy and extremities manipulated for access.  A conscientious Massage Therapist will encourage open lines of communication throughout the massage, to ensure the client’s comfort and ease.

After the massage, the Therapist may reassess the client’s range of motion to measure improvement.  He or she may prescribe self-care practices the client can do at home and discuss the goals for future massage therapy sessions.

To help first time ‘Massage Experiencers’ select the best massage for their needs, the Faculty at Healing Hands offers the below summary of three popular types of massage and their therapeutic benefits.  Review each to discover which type of Massage Therapy treatment resonates most with you.

Wellness Massage –  Focus on Relaxation and Stress Reduction. 

As new research supports the fact that stress negatively impacts our emotional and physical health, the demand for Massage Therapy continues to grow.  When your mind perceives the world to be threatening, which occurs frequently in today’s demanding and fast-paced world; your body responds with the ‘Fight or Flight’ response.  This response creates tremendous internal tension. Its impact can be evidenced by clenched fists, tightness in the neck, shallow breathing, stomach distress and headaches.  Worse still, chronic stress adversely impacts blood pressure, de-stabilizes blood sugar, and wreaks havoc on our Cardiovascular, Digestive and Immune systems. 

Modalities such as Swedish Massage and Lomi Lomi (Hawaiian) work especially well to reduce this internal tension.  They offer rhythmic, flowing strokes of varying pressure to encourage deep relaxation.  Benefits include a reduction in Cortisol, (stress hormones) and increase in Dopamine, Serotonin (good feeling hormones) which dissipate tension and allow the body’s natural healing to occur. 

Note: Watch for Part 2 of this Blog –  coming soon!

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Energetic Bodywork: Healing Your Body, Healing Your Mind

energetic bodyworkIn every season of life, we encounter days where we feel less energized, less motivated, and more stressed. Instead of giving yourself a hard time about feeling this way, remind yourself that these symptoms are a sign that your mind and body are in need of a simple rejuvenation. When we’re relaxed and stress-free, we are able to restore our natural ability to heal which, in turn, enables us to fight off health-related issues. Not only does this positive energy aid our health, but it also manifests itself as confidence and outward harmony in dealing with everyday events.

 

Energetic Bodywork, previously known as Energywork for Bodyworkers, is a hands-on body/mind therapy that addresses healing on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. It helps clear any mental or physical roadblocks you may be experiencing. These disruptions in your “life force energy” can lead to critical emotional or health problems if left untended. Whether this imbalance is caused by an emotional situation, physical trauma, or negative thoughts and feelings (worry, doubt, anger, anxiety), energy healing treatments help relieve these emotions by reducing stress and promoting relaxation. This triggers the body’s natural healing abilities and improves and maintains your overall health.

 

The healing benefits from this type of treatment can be dramatic, but are often quite subtle and tend to show up later – after the healing session is long over. Often the “results” happen at the level that will provide the most profound benefits. For example, the main benefit of a healing session might come in the form of an insight or change in attitude that results in a change of behavior that leads to a long-lasting improvement in physical health, emotional health, and/or quality of life.

 

In our Energetic Bodywork course, students learn how physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual blockages can affect the human energy field. Discussions include how the ‘health’ of this field relates to the potential for disease within the body. Students will also learn energetic grounding techniques and discover their unique way of receiving information energetically. Through a deeper understanding of the emotional and spiritual aspects of healing, the student greatly enhances their perception skills often differentiating themselves from less sensitive body-workers. The skills learned in Energetic Bodywork enable our students to create better health and balance for their clients as well as themselves.

 

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’s Student Clinic …. An Insiders Experience

Healing Hands Student Massage Clinic is open to the Public by appointment only, 6 days a week, Mondays through Saturdays.  Click here to purchase your coupon and make an appointment online! Anyone over the age of 18 may purchase a coupon to receive two, 1-hour massages for $45. 

As I approach the top of the stairway at the entrance of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (Healing Hands), I announce, “Hello,  my name’s Andrea, I’m here for a Massage in the Student Clinic.  The pretty young woman I’m looking at smiles, walks towards me and extends her hand warmly, “Hello I’m Heidi, I’ll be your Massage Therapist today”, she said.

After shaking hands, she invites me to sit down, reaches for a clipboard with a two-sided form, and politely asks for me to complete the front side.  The form asks for my name and any health conditions I have that may be contraindicated for therapeutic massage. Once completed, she leads me into one of two private Massage Therapy treatment rooms, closes the door and a brief discussion ensues. “Where are you holding tension in your body… are there specific areas of your body you would like me to focus on today….”, Heidi asked.  I relayed my problem areas as she listened carefully, then she excused herself so I could undress and get on the massage table.

Get your Buy One Get One Free Massage!!!

Moments later, I hear a tap at the door and Heidi’s soft voice asking if I’m ready. I reply yes, she enters the room and the lights are dimmed as soft Spa music begins playing.  Heidi arranges and smoothes the sheet and blankets covering me, then starts palpating my shoulders, neck, back, thighs, etc.  I feel her applying soft compressions and stretches across my entire back to loosen things up before taking aim at my right shoulder.

 I can feel Heidi’s pressure adjusting intuitively as it encounters taught muscles, allowing my body a chance to respond to her touch rather than repel it.  I can tell she already has a good understanding of Anatomy as evidenced by her ability to follow a line of tension and feel her way around my body.  Her pace is slow and steady as she methodically moves down my neck and back applying the perfect pressure and following through to the end of each muscle or muscle group. 

About 20 minutes into the massage now, I find my need to chat diminishing as my mind starts to unwind in response to Heidi’s therapeutic touch.  She’s moved on to my legs, and I’m feeling muscle tightness I didn’t know I had.  As I focus on her touch, I become increasingly conscious of all bodily sensations.   The softness of her palms, the release of tension from a specific muscle, the urge to take deep breaths and long exhalations in concert with Heidi’s muscle work…releasing layers and layers of tension, and lulling me into a deep sense of relaxation. 

I’m 40 minutes into the massage now and drifting into that ‘in-between awake and sleep’ state…feeling more relaxed than I have in weeks.  Her steady, rhythmic strokes are releasing tension in my arms and shoulders now…. and I’m feeling a sense of gratitude for her kindness and expertise.  Just when I think it can’t get any better, I feel her soothing the tight muscles in my neck and then those that run across my head.  Wow, I’m always amazed by how much tension my head can hold! 

Ultimately, that dreaded soft touch on the shoulders came… and Heidi leaned over and in a gentle Spa voice informed me …”Well  Andrea, thank you for receiving for me today. I hope I have restored some rejuvenation to your body.  Here is a cup of water before you get up.  Thanks for the valuable feedback. I’ll step out of the room to allow you some privacy while you get dressed and meet you back outside”, she then turned and quietly left the room.

I lay there dazed, feeling all the benefits of relaxation and the release of positive neuro-chemicals in my brain and body.  As I rise from the table I’m feeling completely relaxed, my body feeling lighter, pain-free, nurtured, grateful and happy! Heidi greets me as I leave the Massage Room,  graciously accepts my deluge of verbal appreciation, then  directs me to the desk where the clipboard and questionnaire await. I record my positive feedback on Heidi’s technical and interactive skills and hand Heidi a $20 tip, to underscore my appreciation. 

Healing Hands has been serving residents throughout Southern California for over 25 years.  Boasting more than 80 Massage and Holistic Health courses plus two Certification Programs, Healing Hands is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health education in Southern California. To learn more about Healing Hands Student Clinic, classes,  or Programs 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.

 

Swedish Massage: Increasing Circulation, Decreasing Pain

massage therapy Sometimes our bodies need a little extra TLC. From long work commutes to playing sports, our muscles and joints experience wear and tear in a variety of ways. To keep your muscles healthy and free of tension, you’ll want to regularly treat yourself to a Swedish massage.

 

This type of treatment is among the most commonly requested massages in spas. It’s the perfect way for anyone who is overworked and stressed out to relax his or her mind and body. A Swedish massage is performed in a soothing environment where the therapist lubricates the skin with massage oil or lotion and performs various massage strokes. These movements warm up the muscle tissue and gradually break up muscle “knots,” called adhesions. In order to achieve this, the technique that is used for this type of massage is very focused on muscle relaxation by targeting superficial muscles – rather than the connective tissues targeted in deep-tissue massages. While the strokes of the massage relax individual muscles, the overall experience eliminates mental stress. In turn, this helps reduce/eliminate tension headaches, increase energy levels, and allows you to get a better night’s sleep.

 

Since many of the massage’s movements also involve stroking the hands toward the heart, it naturally increases blood flow and drains toxins from the limbs of your body. This means that your muscles are getting more nutrients and oxygen and that your body is removing toxins more efficiently. This benefit is what makes a Swedish massage good for treating minor, sports-related injuries. It soothes and alleviates the inflamed area and increasing blood flow to that particular spot of your body.

 

Our circulatory massage class involves learning the technique of performing a Swedish massage. It involves lubricating the skin with massage oil and performing a variety of strokes to increase circulation and smooth muscle knots. Through lecture, group discussion, and supervised hands-on practice this course teaches students how to give a full- body Swedish-style massage. Techniques learned include gliding (Effleurage), kneading (Petrissage), and cross-fiber friction (Fanning). Special focus is given to the body’s anatomy, and proper body mechanics used by professionals. Also, students will learn “draping” techniques for assuring their client’s privacy. By the end of this course, the student will be able to deliver a full-body Swedish massage that promotes relaxation, lowers blood pressure, detoxifies the system, relieves pain and facilitates many other health benefits. 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

Holistic Nutrition: Healthier Food For A Healthier You

holistic nutrition

Photo Credit: @halfbakedharvest

Often we forget that what we put into our body is just as important as what we don’t. By supplying your body with rich nutrients, unprocessed foods, and healthy meals, you’ll begin to see a huge difference in how you feel, how you think, and how you go about your day-to-day life. Here are a few benefits of maintaining a holistic nutrition plan:

 

Food Tailored To You

The overall goal of holistic nutrition is to facilitate a healthy nutrition plan as well as build a strong foundation for long-term health and wellbeing. Essentially, it’s all about healing with whole, natural foods. The best thing about this is that you’re able to craft a specific food plan based on your likes, lifestyle, and allergies. Generally, many people turn to traditional doctors when they’re having digestion, or other related, health issues. However, when you work with a holistic nutritionist, you’ll be able to walk away with a tailored food plan and personal health coach instead of another bottle of medication.

 

Increased Energy and Focus

The more you feed your body foods that aren’t processed, the more you’re fueling your muscles, bones, and organs with healthy nutrients, which gives you more energy. Foods that aren’t altered, stripped, or refined in any way are better for our digestion and overall health. Our bodies recognize these foods as natural and from the Earth and know how to break them down to utilize them for maximum energy and potential. You’ll feel your body become lighter and more energized while your mind becomes clearer and more awake.

 

Strengthens The Body and Heals The Mind

Since you’re feeding your body clean foods, you’ll be giving your immune system a much-needed boost. Not only does this help prevent diseases, but it also plays a role in strengthening your bones and muscles and rejuvenating your heart, liver, stomach, and intestines. Following a holistic nutrition plan also helps heal your mind by enabling you to relieve stress, overcome memory loss, and aid in a variety of other mental conditions.

In our Holistic Nutrition course, students examine the basic nutrients in food including carbohydrates, vitamins, enzymes, fatty acids, and amino acids and how food affects the mind/body connection. Discussions include how food choices impact our health and how the energy of food ingested affects our own energy. Students also explore the process of digestion to gain a better understanding of the breakdown and utilization of our food. A portion of this class includes demonstration, preparation, and the sharing of delicious and healthy recipes that the students can incorporate into their own unique nutrition program.

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.