Holistic Massage School’s Instructor Spot-light: Jennifer Peterson, Master Therapist and Staff Instructor

Jennifer Peterson is a Certified Massage Therapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Master Therapist and Multi-modality Educator with decades of experience”, says Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health. “Jennifer has made valuable contributions to our Faculty and students for over 12 years.  In today’s ‘Spot-light’ we’re proud to feature Jennifer and acknowledge her hard work and dedication to our Healing Hands community”, she added. 

Jennifer Peterson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and worked as an Interior Designer before being called to the world of Natural Healing.  In 1998, Jennifer pursued her Holistic Health Practitioner Certification from Mueller College and has never looked back!

Jennifer’s progressive Massage Therapy career includes working at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club as a Professional Massage Therapist before progressing to Supervisor, Lead Therapist and Manager at The Gaia Day Spa.  Jennifer then took a position as the head of the Spa and Massage Department at the Beauty Kliniek Aromatherapy Day Spa and Wellness Center.  There, she was responsible for training over a dozen Massages Therapists in more than 40 different spa therapies from around the world!

A strong and effective communicator, Jennifer’s teaching career didn’t stop there.  A Master Therapist with ASTECC, (Advanced Spa Training Executive Certification Council), Jennifer creates curriculum as well as teaching it.  Among her many credits was the development and facilitation of an 80-hour Spa Program at the Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy. Other Instructor/Training positions include teaching massage and body-work for Vitality College of Healing Arts, Meridian International School of Health Sciences, and the School of Healing Arts.

For the past twelve years Jennifer has taught Hawaiian Temple Bodywork (Lomi, Lomi), Ayurvedic Bodywork and Aromatherapy at all Healing Hands locations.  Considered a valuable team player and held in the highest regard by the Founders, Faculty and Staff at Healing Hands, Jennifer is as talented an Instructor as she is Practitioner.  Her passion for the Holistic Healing Arts is contagious and her teaching techniques, simple and effective, making her a favorite among Students as well.

When Jennifer is not teaching, she can be found at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar Resort Spa where she practices and holds the position of Lead Massage Therapist.  Equipped with nearly 20 years of knowledge and expertise, Jennifer delivers an exceptional classroom experience to students interested in the Art and Science of Therapeutic Massage.  

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Holistic Massage School Offers Transformative Course in Sacred Hawaiian Massage

Lomi Lomi bodywork originated in the South Pacific and has been passed down among Hawaiians from generation to generation.  At Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, (Healing Hands), Instructor Jennifer Peterson teaches Lomi Ka Ala Hoku, a form developed in ancient Temples and delivered only by Kahunas (Master Healers) as a ‘Rite of Passage’ ceremony.  Its intention is for the recipient to develop a strong sense of social and family responsibility and gain an expanded awareness and spiritual empowerment.

When asked about her most recent class, held at the Laguna Hills classroom, Jennifer said “It was a wonderful Hawaiian learning experience full of ‘Aloha’ (which means Love, Peace & Compassion) and I am happy to send another talented group of Lomi Ka’Ala Hoku Therapists out into the world to do their healing!”

Considered a transformational massage and healing system, this therapeutic modality provides a holistic approach to healing by balancing the body-mind and Spirit. ​In this course, Students learn how to deliver the traditional, full-body Lomi Lomi massage.  Jennifer also teaches advanced strokes and unique ways Students can use their hands, palms, knuckles and forearms to apply soft and deep tissue massage.  

The practice of ‘pule’ or ‘prayer-full intention’ is also key to the Lomi Lomi healing experience and something Jennifer highly encourages. Before beginning each massage session, the student is directed to consciously release all prejudice, ego, and judgement of their clients. They are encouraged to turn their attention to their client’s uniqueness, focus on positive attributes, and say a prayer for their health and healing.

Hawaiian music enhances the Lomi Lomi experience as the practitioner attunes the flow of the massage with the music to harmonize energies within the body.  When observing this sacred massage modality, it appears the Practitioner is dancing around the table.  The rhythmic, steady pressure of long, fluid strokes make Lomi Lomi a powerful healing modality with affects that can be felt long after a session. 

The physiological and emotional benefits of Lomi Lomi include but are not limited to:

  • Improving the health of the body’s Systems: lymphatic, immune, circulatory, respiratory and digestive
  • Facilitating deep relaxation and a sense of peace
  • The release of deeply held neuro-muscular tension
  • Speeds the healing process, increases flexibility, boosts energy flow
  • Physically rejuvenating and energizing – boosts mood and outlook
  • Can act as a catalyst to help one release fear, anger, guilt and grief
  • Provides an opportunity to let go negative beliefs, self-criticism and forgive/transcend the effects traumatic experiences
  • Brings clarity and confidence, and increases trust and open-heartedness
  • Creates opportunities for introspection, increased self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love.
  • Generates an overall sense of joy, empowerment, vitality, balance, and love of life

Jennifer Peterson brings an innate talent for bodywork and nearly twenty years of experience to her position at Healing Hands and teaches at all three classroom locations.  Her next Lomi Lomi class starts on August 4th at the Escondido campus located at 125 West Mission.

In addition to teaching Lomi Lomi,  Ayurvedic Massage, and Aromatherpy for Healing Hands, Jennifer practices massage, body-work and integrative Spa therapies at select high-end Spas in the San Diego area.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from UCLA and received her Holistic Health Practitioner training from Mueller College of Holistic Studies.  For more information on Lomi Lomi or to contact Jennifer directly, e-mail her at: Jennyp8@live.com.

Healing Hands has been serving residents in SoCal for over 26 years.  To date, our top-notch Faculty has prepared more than 7,000 students for rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and can do the same for you! To find out more about Lomi Lomi, or any of the other 80+ classes offered, please visit us at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 / Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 / Escondido, or (858)0505-1100 / San Diego.           

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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