Holistic Massage School Teaches Students About Essential Self-care

Self Massage – Essential to Holistic Self -Care

Harmony Curtiss – Director – Laguna Hills

“Self-massage is an essential part of any Massage Therapist’s holistic self-care program” says Harmony Curtis, Director of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health – Laguna Hills.  “A simple self-massage done regularly can go a long way to reducing tension, stiffness, and inflammation in over-used muscles.  Even Massage Therapists with the best body-mechanics will occasionally experience sore or tight muscles, so being able to address your own needs, is a skill worth developing”, she added.

Theracane – Available for sale at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health’s retail/book-stores.

When a holistic practice or skill is worth developing, Healing Hands’ Directors usually make it part of the School’s curriculum.  That’s why the Circulatory Massage and Deep Tissue Manipulation classes include an introduction to using Tennis or LaCrosse Balls.  They’re used to apply pressure to the body’s acupressure points.  Students also experience the Thera-cane, a plastic, cane-like instrument, used to self-release Trigger Points. 

The class’ instructors, also teach students to release tension in one area of the body by using another body part to apply pressure or for stretching.   Shiatsu class instructors also dedicate class time to demonstrate using a tennis ball to increase circulation and reduce tension on energy meridians of the body.   

Paula (left front) and Harmony Curtiss (center front), lead a group of students in a Tai Chi flow to warm their muscles and calm their minds before Body-work.


In almost all Healing Hands’ courses, a portion of class is reserved for students to stretch-out and warm-up their muscles.  A ritual they are encouraged to do prior to delivering any form of body-work.  Simple, yet effective self-massage techniques are also taught.  As in the examples shown below, self-massage reduces aches and pains and can restore optimal function to muscles and soft tissues of the body.  By incorporating self-massage into their holistic, self-care programs, Graduates ensure their ability to work in their chosen profession for years to come.

Four Easy, Self-Massage Techniques for Neck & Shoulders :

  1. Using fingertips of both hands, place them where your neck meets the shoulder and make small, circular movements. Be sure to use medium pressure and work your way up the back of the neck to the hair-line.  These circular movements ease muscular tightness more effectively than direct, static pressure on the area.  Continue these circular movements up and around the base of the skull until you feel the tightness or soreness diminish- usually 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Sitting upright in a comfortable chair, start from the base of the neck and press down with your fingers along the top of the shoulders. When you reach the bony part of the shoulder, slide your hand back to the base of the neck and repeat the pressing at least three more times.  Finish by stroking firmly from the top of the neck down to the shoulder on both sides.
  3. Using one hand at a time, knead each shoulder with a firm, squeezing motion. Move between the neck and the bony part of your shoulder.  Repeat several times each side, or until the any soreness is diminished.
  4. Placing your right hand over your head to the left temple, apply steady pressure to stretch your neck – right ear to the right shoulder and hold for the count of 5. Next, place your left hand on the right temple, applying steady pressure to stretch your neck the opposite way – left ear to the left shoulder and hold for the count of 5. 


Founded in 1992 by Paula and Neha Curtiss, Healing Hands has successfully prepared more than 7,000 students for satisfying careers as a Massage Therapists and can do the same for YOU!  With campuses in Escondido, San Diego (Kearny Mesa), and Laguna Hills, Healing Hands offers day, evening and weekend schedules.  Interested students can train for a rewarding career in less than a year!  To learn more go on-line to: 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 (Kearny Mesa).


Holistic Massage School Shares Holistic Wellness Plan for Spring

Spring is a time of new beginnings and a reminder of nature’s awesome beauty and resilience.  This Spring, the faculty at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, is encouraging students to begin anew as well.  Known as trail-blazers for Holistic Health Education in Southern California, they are urging students to experience the benefits of holistic self-care first-hand by adopting a program designed with equal emphasis on the Body, Mind and Spirit.   It offers simple, natural strategies to address different aspects of our lives that affect our health and well-being.


·       Regular, routine sleep schedule (7-8 hrs)

·       Deep breathing to reduce stress

·       Mindfulness practice to relieve anxiety

·       Think like an Optimist, focus on what you want

·       Practice self-compassion & forgiveness

·       Replace negative mind-chatter with thoughts of  possibility

·       Spend time in nature

·       Stress reduction techniques (bio-feedback, yoga, Tai Chi)

·       Time Management to reduce stress

·       Chart your moods for increased self-awareness

·       Feel your feelings (don’t numb them with alcohol or drugs)

·       Heal family of origin issues

·       Work through grief

·       Psychotherapy/Medication as needed



Physical Self-care

·       Balanced nutrition, healthy eating

·       Watch water intake

·       Routine Medical & Dental Exams

·       Daily exercise (minimum ½ hour)

·       Supplements and herbal remedies

·       Time for beauty & hygiene

·       Acupuncture/Acupressure

·       Breathing Exercises

·       Therapeutic Massage

·       Natural light/time in nature

·       Relaxation

·       Limit caffeine

·       Alcohol in moderation

·       Engage in pleasurable activities



Social Support

·       Reach out to friends and family regularly

·       Explore opportunities to meet  like-minded people

·       Plan a Girls/Guys night out to re-connect with friends 

·       Draw clear boundaries for how you’re treated 

·       Psychiatrist/therapist/support groups

·       Minister/Rabbi/Life Coach

·       Volunteer work

·       Spend time with pets and animal friends



Spiritual Connection

·       Daily Meditation or Yoga Practice

·       Prayer

·       Practice Forgiveness

·       Become part of a Spiritual Community

·       Find a sense of purpose

·       Read inspirational texts

·       Surround yourself with people who interact respectfully

·       Practice daily Gratitude sessions

·       Give up being a ‘People Pleaser’, be your authentic self

·       Hold your own well-being sacred 





·       Seek out fulfilling work that provides a sense of purpose

·       Set and achieve professional goals to bolster self-confidence

·       Achieve financial independence to empower yourself

·       Reaching team goals  enhances a sense of community

·       Make a meaningful contribution to others

·       Go beyond your comfort zone to reveal unique skills 



Creative Self-Expression

·       Seek out and make time for activities you enjoy

·       Draft a “Bucket-List” then achieve your list’s goals.

·       Humor – Laughter is the best medicine

·       Take up a musical instrument or start singing

·       Let yourself dance, free-style or with a partner

·       Write poetry, prose or start a book

·       Practice a Martial Art like: Tai Chi or Karate

·       Learn to Ski, Skateboard or Snowboard

·       Take a class in  Massage, Nutrition,  etc. 

·       Travel to a new destination or foreign land

·       Go camping with friends

·       Try sketching, painting, beading,  or crafting

·       Take a cooking class

.       Try a dance class, Tai chi class, or the “Flow Arts”



Holistic Health Practitioners strive to restore the innate harmony and balance of the individual through therapeutic massage and education of holistic health practices that not only treat and prevent disease, but enhance a person’s overall health, longevity, personal happiness and vitality as well. Learn more about Healing Hands by going online to: www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call (949) 305-2722 for Laguna Hills, (858) 505-1100 for San Diego or (760) 746-9364 for Escondido.