Holistic Massage School Shares Characteristics of Healthy Self-Respect

Holistic Health Benefits of Self-Respect

“When you have healthy self-respect, it positively impacts your holistic (Mind, Body & Spiritual) health”, said Harmony Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health – Laguna Hills.  “When we respect ourselves we’re better able to handle stress and more resilient when facing setbacks. That means you’re less likely to experience anxiety, depression, muscular tension, illness and other negative side-effects associated with chronic stress” she continued. 

Modeling Healthy Self-Respect

For over 26 years, the Faculty at Healing Hands has modeled and encouraged healthy self-respect among students.  They do this by empowering students with knowledge and skills to affect positive change in their lives and careers. They are also eager to point out and acknowledge their student’s unique strengths and talents.  Their validation helps students overcome feelings of worthlessness, guilt or shame which negatively impact our emotions and physiology. Most importantly, health self-respect enables us to attract caring, honest relationships and avoid those that are abusive, manipulative and unhealthy. 

Respect Yourself

Respecting yourself is essential to maintaining a positive self-image.  Self-respect allows you to feel good about who you are right now, and excited about the person you are becoming. Below is a list of characteristics of healthy self-respect.  How many do you possess?


Characteristics of Healthy Self-Respect

  • You like and respect the person you are. You feel you’re a worthy individual, deserving of love and respect from others.
  • Healthy self-respect requires an awareness of your values and beliefs, and your personal ‘Right’ not to compromise them.
  • You realize that you can’t please everyone all the time and you have no obligation to do so. You respect your time, and manage it efficiently based on your own priorities.
  • You recognize that no-one’s feelings, difficulties or experiences are more important than your own. You have an ability to set boundaries and to enforce them. 
  • You take responsibility for your life, and refrain from playing the ‘Victim’. You recognize that only you can change your life-circumstances.  If you’re tired of the same old story, you are willing to turn some pages!
  • You are accountable for your actions. When you make mistakes, you own them, apologize and learn from them. You can admit that: you lied, you were inconsiderate, you were dismissive, you lashed out in anger, etc.   Then, you do your best to make amends and avoid repeating your mistake.
  • You refuse to compare yourself with others. You don’t need to criticize others to feel better about yourself. You don’t feel jealous when others shine.  Instead, you acknowledge and appreciate your own unique skills, talents, knowledge and contribution.
  • You can say NO without feeling guilty! You put aside any false sense of obligation or fear of retribution. Instead, you can easily ask for more information or time to make your decision.  If your answer is ‘no’ you can say so, without the need to defend or apologize for your decision. 
  • You allow others, especially close friends and family, to be responsible for their own happiness. You refuse to accept blame-shifting, guilt-bombing or manipulation.
  • You are in-charge of yourself and your own happiness. You understand your wants, needs and feelings and can communicate them clearly. You know it is your right and responsibility to pursue happiness.
  • You know what your values and goals are, and you make them a priority in your life. You don’t accept guilt for pursuing a fulfilling life for yourself.  It is your birth-right.
  • You have a sense of purpose that motivates you and provides an incentive for growth and development. Personal growth naturally enhance your self-respect and self-esteem.
  • You don’t need others to approve of you to feel OK. You have the ability for ‘emotion regulation’. ‘Emotion regulation’ gives you the ability to listen to others’ criticism without internalizing or over-reacting to it. 
  • You trust yourself to make decisions that are in your best interest. You combine your knowledge, intuition, and insight when discerning a course of action. When/if you fail or make a mistake, you turn it into a life lesson and continue to move forward.

Healing Hands offers two Certification Programs and more than 80 Massage and Holistic Health courses.  Considered a trail-blazer in education of the Holistic Healing Arts, Healing Hands boasts three SoCal locations offers classes year-round during the day, evenings and on weekends. Learn more online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (858) 505-1100 in San Diego, or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.  

Holistic Massage School Shares Foods That Fight Inflammation

Our bodies create inflammation as a defense mechanism against harmful stimuli. It is how the immune system removes the stimuli and begins the healing process.

Acute Inflammation

Acute inflammation comes on rapidly, becomes severe in a short time and may last for a several days. Often the result of trauma, microbial invasion, or toxic compounds.

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is inflammation that has continued for several months or more. Usually the effects vary with the severity of the trauma and the body’s ability to repair the damage.


Inflammation causes noticeable symptoms, such as pain, redness and swelling.  Other symptoms are subtle, such as fatigue, fever, pain and digestive disorders.

Suggested Anti-inflammatory Foods for Optimal Holistic Nutrition



·       Salmon

·       Blueberries

·       Atlantic Mackerel

·       Cherries

·       Lake Trout

·       Apple (peels)

·       Herring

·       Grapes

·       Sardines

·       Avocados

·       Anchovy

·       Papayas

·       Sablefish / Black Cod

·       Strawberries

·       Albacore Tuna

·       Blackberries


·       Oranges


·       Grapefruits

.       Beetroot


.       Soybeans


.       Kale

·       Walnuts

.       Spinach

·       Almonds

.       Broccoli

·       Pumpkin Seeds

.       Brussel Sprouts

·       Hemp Seeds

.       Collard Greens

·       Flaxseeds

.       Swiss Chard

·       Chia Seeds

.       Green Leafy Lettuces




Whole Grains

·       Olive oil

·       Oatmeal

·       Avocado oil

·       Brown or Wild Rice

·       Walnut oil

·       Whole Grain Cereals

·       Safflower oil


Would YOU like to learn more about holistic health and natural remedies to reduce Inflammation? If so, Healing Hands School of Holistic Health can help.  Boasting more than 80 Massage and Holistic Health courses, we are SoCal’s leader in education in the Holistic Healing Arts.  Learn more online at www.HealingHandsSschool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 /Laguna Hills, or (760) 746-9364 / Escondido or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego. “touching Lives Touching Hearts, Since 1992”



Holistic Massage School Discusses Self-empowerment in Romantic Relationships

 Self-empowerment & Romantic Relationships

If you’re like most men and women, you may sometimes have difficulty standing up for your needs in a romantic relationship. Often socialized to prioritize others before themselves, women are especially vulnerable to this behavior.  Learning to assert oneself and speak up for your needs, rights and boundaries in a romantic relationship, as in Life, is what self-empowerment is all about. Discerning what your rights are may be challenging, especially if you lacked healthy relationship models growing up.  Below is a list of ‘Partner Rights’ contributed by the Faculty at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health. 


  • I have a right to be treated fairly and respectfully by my partner. I will not tolerate being raged at, intimidated, bullied, coerced, belittled, hit or manipulated.  Any of the aforementioned behaviors are a violation of my boundaries and reason to end the relationship.
  • I have a right to honesty from my partner. While all of us tell little white lies occasionally, being lied to repeatedly erodes trust, which is essential to solid romantic relationships. 
  • I have a right to always say what I need, want or desire and to have my partner respectfully listen and consider how best to support me. In healthy relationships both partners want the other to be happy and fulfilled, so the supportive attitude and actions come naturally.

    Healthy, mutual, romantic relationships boost your immune system, health and well-being.


  • I have a right to take time for myself and/or to pursue personal interests, activities with friends and family outside of my romantic relationship. Guilt trips, manipulation or unkind comments will be considered violations of my personal boundaries.
  • I have a right to expect reciprocity from my partner. It is not okay for my partner to expect my comfort, affection, support, and validation without being willing to offer the same in turn.  The healthiest relationships enjoy a balance in the give and take, so each partner feels valued and significant.
  • I have a right to express my feelings and emotions to my partner. I also have the right to be listened to with compassion, empathy and understanding.  If I find that my partner lacks empathy and/or compassion, I have a right to end the relationship and walk away.

    Harboring anger, resentment, guilt, shame, judgement and hurt, as often happens in dysfunctional relationships, can leads to chronic stress a huge risk-factor for illness.


  • I have a right to be involved in any decisions that involve me. Decisions about life-style changes should be discussed, allowing both partners to share their perspectives and concerns.  Healthy relationships seek win/win scenarios, so both partners are satisfied with the outcome.

How many additional rights can you think of? 

With classrooms in Kearny Mesa, Escondido, and Laguna Hills Healing Hands School of Holistic Health offers two Certification Programs and over 80 Massage and Holistic Health courses. To learn more, go online to www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (858) 505-1100 in Kearny Mesa.


Build a Career as a Professional Massage Therapist in 2019 and Thrive!

(Above) Jeni Hartung, Staff Instructor for Healing Hands’ 100-hour Circulatory Massage Course

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been preparing students for successful careers as Professional Massage Therapists for over 26 years. They currently offer two rapid paths to living-wage employment.  The fastest is the 600-hour Massage Therapist Program (MTP). The MT Program prepares students for State Certification in as little as 7 months.  Students who want to learn more about the Holistic Healing Arts may choose the 1000-hour Holistic Health Practitioner Program (HHP).  It includes the MTP plus 400 additional hours of elective courses.   

Massage Therapist Program:

This Program covers fundamental knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology.  It also provides opportunity for plenty of hands-on practice. It exposes students to both Eastern and Western Massage modalities.  

The Curriculum that makes up the Massage Therapist Program includes:

  • 100 hours of Circulatory Massage. (Massage Techniques + Body Mechanics + Bones & Muscles of the Body)
  • 100 hours of Anatomy for Body-workers. (Muscles, Bones, Connective Tissue and the Body’s Systems.)
  • 50 hours of Business & Professional Practices.
  • 50 hours of Clinical Practicum for the Massage Therapist. 
  • Plus, a choice of 3 of the following 4 classes:
    1. 100-hour Advanced Circulatory & Sports Massage
    2. 100-hour Deep Tissue Manipulations
    3. 100-hour Shiatsu & Oriental Healing Techniques
    4. 100-hour Tui-Na – Chinese Massage Techniques

(Above) – Staff Instructor, Jeni Hartung, demonstrates massage techniques to release the neck and shoulder for students in Healing Hands’ 100-hour Circulatory Massage class.

Tuition for  600-hour Massage Therapist Program is only $7,800.  Healing Hands is authorized to accept educational funding on behalf of students who qualify.  These include Federal Student Aid, Veterans Benefits including Title IX and Post 911. Unemployment Development Departments’ Unemployment Benefits for retraining.  For students who don’t qualify for government assistance, the school offers in-house payment plans.  Tuition reimbursement is also offered by some of the area’s  top Massage Therapist employers.  When students graduate from Healing Hands they will have an abundance and variety of employment opportunities from which to chose. 

The Holistic Health Practitioner Program includes all MTP requirements.  Students may then select an an additional 400 hours of elective courses.  Students who choose the Holistic Health Practitioner Program can graduate in as little as 1 year.   The cost for the 1000-hour Program is $13,000.  As with the Massage Therapist Program, Healing Hands accepts educational funding on behalf of students.  We also offer several affordable finance plans so anyone interested in an education in the Holistic Healing Arts may pursue one.

Learn more online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com. You can also call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (858) 505-1100 in San Diego, or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.  Healing Hands School of Holistic Health is “Touching Lives, Touching Hearts”, since 1992.

Holistic Massage School Shares the Holistic Health Benefits of Self-Compassion

“Self-compassion means being kind towards yourself when encountering pain, perceived personal inadequacies or failures”, said Harmony Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health – Laguna Hills. “To be self-compassionate is to hold an unconditional positive regard for yourself, and something our Faculty nurtures in all our students.  We believe that the Profession of Massage Therapy is enhanced by Practitioners who are capable of self-compassion.  We’ve seen how it overflows to their clients and helps to aid the healing process”, she added. 

Rather than berate yourself with criticism, self-compassion requires recognizing that mistakes, failures, and imperfections don’t define us.  All are just parts of the human condition and experience. Being kind to oneself requires a receptive, non-judgmental look at your thoughts, feelings and emotions

Health Benefits of Self-compassion:

When one practices self-compassion, they enjoy greater physical and psychological health.  Self-compassion is correlated with an increased sense of happiness, social connection, optimism and life satisfaction. It also increases our willingness to admit personal responsibility and accountability.  It is a sign of emotional intelligence and can strengthen our emotional resilience.

Self-compassion also offers all the mental health benefits as self-esteem without the negative drawbacks.  These include inaccurate self-perceptions, or social comparison, narcissism and ego-defensive anger. Other benefits include less negative self-talk and reduced anxiety, depression, perfectionism and self-criticism.

Components of Self-compassion:

While there may be many components to self-compassion, one of the most important is self-forgiveness. Self-forgiveness involves letting go of negative feelings about yourself. That doesn’t mean excusing bad behavior, but rather practicing self-compassion while taking full responsibility. Research shows that self-forgiveness increases self-esteem and boosts well-being.

Another very important component of self-compassion is self-acceptance.  Self-acceptance means you can accept yourself exactly as you are. Self-acceptance means knowing that you are worthy and lovable despite imperfections, mistakes, weaknesses or the opinions of others.

How Can I Become More Self-Compassionate?

Anyone can become more self-compassionate, all it takes is understanding and practice.  Understanding that anxiety, anger and depression are a result of how our brains evolved and not our fault. By practicing compassionate self-talk and compassionate thoughts and behaviors, we over-ride mal-adaptive patterns.  For example, changing the thought patterns “I’m such a failure” to a more positive one, such as: “many areas of my life are working well”, can help us move forward toward becoming our best selves!

Would you like to learn more about Holistic Health?  Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, offers more than 80 Massage and Holistic Health courses from 3 different locations in SoCal.  Learn more at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego.  ###

Holistic Massage School Shares the Truth About Toxic People

You may have heard that psychologists believe that the top 5 associates you hang out with will influence your thoughts, feelings and your behavior.  Choosing to associate with people who are self-confident, empowered and speak and behave in optimistic ways, enriches our lives.  Those who are pessimistic, easily angered, unstable,  or possess a victim mentality, can negatively impact our holistic (whole) health.

Understanding characteristics of toxic people is important to choosing friends.  Learn how to walk away from people who threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, or self-worth.  Below is a list of common characteristics of toxic individuals.  Learn ways to set boundaries and stop them from infringing on your happiness. 

Characteristics of Toxic People:

  • Les Miserables. They always seem to be depressed and down on themselves. They focus their thoughts and conversation on what’s wrong in their lives.  They may have physical symptoms such as low energy, weak posture, and dis-empowered speech and passive demeanor.
  • The SelfAbsorbed. These individuals believe that the world revolves around them.  They believe that their needs, wants and feelings justify their rudeness, insensitivity and lack of empathy.
  • The Victim. They are always making excuses.  They either blaming other people, circumstances or life for their inability to get what they desire. Whatever their situation, they are the victim and refuse to learn anything new.
  • Know-it-Alls. Inflexible, narrow and close-minded people who can only accept you if you agree with their beliefs
  • The Hot-Head. Anger prone people and people who are quick to anger.
  • Drama Queens & Kings. People who always have something dramatic going on…they thrive in a turbulent, dramatic life-style…
  • Criminals. Don’t surround yourself with people who think they are above the law (entitled) or those who believe their needs are more important than others. Good relationships require equality, reciprocity and fairness.
  • Addicts. People with addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling or sex can be toxic as they may not be able to control their words, impulses or behavior due to intoxication.
  • Power Players & Manipulators: Bosses, Co-workers, Friends and Family who consistently disrespect, belittle, dismiss, criticize, shame or manipulate you, are toxic! Their need to feel superior often includes deliberately failing to acknowledge your skills, talents, strengths and accomplishments. 

When to Set Boundaries:

You’ll know it is time to set a boundary when:

  • Someone is repeatedly insensitive to your needs, wants or feelings.
  • You feel hurt, disrespected or insulted by the way they treat you.
  • You feel bullied or threatened.
  • You feel someone is pushing their ideas, beliefs and ideology on you without regard or respect for your individuality.
  • You feel you’re being lied to and/or manipulated.
  • Someone exhibits menacing and/or irrational behavior.
  • You feel taken advantage of by someone.
  • Your space, privacy or belongings are being infringed upon.
  • You’re being blamed for things you didn’t do.
  • You’re being cursed at or raged at; it’s not OK to scream at and/or call people names.
  • You’re being guilted or shamed for asserting your individual ideas, rights and/or preferences.

 Strategies for Setting boundaries:

  • With Friends or Family. You’ll need to…Have the ‘Talk’.  Start by sitting down, preferably face to face with the person with whom you’ve had a boundary issue and clearly and concisely state your boundaries. IE: No one is allowed to yell or rage at me, bully me, lie to me, steal from me, try to shame or guilt me, ….etc.
  • Discuss Consequences of Boundary Violation. Be sure to explain the consequences you will impose for failing to respect your boundaries.  This may be that you will leave, restrict communications, or adopt a strategy of no contact.
  • Stop Contact! If you’ve shared your boundaries and they continue to violate them, it is time for them to go!  You may find it necessary to stop responding to them, or even block their calls, texts or e-mails and go “no-contact”.

  • Your Neighbors / Neighborhood. Consider relocating to an environment that makes you feel happy and joyful. 
  • Your Significant Other – Break up with the abuser. If you’re married, get a divorce.
  • In business, don’t enter into contracts with negative clients, they’re not worth their business.
  • At work, try to change departments, jobs or find another job elsewhere.
  • Socially, Raise the number of positively influential people in your life. Add people, high-quality books, and ‘virtual associates’ such as interesting seminars, uplifting social media, ie: Ted Talks, etc.

Toxic individuals often demonstrate a sense of entitlement, are self-absorbed, and demonstrate little empathy for others.  As adults, they will likely already have a pattern of hurting or manipulating others to get what they want.  If you choose to enter into a relationship with them, expect your boundaries to be violated as it’s unlikely they will ever change. 

Established in 1992, Healing Hands School of Holistic Health boasts two Certification Programs and 80+ Massage and related Holistic Health classes. To date, we’ve prepared more than 7,000 Graduates for rewarding careers as Professional Massage Therapists and can do the same for you.  Find out more online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (959) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego.

Holistic Massage School Shares Why Singing is a Good for your Health….

“Recent research indicates that just 10 minutes of singing each day can positively impact our physical and emotional wellbeing”, said Harmony Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health – Laguna Hills. “Below is a list of some of the surprising benefits of singing to one’s holistic health”, she added.


(Above:  Healing Hands Students Set the Mood with Joyful Singing at our Career Day Event at the Laguna Hills Campus)

  • A joint study  by Yale & Harvard Universities found that singing increases life expectancy. This is due to its ability to reduce stress and increase happiness for the singer.
  • Singing was found to lower levels of the stress hormone Cortisol.  Decreased Cortisol allows us to relax and improves our immune system function.
  • Studies found singing for at least 10 minutes daily reduces insomnia.
  • Singing releases Endorphins (feel-good hormones) and Oxytocin, which reduces stress anxiety, depression and feelings of loneliness.
  • Singing helps us feel more connected to the world – and others, especially when singing in a group.
  • Singing, because of controlled breathing and exhalation, enhances our cardiovascular health.
  • When people come together to sing, they often experience an unexplained sense of unity and joy.
  • A study at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden did a study which found people who sang together became so connected they experienced synchronized heartbeats.
  • The University  researchers also proved that daily singing can train our lungs to breathe better, enhancing our Pulmonary health.
  • A study at Cardiff University  found that lung cancer patients who sang regularly had a greater capacity for exhalation than those who didn’t.
  • Singing requires deep concentration on breathing.  Accordingly it is great for our cardiovascular health.
  • Singing exercises major muscle groups in the upper body.
  • Studies show that singing boosts our immune system.
  • A report published in the Journal of Music Therapy, showed that singing can help patients cope with chronic pain.
  • Physical benefits of singing include improved posture and increased aerobic endurance.
  • Singing for at least 10 minutes daily has been shown to enhance self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Singing enables people with dementia to access memories.  This can bring relief during times when communication skills may be faltering.


Established in 1992, Healing Hands boasts two Certification Programs and 80+ Massage and related Holistic Health classes. To date, we’ve prepared more than 7,000 Graduates for rewarding careers as Professional Massage Therapists and can do the same for you.  Find out more online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (959) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego.



Effects of choir singing or listening on secretory immunoglobulin A, cortisol, and emotional state. –Kreutz G1Bongard SRohrmann SHodapp VGrebe D.

Sarah Teagle, co-founder of the Forget-Me-Not chorus, a charity for dementia sufferers.

Journal of Music Therapy in 2004

Cardiff University, UK

University of Gothenburg, Sweden