Holistic Massage School Teaches Students About Essential Self-care

When Paula believes a skill is worth developing, she makes it part of the School’s curriculum.  That’s why the Circulatory Massage and Deep Tissue Manipulation classes at HHSHH include an introduction to the Thera-cane (a plastic, cane-like instrument with strategically placed handles & bumps) used as a therapeutic tool to self-release Trigger Points and apply pressure to the body’s acupressure points.  One of the class’s instructors, James (JR), also leads students through the practice of releasing tension in one area of the body by using another body part to apply pressure or to stretch it.   Paula’s Shiatsu class instructors, Raina and David, dedicate a portion of class time to demonstrate and have students practice using a tennis ball to increase circulation and reduce tension in their body by applying pressure to various energy meridians of the body.   

Regardless of the class, a portion of class time is reserved for students to stretch-out, get their circulation going and warm-up their muscles prior to delivering any modality of body-work.  Simple, yet effective self-massage techniques are also taught.  As in the examples shown below, self-massage can diminish aches and pains and restore optimal function to muscles and soft tissues of the body.  By incorporating self-massage into their holisitic, self-care program, students of Massage Therapy can ensure their ability to work in their chosen profession for years to come.

Self Massage for Shoulders & Neck:selfmassage1

  1. 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.


  1. Using the fingertips of both hands, place them at the base of your neck (where it meets the shoulder) and make small, circular movements using medium pressure to work your way up the back of the neck to the hair-line. These circular movements will ease muscular tightness selfmassage2more 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.
  2. Using one hand at a time, knead each shoulder with a firm, squeezing motion, moving between the neck and the bony part of your shoulder. Repeat several times each side, or until the any soreness is diminished.
  3. Placing your right hand over your head to the left temple, apply steady pressure to stretch yourselfmassage3 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, HHSHH has successfully prepared more than 6,000 students for satisfying careers as a Massage Therapist or Holistic Health Practitioner.  With campuses in both Escondido and Laguna Hills, HHSHH boasts two academic Programs and 80+ Massage & Holistic Health classes.  Offering day, evening and weekend schedules, interested students can train for a financially viable and rewarding career in less than a year!  To learn more about HHSHH, please visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call 949.305.2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.

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