Massage Therapist Training is Changing Students’ Lives

Established in 1992, by Paula and Neha Curtiss, Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, HHSHH has two Certification Programs and over 80 different Massage and Holistic Health classes to offer.  Serving residents in Escondido and Laguna Hills for more than 24 years, HHSHH is nationally accredited and has prepared more than 6,000 students for successful careers as Massage Therapists and Holistic Health Practitioners. 


Having met stringent qualifications, HHSHH is listed on California’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL), established in compliance with the Dept. of Labor’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to provide employment training resources and funds to unemployed adults and dislocated workers. By working with WIA counselors to promote an interest in the “high-demand” field of Massage Therapy, HHSHH has helped many WIA clients achieve financial independence in a career that offers many avenues for specialization.


Recently, Paula Curtiss, Director of HHSHH received a letter of appreciation from a female WIA client whose life was changed for the better as a result of her experience at HHSHH. We hope by posting ‘Christine’s Story’ those of you who are at a career crossroads may be inspired to consider the emotionally satisfying and financially rewarding career of Massage Therapist.


Christine’s Story:


As I am writing this, tomorrow is my last day at HHSHH after completing the 1000 hour – Holistic Health Practitioner Program.   I want to say thanks to all those involved with my education. Thank you for giving me hope, thank you for giving me the chance to make a change in my life for the better, and thank you for helping me become a part of the working world again!


chris baker
Christina Baker

In December of 2012, my employer, a Non-Profit organization, closed down due to lack of funding. December 20, was my last day of employment there.  After being let go, I sought employment for two years but had zero luck in finding a job. I wondered….how could I, a 56 year old with only a high school diploma have a chance at landing a new job when up against 20-30 year olds with college degrees? Not a chance, I feared.  Recently divorced with no job, no money and the need to make a career change ASAP, I considered the field of Massage Therapy and did some research.  I found out that the WIA program and educational funds were available to individuals 55 and over who did not have a college degree. Well, that was me, a perfect match!  I immediately made an appointment to get the process started.


I chose the 1000 hour Holistic Health Practitioner Program at HHSHH and embarked on an adventure to become a Certified Massage Therapist/Holistic Health Practitioner.   While I expected school to be a lot of work, I never imagined how much actual work it would turn out to be!  Having never gone to college, I didn’t know the first thing about studying, taking a test, or listening skills.  During my first month in school I kept thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” Thankfully that feeling of overwhelm dissipated and gradually, I learned how to become a student.


HHSHH is quite an amazing school! They have the very best teachers, each extremely knowledgeable of their subjects, caring and sincere. They truly care for each of their students, and strive to do everything in their power to help them pass each test or final exam. What was especially nice is that when students fail a test, they are given several additional chances to pass. I find this very helpful, as not all people are good at taking tests and many freeze up just hearing the word “test.” I am one of those people. I might know the information, but for some reason, my brain just freezes! At HHSHH the teachers will support you with the information, techniques and tools needed to pass each class. At one point, I became quite ill with Pneumonia and got behind in a couple classes after being hospitalized then staying home to recuperate. My teachers were more than patient with me, and helped me catch up. It took some time, but I did it thanks to their patience and guidance.


As I write this, I am filled with much joy and pride in myself, but also a little sadness to be saying goodbye to the Healing Hands family.   Everyone at the school is so loving, supportive and respectful of each other. We all struggled, laughed, massaged each other like crazy, saw funny things I cannot mention, and really got to know each other well.  I will miss those friendships and the love I felt as part of a team. Now, at the end of my Program, I can say:  I am done, I did it! This almost 57 year old woman worked very hard this past year, studying for test after test and too many final exams to count!  But finally I have passed them all, including the National Board Mblex test, a state requirement to earn the title of Certified Massage Therapist.  Just today, October 19, 2015, I received my State License from the CMTC, and am now official! How ironic to receive Certification a day before my last day of class on 10/20/15, exactly one year after I started school.  I cannot believe how fast one year has passed and how much my life has changed as a result!


Best of all, on 10/17/15, I was offered a position as Massage Therapist at Massage Heights in Irvine. I accepted the job offer and already worked my first day on 10/18/15. I am also employed with “Zeel” and “Soothe,” two mobile massage companies that serve the Orange County area. To say that I am full of joy and gratitude would be putting it mildly.   


HHSHH’s made a world of difference for me when I was a very depressed 56 year old woman who felt her world had crashed and she would never find work again. Thanks to WIA funding and HHSHH I enjoyed an incredible year of personal and professional growth that I will never forget.  It is my hope that this letter may inspire others in similar situations to be brave, take a chance and move forward toward their goals even if it appears there is no way to make it happen.  Just, take a chance, call HHSHH and find out if a career as a Massage Therapist is right for you.  IT WAS FOR ME!!!


                                                                                       – Christine Marie Baker, CMT


To learn more about Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, our Programs, classes or Student Financial Aid options, please visit us online at:, or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.