Holistic Massage School Teaches Traditional Oriental Clinical Techniques

Instructor, Courtney Bird, CMT, Master of Acupuncture

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, (Healing Hands) proudly offers an integrative, Traditional Oriental Clinical Techniques (TOCT) course.

The techniques taught in this 40-hour course can be used with Massage, Body-work Therapies, and Acupuncture. It is taught by Courtney Bird, a Certified Massage Therapist and Licensed Acupuncturist. Courtney shares the fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine  (TCM).  Concepts such as “Qi” (life-force energy) and Yin/Yang, (opposite but interconnected forces i.e.: male/female) are explored. Students learn that TCM believes that any imbalance to Qi in the body can cause disease and illness. Understanding the body’s 12 primary meridians and functions of associated organs are foundational.

Featured Clinical Techniques include:

Gua Sha

An ancient healing technique from the Stone Age, Gua Sha began as a way to treat disease and illness. It involves having a Practitioner apply massage oil then use a stone tool to scrape the skin.  It  encourages a healthy flow of energy and blood in the body.  It is used as an integrative therapy with Acupuncture, Massage and other Body-work therapies. Gua Sha has been shown to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve circulation and increase range of motion.

Therapist Placing Transparent Glass Fire Cups On Person’s Back

Fire Cupping

Fire Cupping has been used by the Chinese and other cultures for centuries.  It involves having a Practitioner put special cups on your skin and using heat to create suction.  It is a TCM technique used to help with blood flow, inflammation, and pain. Fire Cupping may also serve as a type of deep tissue massage that can release muscle tension and nerve pain.


According to the National Institute of Health,  Moxibustion is a treatment that involves applying heat using Moxa wool to stimulate energy meridians (paths) of the body. It also regulates the flow of qi and blood in the body.  Moxibustion has been shown to relieve dozens of illnesses and conditions. These include: Arthritis, Back pain, Cancer, Migraines, Muscle Stiffness, and Ulcers among many others.

Castor Oil Packs

Use of Castor Oil Packs

Another aspect of TCM includes the use of Castor Oil Packs.   Considered a natural detoxifier, it is commonly used to relieve constipation and improve elimination. Castor oil is also an effective moisturizer that softens skin, reduces adhesions, increases lymph and blood flow, and aids healing. Castor oil contains Ricinoleic-Acid, an anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent that reduces muscle aches and pains. Another of its ingredients, Undecylenic-Acid, fights several types of fungal infections. These include Athlete’s foot, toe-nail fungus, yeast infections and ringworm.

Healing Hands teaching both Eastern and Western Massage modalities and Medical System concepts. They believe in providing students with a comprehensive, well-rounded education in massage and integrative healing techniques. Founded in 1992, Healing Hands is considered a trail blazer for education in the Holistic Healing Arts. To find out more about Traditional Oriental Clinical Techniques or to explore the other 40+ courses offered, go online to www.hhs.eduTo arrange a classroom tour, call us at (858) 505-1100 in Kearny Mesa, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido or (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.