Holistic Massage School Offers Course in Passive Joint Movement

Dr. John Economus, Ph.D.

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, (Healing Hands) announces the upcoming Passive Joint Movement (PJM) course at the Laguna Hills campus starting May 26th.  The course is taught by Staff Instructor, Dr. John Economos. Classes are on Sundays from 9am to 4pm and Thursdays from 6pm to 9pm. Registration deadline is May 31st 2024.

A welcome addition to the Healing Hands faculty, John brings decades of knowledge and experience to students of this 50-hour, hands-on course.  In addition to a Ph.D. in Philosophy, John has earned multiple Certifications. These include Structural Integration, Thai Massage, Tui Na, Holistic Health Practitioner, and Instructor for the ‘Feldenkrais method’ of muscle activation patterns.

In this course students learn how to provide gentle, mindful movement therapy. Protocols re-train the brain and enhance how muscles work together. John introduces students to gentle but powerful techniques to affect change.  These include Rocking, Oscillations and Mobilizations of the joints.

PJM therapy works by directing the client’s attention to individual muscles. This allows them to become more aware of how their chronic movements and postures affect their bodies. They learn where and why their bodies hold tension, experience pain, and restrict  motion.  The therapy helps the recipient develop new, healthy patterns of movement, and posture.

Done properly, PJM can reduce pain and inflammation, improve posture, range of motion, and optimize joint function. The three techniques that are a focus of this class include:


Oscillations involve movement of the body, such as rolling, alternating on both sides of a point of equilibrium. It is an application of gentle pressure to the joint that is slow and varies in the size of movement. Rhythmic oscillation can release physical and mental tensions promoting muscle relaxation. It is often used at the beginning of a massage to calm the nervous system.


Joint mobilization requires the Practitioner to  bring a joint through a specific range of motion. They may also employ traction-type movements that de-compress joints and stretch surrounding soft tissue.


Rocking is a subtle, rhythmic, back-and-forth movement used with traditional massage strokes. Where traditional massage applies pressure to a specific spot, Rocking distributes pressure over a larger area. It  relaxes muscles, opens joints, calms the nervous system and restores homeostasis.

All protocols taught reset the body’s ‘proprioception system’. This system enables us to judge limb movements and positions. Proprioceptors, which are present in all our muscles, help us discern, force, heaviness, stiffness, movement, action. They also tell our brain the location of our body in space.

PJM therapy offers numerous mental and physical benefits. These include stabilizing balance and improving efficiency and ease of our movements. In addition to reducing chronic pain, PJM enhances cognitive function and offsets age-related declines. It produces changes in muscle tone that lead to a more relaxed spine, a better gait, and a reduction in falls.

Healing Hands has been an advocate for Massage and the Holistic Healing Arts for over 30 years.  Offering more than 40 courses from three SoCal locations, everything you need for success as a Professional Massage Therapist is available at Healing Hands. Learn more about our weekday, weekend, and night classes online at www.hhs.edu.  To schedule a classroom tour, call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (858)505-1100 in San Diego/Kearny Mesa.