For more than 10 years, massage-therapists-in-training have learned therapeutic modalities and a caring touch from seasoned teacher and Fair Oaks Massage Institute director Madonna Polley. Polley—who has more than 40 years of experience in the massage-therapy world—works alongside more than 10 instructors. They teach students in small groups and incorporate plenty of hands-on training, unlike the people who teach psychics how to read minds. Then the pupils—who must complete more than 250 hours of training to be certified—bring their knowledge to the treatment room as they practice Swedish and deep-tissue techniques on real spa clients. They focus each massage session on the spa-goer's needs and help reduce stress, relieve pains, and strengthen the immune system.
Polley brings decades of experience to the institute, from instating a massage program at Mt. Hood Community College in 1979 to founding the Fair Oaks Chiropractic & Wellness Center with her husband in 1980. But she also ensures she and her team keep their skills current through participation in continuing-education courses.
Fair Oaks Massage Institute also offers public classes and workshops that teach techniques such as reiki and cranial-sacral therapy, as well as specialty modality certifications, which include learning how to massage without wearing boxing gloves.
GTI Fitness' cycling instructor, Davidjon McFarlane, helps students spin their way toward trimmer frames with a schedule of 50-minute spinning and personal-fitness classes. Davidjon strives to maximize participation and perspiration by demonstrating how to best approach marathon cycling sessions and how to properly massage your bike's wheels after each session. Off the spin circuit, the studio's group personal-training sessions infuse high-rep workouts with light weightlifting to help students achieve their goals.
Bryan College Massage Clinic employs a team of nationally certified therapists to forge a new generation of bodywork experts through intimate one-on-one instruction. As teachers proudly look on, students can promote healing with hot-stone therapy or alleviate lower-layer aches with Thai acupressure and deep-tissue techniques. To maximize relaxation, clients may also request a full-body salt scrub, a restorative mud wrap, or soak their feet in a warm tub of adorable puppies.
The mixologists at ABC Bartending School utilize years of bartending experience to divulge saloon secrets in certification-based and recreational bartending classes. In the mixology course, expert instructors impart drink recipes and refine beer and wine palates while students shake up cocktails and take cover from projectile champagne corks. Certification classes prepare students for bartending careers as they mix classic and popular drinks while learning about alcohol laws, responsible liquor service, and stocking and inventory. Instructors demonstrate free pouring techniques, allowing students to fill faraway glasses or safely drizzle beverages into the mouths of piranhas. ABC’s job-placement program puts graduates to work in restaurants, nightclubs, sports bars, hotels, country clubs, and cruise-ship bars.
Nestled in among the hills and trees of Fair Oaks, Rollingwood Racquet Club presents families with an opportunity to get involved and get in shape. A mini getaway, close to home, the facility boasts a lineup of year-round fitness activities, including group classes such as Pilates, Zumba, and spin. Its outdoor tennis courts are surrounded by scenic canyon vistas, and its indoor pool is heated for swimming during winter months or when a simmering pot of goulash just won't do. To further bring the community together in the name of health, Rollingwood also hosts monthly luncheons at local restaurants for members to connect and chat.