The stresses of everyday life dissipate at the hands of Desert Palms Alternative Health’s licensed massage therapists, who relieve tension and aches within the confines of an all-purpose health spa. Led by massage therapist, alternative healer, and Canadian expat James R. Davis, the team culls techniques from a wide range of modalities—from the long, flowing strokes of Swedish to the penetrating warmth of hot-stone massage. Their breadth of knowledge allows them to cultivate massages that treat patients as individuals and even accommodate special conditions such as pregnancy.
The alternative healing center’s customized spa services don’t end with massages. Within the serene confines of a private treatment room, licensed aesthetician Samantha rejuvenates skin with AgeSmart back treatments and natural facials that take advantage of clay’s sibling rivalry with dirt. When she isn’t exfoliating faces and backs, Samantha spreads warm wax across the body to swiftly and gently remove unwanted hair.
Despite its tranquil atmosphere and soothing services, visiting Inner Harmony Massage just for relaxation might be setting the bar too low. Some of its therapists possess more than two decades of experience, and all continue to hone their expertise through educational endeavors such as specialized certifications, workshops, and even the teaching of others. As a result, the massages they provide?which range from traditional Swedish strokes to firmer, more focused sports and deep-tissue work?are designed not just to promote relaxation, but to get at the root of what ails their clients, whether it's pain, lack of mobility, or diminished athletic performance from running with both shoelaces tied together. To extend the relief as long as possible, the therapists perform a post-massage consultation that grants clients with tips on stretches, relaxation techniques, ergonomic devices, athletic warm-ups, and other ways to keep muscles limber and relaxed.
A tribute to the owner’s mother Geri, who during her life dreamt of a quiet haven to relax and rejuvenate, Geri’s Garden Spa makes that aspiration a realization with its cozy environs and soothing services. Escape is as easy as settling in for a hot stone or mommy-to-be massage. The staff accommodates guests hiding away from the bustle of the world for a brief period by rendering, for example, the rejuvenation facial—its herbal oxygenated sprays and vitamin enrichments giving the face a radiant glow and makes reflective plastic unnecessary when riding a bicycle at night. Aromatherapy body cocoons and eucalyptus wraps, alternatively, ensconce bodies in botanicals, hot towels, and moisturizers, which make personal care comforting and enjoyable.
At Wind-N-Willow Specialty Shop & Spa is a modern-day apothecary where skilled hands blend herbs, salts, and oils to meet clients' skincare and relaxation needs. The healing haven's staff also takes a holistic approach to spa services including massages and ear candling. Each service begins with an aromatherapy foot soak to purify feet and toes and to signal to the body both that it can relax and that the room may have flooded. Clients in search of a luxurious detoxification experience can step into a sauna or ionic footbath under the direction of knowledgeable staff members. Skilled aestheticians also keep clients' skin clean and healthy with the help of natural, mineral-based skincare products by ERTH.
Bassil Kamas sends soothing ripples across achy muscle waters with his custom bodywork. Guided by more than a decade of experience, Bassil can rewire muscle-circuit boards using flowing Swedish strokes or access lower-layer pain with firm deep-tissue pressure. Sports massage is a popular option to improve range of motion and athletic performance. When not at the studio, Bassil is a family man, and can be found in the great outdoors playing soccer with his daughter and kneading knotholes out of ventriloquist dummies.
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.