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.
This dedicated team educates their clients on the importance of aesthetic maintenance while keeping exteriors looking shiny and new. Experienced aestheticians combat epidermal bullies, from acne to fowl-mouthed fine lines, with organic facials and microdermabrasion. Peepers find more definition with lash tinting and by banishing stray brow hairs with strip or stripless wax. Folsom's resident manicurist, Anna Marsaiq, tends to fingertips and toes with natural mani-pedi services and OPI gel polish, and the spa's massage practitioner, Jennifer Kinjo customizes each massage by combining traditional Swedish, deep-tissue, and trigger-point modalities to create a nurturing experience. The modern space further instills a sense of calm with the contemporary artwork lining the walls and the chic paper lanterns illuminating the crimson-red and neutral-tan color scheme throughout the spa.
When muscles' fibers part ever so slightly, blood flows efficiently and healing begins. At Healing Arts Awareness, licensed massage therapist Rob Warfield creates this space within muscles by working across the fibers—a technique appropriately dubbed cross-fiber. Rob often integrates innovative methods such as cross-fiber strokes, acupressure (trigger-point work), and stretching into his massage therapy sessions, depending on whether his clients are sore from a tough week, experiencing the physical challenges of pregnancy, or dealing with chronic muscular disorders. And of course, Rob can also deploy these specialized maneuvers to boost the healing effects of more traditional Swedish, sports, and pregnancy massages. Relaxation and healing is furthered with the soothing sounds of tropical raindrops with crickets or oceanwaves crashing on shore.
A pinched nerve. A tweaked muscle. An out-of-whack joint. For most people, these ailments represent an inevitable facet of the aging process; for massage therapist Karin Ward, they represent an opportunity for improvement. Karin uses her sessions to jumpstart the healing process with therapeutic bodywork learned over a 13-year career. Whether she's easing nagging pain with gentle Swedish strokes or targeting deeper discomfort with the help of soothing hot stones, Karin delivers treatments that leave her clients rested, relaxed, and ready to face the day's next challenge.
Within the calming confines of Lima Salon and Spa, Terri Tagami aims to make good on her practice's name by relaxing her clients with multiple massage modalities. She wields finesse in Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massage, and can combine the soothing techniques to create fully custom treatments. Each session harnesses massage therapy's bevy of natural benefits, such as improved circulation, diminished pain, and increased range of motion. To bolster freshly kneaded musculature, Terri can also help patrons shed extra poundage with body wraps, which waft infrared heat to melt away cellulite, toxins, and swallowed ice sculptures.
When visitors walk into Dolce Vita Day Spa for the first time, it can be hard to stop staring. Gauzy curtains filter in the buttery, yellow light that dances off a full-wall mural of rocky cliffs jutting into the sea. Guests can further feast their eyes on private treatment rooms outfitted with invigorating orange walls, or Tuscan tiles, private tubs, and massage tables. They can choose from a bounty of treatments, creating a spa day with a loved one complete with champagne and couples' massages, pedicures, or facials. More targeted treatments include noninvasive anti-aging facials that turn back the clock with microdermabrasion, antioxidants, and youth-reviving story time.