Personal Restoration: The Great Feel-great Crusade

While luxury “wellness spas” world-wide serve new-era options like Yoga Nidra classes to promote sleep and Total Focus consultation, Michigan spas are offering their own buffet of better health experiences.
Spa Mariana
Customized massage is offered along with on-site wellness classes at Spa Mariana in Birmingham. // Photography Courtesy of Spa Mariana

Beyond enjoying some good old-fashioned pampering, the International Spa Association reports that stress is the number-one reason both men and women are seeking spas today.

“No one can deny the importance of human touch. It’s an automatic healer,” said Audra Powell, spa manager at Ahhh, The Spa in Fremont. “When our client comes through the door, we customize services to their needs: ‘What is ailing you today? Let’s focus on that for your massage.’ We focus on the whole body — on each person’s wellness and well-being.”

Housed within Tamarac, The Center for Health and Well-Being (a member of Spectrum Health), services at Ahhh, The Spa range from classic massages and skin care treatments to alternative medicinal practices including acupuncture. These can be combined on-site with everything from traditional group fitness classes, aquatic workouts, personal training and weight loss programs to Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and rehabilitative services.

“Citizenship” to the LEEDS-certified wellness facility is also offered to those who want to embark on a personalized fitness path, which can integrate spa services.

Customized spa services, massage, chiropractic care and acupuncture to help relieve chronic pain are integrated as well at Kalamazoo-based SolSpring, southwest Michigan’s largest holistic wellness center. A naturopathic physician based on-site also specializes in natural therapies such as clinical nutrition and botanical medicine to treat the root cause of disease and restore health.

From alleviating low-back pain and reducing fatigue to improving concentration and enhancing immunity, helping people to feel more comfortable in their bodies through massage is a key goal at Spa Mariana in Birmingham. owner Maciek Lyko.

“I use techniques from Swedish Esalen massage and from Thai massage that stretch and open up the joints,” noted owner Maciek Lyko, whose unique style employs Japanese strategies as well to release energy pathways.

In addition to massage, bodywork lessons based on a method created by physicist, engineer and Judo Master Moshe Feldenkrais are offered to help break bad posture habits and quicken recovery from injury. More aid and education is provided, too, through Spa Mariana’s on-site Wellness Program, which targets topics including weight management, healthy eating and beating stress.

Ahh The Spa at Tamarac
Rejuvenation begins in the meditation room at Ahhh, The Spa at Tamarac. // Photography Courtesy of Spa at Tamarac

A Suite Getaway

Founded during the 1940s in Mexico four miles from California, Rancho La Puerta is “the original” destination spa for its all-inclusive, priced-right amenities. While Saugatuck’s Bella Vita Spa & Suites can’t claim the same scenic mountain hikes or on-site dining, the repurposed century-old building does feature six modern king-bed suites stocked with lush linens, plush robes, gas fireplaces, walk-in showers, wet bars and a full-service Aveda day spa.

And it does offer special packages that pair suite and spa services up with options like certificates for local restaurants, located just a stroll out the door along with boutique shops, galleries and beaches.

Signifying “a beautiful life” in Italian, Bella Vita rotates three signature massages including the Aveda Stress-Fix. This merges the power of acupuncture, reflexology, Swedish and deep tissue massage with aromatic, organic French lavender and clary sage, all of which make way for a happier, healthier spirit.

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