Michigan Wellness Spots Worth the Road Trip

You don’t need to cross state lines to find idyllic surroundings in which to recharge the mind, body, and spirit. These retreats are just a drive away.
freeing creativity michigan wellness
Photo courtesy of Freeing Creativity Retreat

COVID-19 UPDATE: This story was written before the pandemic hit Michigan. As the coronavirus continues to affect life in our state, please reach out to each business for the most up-to-date information about services, hours, and availability.

Situated among the Great Lakes and vast stretches of green pastures, Michigan offers an idyllic backdrop for wellness spaces dedicated to grounding and recharging their clients. From shamanic healing in Bay City to sound baths in Watervliet, these Michigan wellness venues aid in the American quest for mental, physical, and emotional health.

Freeing Creativity

Brittany Zeller-Holland, a designer and illustrator, and yoga teacher Stephanie Williams joined forces to launch Freeing Creativity, an annual retreat dedicated to reinvigorating guests through yoga and art therapy. Zeller-Holland and Williams combine their expertise using physical and artful techniques to help retreat-goers awaken their creativity within. For three days, guests participate in self-guided yoga practice, meditation, breathwork, watercolor painting, ink drawing, sound baths, and gardening. Sept. 25-27. Ronora Lodge & Retreat Center, 9325 Dwight Boyer Road, Watervliet; 269-463-6315; freeingcreativityretreat.com

Ocean Jasper Wellness

Ocean Jasper’s offerings exceed those of a traditional spa. “It is so important to make sure your physical being is healthy as well as your spiritual and emotional being,” says owner Kaitlyn MacGregor. “That is our No. 1 priority: to heal within so you can radiate without.” In addition to therapeutic massages and stress-relieving facials, Ocean Jasper offerings include shamanic healing and spiritually guided tarot readings at the spa’s Bay City oasis. During the center’s shamanic healing sessions, therapeutic masseuse and energy healer Senta Gonzalez enters into an alternative consciousness to help heal clients’ energetic, emotional, or physical ailments through spiritual intervention. “We are grateful to have many repeat clients who put their trust in Senta. As a psychic empath, feeling is one of her main tools.” Ocean Jasper Wellness, 806 Saginaw St., Bay City; 989-402-1372; instagram.com/oceanjasperwellness                        

sevalight michigan wellness
photograph courtesy of Sevalight Retreat Centre for Self-Realization, Pure Meditation, Healing & Counselling

SevaLight Retreat Centre for Self-Realization, Pure Meditation, Healing & Counselling

For those looking to tune out day-to-day noise, SevaLight Retreat Centre welcomes guests to quieter times during its silent retreats. Accommodating up to 12 people, SevaLight asks guests to take a vow of silence over the course of three days and to refrain from the use of electronics, including cell phones, computers, music players, and book readers. “We are in the silence until just before dinner on the last day, when we have a final gathering and give tips for making a graceful transition back into the world,” says SevaLight Director Joanne Peeters. SevaLight Retreat Centre for Self-Realization, Pure Meditation, Healing & Counselling, 7187 Drumheller Road, Bath Township; 517-641-6201; selfrealizationcentremichigan.org

Grass Lake Sanctuary

Surrounded by 145 acres of still waters and rustic woods, all retreats at Grass Lake Sanctuary offer a sense of serenity. But at this Michigan wellness spot, a program targeting breast cancer survivors is one of a kind. Great Lakes Executive Director Tom Egan says the breast cancer survivor retreats support a community of women whose needs extend far beyond remission. “Many breast cancer survivors are prone to a disruptive, post-treatment depression,” Egan says. “We help these folks rediscover their energy and regain their motivation for life.” During three-day retreats, survivors can expect support through group discussions, art and touch therapy, nature walks, and self-care workshops. “Our participants claim we help them find their joy.” Grass Lakes Sanctuary, 18580 Grass Lake Road, Manchester; 734-276-0290; grasslakesanctuary.org

Wanderlux Beauty & Wellness Spa

A charming retreat from the busy Grand Rapids metropolis, Wanderlux strikes the balance between whimsical spa treatments and tranquilizing wellness experiences. At Wanderlux, it’s the service add-ons that are especially intriguing. Complete any massage or reiki session with the spa’s crystal singing bowl sound vibration therapy. During this centuries-old technique, therapists help usher clients into a meditative state by drumming a collection of bowls, cymbals, or gongs. At Wanderlux, therapists opt for quartz bowls to target the chakras, allowing clients to fully unwind for their service of choice. Wanderlux Beauty & Wellness Spa, 713 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids; 616-710-2111; wanderluxgr.com

Photograph courtesy of Song of the Morning

Song of the Morning 

For 50 years, Song of the Morning has been a place of respite for the yogic community. Founded by Detroit businessman turned sage of yoga Yogacharya Oliver Black, the retreat is based on the principle that yoga is a holistic lifestyle. “All who visit with an open mind and open heart will find the opportunity to know that deep peace which is the natural result of meditation, reflection, silence, communion, and devotion,” says Song of the Morning assistant manager Brian Clark. During the retreats, guests participate in yoga classes, among other grounding activities such as hiking, journaling, and reiki therapy sessions. Song of the Morning, 9607 E. Sturgeon Valley Road, Vanderbilt; 989-983-4107; songofthemorning.org

Full Moon Rising Wellness Studio

“Full Moon Rising was created as a wellness sanctuary of self-care, self-love, and therapeutic treatments designed to assist our clients on their path towards wellness,” says owner Jenny DeDecker. A unique offering at Full Moon Rising, craniosacral therapy is a therapeutic massage of the face, head, neck, and spine stimulating the fluids that support and protect the brain and spinal cord. “My clients benefit from treatment for … migraines, chronic fatigue, foggy mind, spiritual distress, and stress relief,” DeDecker says the sessions are typically 75-90 minutes and offer therapeutic relaxation. “I often give the homework of self-kindness and compassion post-treatment, allowing the deep peace from the session to extend beyond the treatment room.” Full Moon Rising Wellness Studio, 102 Sundance Drive, Norway; 906-396-2212; fullmoonrisingwellness.com