Current caught up with local health and wellness experts to find out what’s new and trending in their fields, how the years have shaped their perspectives, and what some of the best tips are for enjoying a happy and healthy 2018.
Mara Evenstar – Evenstar’s Chalice
36 N. Huron St., Ypsilanti
734-905-7980 | evenstarchalice.com
What brought you into the world of health and wellness? I have been working in the domain of transformative arts and spiritual psychology for many years. For me, health and wellness is about the whole person, their relationships, and their culture and environment.
Why are your services unique? At Evenstar’s Chalice, we offer tools and knowledge to support people on their journey to health, wellness, and fulfillment. Part of this is done through creating a space that is sensory-rich and beautiful, to also feed the soul!
Common cause of stress? The current state of our nation is causing a great deal of stress and even trauma for many individuals. Stress is compounded because this is the environment in which people are also encountering their personal, situational stressors.
One tip for a happy and healthy 2018? If you haven’t already, find your tribe! Social support and a sense of belonging is very important to our health and happiness.
Sarah and Dana – The Mix Studios
2007 S. State St., Ann Arbor
734-786-1260 | the-mix-studios.com
What brought you into the world of health and wellness? (Sarah) I was terrible at sports, became discouraged, and started hanging with the wrong crowd. After 11 years of smoking, among other unhealthy habits, I decided to quit and start running, which opened up a whole new world for me. I was hooked. I had no idea what my body was capable of and I really wanted to share that experience with other people. (Dana) Physical activity has always been a huge part of my life, but seeing people who were not as active made me realize what an immense difference taking care of your body can make—physically, mentally, and emotionally—so I began helping friends and family achieve their goals.
What’s a new idea that people should know about? Trampoline Fitness is incredible. It is low impact, which I think many of us need to think about if we want to move well into our later years. It activates the lymph system so it is a great detoxer, it is super fun, and burns as many calories as jogging! We are the only ones in Ann Arbor to offer this class. First class is free, so check it out.
What health myth needs to be debunked? It’s not just how many calories burned or how many calories are in a meal— there is so much more that goes into a healthy body, including mindset, stress levels, quality of calories, timing of calories, sleep and happiness.
Dina Sheldon – A2Yoga
2030 Commerce Blvd., Ann Arbor
734-216-4006 | a2yoga.net
Why are your services unique? In today’s world of go-go-go, it’s important to find a space where shivasana is not just “laying on your back.” Our studio has staying power because we offer commUNITY. Being the second oldest yoga studio in Ann Arbor, we started in the health and wellness industry before it was fashionable and the uniqueness of A2 Yoga has to do with our teachers. Many of our teachers have been here for 5 or more years, and have taught in general for over 10 years. Ana Hough, the founder, has been teaching yoga for over 20 years. As a senior yoga educator, she also heads our yoga teacher training program (YT2) and master class workshops. We offer many types of classes, including commUNITY classes every week, which are free donation-based classes for those who cannot afford to come to the studio regularly. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these classes go to local nonprofits, and we’ve raised over $5,000 this year.
Common cause of stress? Stress comes in many forms— family, change of job or loss of income, chronic illness or new diagnosis of a disease, mobile devices and constant stream of information, or even something like rush-hour traffic. It’s important to be able to have a space free from these things so people can process what is stressing them in a safe environment. That’s what we strive to create at A2 Yoga—plus, we aren’t downtown, so you won’t even have to stress about parking.
Dori Edwards – Blue Sage Health
421 Miller Ave., Ann Arbor
734-585-7063 | bluesagehealth.com
Why are your services unique? I wanted to take my base of holistic knowledge into the cannabis industry, remind people that cannabis is not a cure-all, and that an active lifestyle while eating right is vital to good health. I also noticed a gap in education: when a patient gets their medical card, their doctor usually doesn’t have much knowledge about cannabis, so the patient has to depend on the dispensary budtender. This is frustrating for the patient. I wanted to change that, so I co-founded Blue Sage Health Consulting, and bluesagehealth.com. where we have a patient/caregiver forum. Our nurses and therapists have studied the endocannabinoid system, know how pharmaceuticals react with cannabis, understand dosing and can provide recommendations. Blue Sage Health’s mission is to educate and empower people so they can achieve their highest quality of life through the use of plant-based medicine. As educators and health professionals, our vision is to provide vital information to individuals, families and communities about holistic health as it relates to our endocannabinoid system.
One tip for a happy and healthy 2018? One small, daily success tip: Don’t take a shower until you break a sweat. Breaking a sweat can take as little as five minutes. Do squats and push up, a handful of sun salutations, or simply turn up the music and bust a move. This small change won’t just improve your physical health, but it will leave you energized and in a much better mood.
Grace Adams – Body Conscious Massage Therapy
Owner and Massage Therapist
2201 Medford Rd., Ann Arbor
734-929-5930 | bodyconsciousmassagetherapy.com
What brought you into the world of health and wellness? I went into the field of massage therapy because I wanted to offer people with specific and chronic pain conditions an alternative to medications and surgery— one that was safer, felt better, and had more lasting results— so I started Body Conscious Massage Therapy and created a team of highly trained and experienced massage therapists. With a more medical approach, we work with referrals from local doctors, PT’s and other healthcare professionals to help the Ann Arbor community live pain and stress free.
What’s a new idea that people should know about? About a year ago, our clinic began offering Ashiatsu massage, a growing modality in the bodywork industry. During this style of massage, the therapist uses their feet while holding onto bars above the massage table. This allows for a very deep, broad pressure that arms and hands cannot achieve, which is great for athletes and larger clients. Nothing else compares to the pressure.
Why are your services unique? Unlike many relaxation massage therapy businesses, our clinic has a more medical approach. We work with referrals from local doctors, PT’s and other healthcare professionals to help patients with postural issues, post-surgery pain, injury, headaches, TMJ dysfunction and more. We also work very closely with the sports and recreational community, helping athletes of all levels stay pain free and at the top of their game.
Julie Hill – Imagine Three Beauty Studio
Owner and Hairstylist
201 E Liberty Suite 1 Ann Arbor
What brought you into the world of health and wellness? I personally became Ill from being surrounded by so many chemicals within the beauty industry. For me, I thought my 20+ career was over when my doctor suggested opening an organic salon. Out of a need, our little salon was born. Our salon is a cleaner safer environment not only for the staff but our clients as well.
What’s unique about the services you offer? We try to use safer ingredients and products as much as possible. Our hair color is exceptional and is the lowest amount of harmful ingredients you can get in a hair color. Part of the color process is that we treat your hair first to make sure it will be in optimal condition. Our facials are done with our natural skincare line and we offer LED light therapy in addition to your facial. Our esthetician will customize your facial for the concerns you have about your skin. We are really proud of our sugaring product we use for body waxing. It’s a much safer and hypoallergenic product minus resins and chemical solvents found in wax.
What do you do locally when you want to let loose? My best way to let loose and de-stress is going to work out. My saving grace has been Huron River Crossfit.
What’s one fitness, health or wellness myth you want people to know about? A lot of people have a misconception that organic and natural products do not work as well as conventional products. I myself thought the same thing until I started researching and using them first hand. Typically, natural ingredients are more powerful and synthetic ingredients are a created in a lab as a cheaper version of natural ingredients.
What’s one tip you’d like to offer for people hoping to have a happy and healthy 2018? We are surrounded by chemicals on a daily basis and often we don’t even know that they are there. We can’t live in a bubble but we can control some of what our body absorbs. Your skin is your largest organ so be kind to it and what you put on it. Taking time to de-stress and take time for yourself I think is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. Happy 2018!
Stephanie Quarles – RelaxStation Massage Therapy
300 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor
734-623-1951 | relaxstation.com
What’s a new idea that people should know about? Float/self- deprivation tanks! You float in a tank full of salt water, which helps with sore muscles, joints, and clearing the mind.
Common cause of stress? I think that technology is the biggest stressor of muscles in this generation. More and more people work on computers for a living. I recommend that anyone working with technology should receive massage at least twice a month for their own mental and physical well-being.
How do you let loose locally? I like taking hikes in Bird Hills Nature Preserve, making jewelry and enjoying the local ambiance that downtown Ann Arbor provides.
What health myth needs to be debunked? Massaging the deep tissue is not necessarily what will help your muscles the most. Talk to your therapist throughout your session to figure out what type of massage will work best for your body.
Ita Reyes – Ita Yoga Studio
E-RYT 200, Owner/Founder
2745 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor
734-531-9482 | itayogastudio.com
What brought you into the world of health and wellness? The need to focus on me. For a very long time, the focus was on doing for others, and exhaustion coupled with unhappiness started to settle in. I did not like how that felt. Yoga, eating habits, mindfulness in daily activities all had a huge impact in improving my quality of living.
Why are your services unique? Mindfulness. We encourage ur students to move inward. Our classes hold space for students to feel safe connecting inward. When we do what we do, we notice it. Therefore, we grow and learn from our yoga practice.
How do you let loose locally? We love to go downtown for dinner and drinks. Our favorite spots are Aventura, Cafe Zola, and Ravens Club.
What health myth needs to be debunked? People think that yoga is easy, but the practice is both physically and mentally challenging, and benefitting every aspect of daily living.
One tip for a happy and healthy 2018? More kindness + Less judgement = happiness all around. See yourself in others and you’ll experience a fuller more rewarding life.