With a newly minted medical degree and ability to pronounce caduceus, a young Dr. Michael W. Gray charged headlong onto the osteopathic scene. After a stint as the chief resident at Midwestern University's Chicago Osteopathic Medical Center and a fellowship at Northwestern University, the already accomplished plastic surgeon packed up his snake and staff and headed for the Pleasant Peninsula. Today, when he's not discussing advancements in plastic surgery on ABC and NBC local news, he brings his years of experience to The Michigan Cosmetic Surgery Center and Skin Deep Spa where he and his staff perform a full line of surgical and nonsurgical medical procedures.
At Skin Deep Spa, Gray practices a less-aggressive approach to cosmetic procedures with noninvasive treatments in a space designed to put clients at ease. Zerona cold-laser systems and the pulsed energy of Venus Freeze gently smooth away cellulite, for example. The in-house Beauti Bar area, manned by licensed aestheticians, sells Skin Deep beauty products designed by Dr. Gray himself to augment the cosmetic treatments. The zen-garden-inspired décor infuses the spa with earth-toned tiles, leafy green plants, the sound of rippling water flowing over stones in fountains, and ornate wooden chests filled with meditating yogi masters.
Though they hail from different backgrounds, the three acupuncturists at Michigan Associates of Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine share a fundamental belief in the overarching connection between mind and body. At the center’s core is founder Julie Silver, a board-certified acupuncturist who has been espousing the benefits of Chinese medicine in the media since setting up shop 13 years ago. Julie initially turned to acupuncture to seek relief from her own health complaints, and as a result, switched careers to focus her energies on Chinese herbal medicine. At Michigan Associates of Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine, these practices come to fruition as the team works to correct imbalances in the body, which are believed to be major contributors to a wide array of health-related problems, such as anxiety, pain, and chronic cases of the willies. Julie and her staff address these symptoms and conditions with acupuncture and Chinese herbs, providing a special cache of treatments for women's health, fertility, and pregnancy issues.
At iSweat Studios, the sights and sounds of a night on the town power dance steps, boxing moves, and bicycle wheels. Three industrial workout spaces teem with graffiti murals, which summon sweat with sultry verbs such as “train” and “cycle.” Here, upbeat instructors lead varied workouts that battle boredom and fortify each major muscle group. In the cycling room, up to 25 students pedal Keiser M3 stationary bikes that monitor speed, heart rate, and distance traveled. Wheels and records spin in tandem during Cycle DJ classes, where live DJs craft soundtracks for rides packed with hills and sprints. Calming yoga poses and energizing salsa moves fill the iSweat room, where exercisers of all levels melt calories and stress. Brimming with kettlebells, battling ropes, and TRX suspension straps, a third studio hosts functional training workouts, which help exercisers build enough strength to arm wrestle the Statue of Liberty.
Real Ryder Revolution pedals circles around monotonous workout routines and spin programs with a fleet of 30 RealRyder bicycles stationed at each of its studios. The RealRyder design allows exercise bikes to tilt and bank laterally, adding another dimension to stationary-cycle workouts and engaging the entire physique. Pulsating music energizes visitors as they power through 45- to 60-minute Rydes at their own pace, following instructors’ cues that challenge legs, cores, and comprehension of Simon Says rules. Real Ryder Revolution’s staff emphasizes that anyone can attend the cycling sessions and adjust the intensity of their rides based on their own fitness level. Depending on the location, Real Ryder Revolution also offers group fitness classes on TRX suspension training, boot-camp drills, and boxing techniques.
At Yoga Shelter, you won't hear esoteric chants echoing through the halls or meditation music reverberating from rock-shaped speakers. That's because founder Eric Paskel wants to make yoga accessible for all students, whether they're searching for inner peace or a more toned bod. Hip hop, dance, soul, chill, contemporary, and classic music accompanies all classes, ranging from Yoga Rocks, which focuses on sequenced postures, to Fusion, a blend of faster- and slower-moving classes. There is no hierarchy of classes; each 60- to 75-minute session is open to all skill levels. As Paskel himself puts it on his about page, “What's different about us is that we admit we have issues, we know we have work to do—if you can relate to that, you'll love this place.”
When Kelle Ilitch turned her dream Pilates studio into a reality, she spared no consideration. The airy blue space is instantly calming, although its abundance of high-tech Reformer machines makes it clear that she and her fellow instructors mean business. The space accommodates many class styles, from classic mat Pilates lessons—including specialized sessions for seniors and kids—to ballet-barre-based workouts. Like Pilates and cummerbunds made of cement, the barre workouts strengthen cores while lengthening and toning thighs. The staffers also teach Kinesis, a form of strength training that allows for an entirely free range of motion, making it easier to tone muscle groups across bodies simultaneously.