The Best Of Miami's Health And Wellness Scene

Riki Altman-Yee & Luis R. Rigual | May 14, 2019 | Lifestyle Feature

From fitness experts to space specialists, here are Miami’s top pros and resources when it comes to wellness.


The Wellness Destination
Fitness, health and beauty get equal billing at the world-class Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. Not only do guests receive nutritionally dense meals and an invitation to more than 200 exercise classes weekly, but they also have access to one of the country’s finest spas. Carillon recently brought in new equipment by Lemi, overhauled its entire spa menu, introduced new skin- and bodycare product lines and partnered with new practitioners, including acupuncturist Vladimir Turovskiy, plastic surgeon Jimmy Stern and celebrity hairstylist Rocco Donna. A return visit is a must. 6801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 866.800.3858,

The Go-To Lunch Spot
Fast, healthy and tasty don’t always go together, but Delicious Raw makes a case for all three thanks to selections such as its Nobl Burger, vegan pad thai and acai Super Bowl, which have made the place the favorite lunch spot of Miami’s food-as-medicine devotees. New menu items, such as crispy eggplant croquettes, four-cheese fig flatbread and zucchini truffle Gruyere quiche are coming very soon. 1828 Bay Road, Miami Beach, 786.452.7575,


Water therapy at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

The Crystal Whisperer
Few treatments are as lovely as a sound bath. Fortunately Andrew Clark, owner and founder of the 1111 Vibe studio, is happy to indulge us. While clients lie on cushions, wrapped in blankets with their eyes covered, Clark gently taps crystal bowls of various sizes, producing a glorious, resonant sound felt throughout. “I use sound and vibration to create space within the body so it realigns itself,” he explains. “The friction creates an electrical charge. The electricity enlightens the structure. Consciousness follows.” 1111 Lincoln Road, Unit 11, Miami Beach, 305.804,6264,

The Grocery Guru
As part of her lifestyle-improvement brand Feed Me Health, registered dietitian Monika Arenas encourages clients to view grocery shopping as an opportunity for enhancement. For a starting price of $180 for a private 75- to 90-minute tour, Arenas will take a client through every aisle—even the ones with cleaning products—comparing and sharing techniques as well as suggestions for the best options and alternatives. Her top tip? “Be intentional with the quality of foods that you’re buying. Have a list, stay focused, and compare products when looking for something new.” 786.387.1219,


The Buddha Bowl from Delicious Raw

The Meditation Master
He’s got an MBA from Wharton and founded Green Monkey yoga at age 26, but Myk Likhov, creator of the lifestyle brand Modern OM, says slowing down is often the quickest path to success. Likhov started Miami Mindfulness Club in 2016 to unite conscious locals for group meditations, workshops and social gatherings, and has since gathered 6,000 students worldwide who often check in on the Modern OM app. “Meditation gives space away from the constant overstimulation of our daily lives,” he says. “It rewards people for going inward, together.” 310.666.9837,


Modern OM founder Myk Likhov

The Chinese Medicine Doyenne
She’s been practicing Chinese medicine for 24 years, but Dr. Lori Bell never tires of making patients feel brand-new, especially those suffering from physical ailments, anxiety, insomnia or infertility. As she puts it, “I’m like a cosmic gardener going into your body.” Dr. Bell’s holistic practice focuses on traditional Chinese medicine, five-phase acupuncture and NSEV acupuncture healing, plus she is a seasoned astrologer. Her signature 90-minute treatment includes an acupuncture treatment with superthin needles and an astrology reading. The Standard Spa, 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach, 305.674.1188,

The Space Sage
Practicing the Black Hat Tibetan Tantric Buddhist tradition of feng shui and using tools such as Balinese bells, oranges and sage, Inessa Freylekhman poetically clears bad—or just plain weird— energy in condos for sale, busy homes, working offices and bustling hotel lobbies. “Space cleansing is used to enhance spiritual development, increase vitality, improve luck, and it can remove negativity,” she explains. Fees start at $400 for an 800-square-foot space. Freylekhman also lectures at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Faena Hotel Miami Beach and 1 Hotel South Beach, and her new book about feng shui for teens hits shelves in August. 425.891.6242,


Dr. Lori Bell uses Chinese medicine to treat all sorts of ailments.

The Must-Do Treatments
Most of us already know that Faena houses a 22,000-square-foot South American-inspired spa, but many might not realize Tierra Santa Healing House has myriad signature shaman-developed body treatments, enzyme therapies, rejuvenating facials and even pranic healing. Treatments begin with cleansing ceremonies that incorporate sound and vibration and culminate with healing rituals performed with an organic, hand-blended range of oils, butters, resins, healing stones and poultices. The experience is divine. 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786.655.5570,

The Sex Savant
“Sexual health is an integral part of overall well-being,” explains Dr. Sonjia Kenya (, the Columbia-educated sexologist, associate professor at UM and author of Sex in South Beach. “And fun is an essential element of effective sex education.” Her mission is to spread the word, hosting classes like Licked: The Art of Oral Sex, streaming content via a web-based school, offering programs abroad at romantic resorts, and holding events and public speaking engagements. Expect programs at UM, an online school and another book coming soon.


Tierra Santa Healing House is a sanctum for cutting-edge body treatments and therapies.

The Gut Doctor
Known as The Enzyme Doctor, Matt Cooper ( is the man to see when reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel, bloating, sleep disorders, anxiety, fatigue, fibromyalgia, excess weight gain or low energy related to stomach issues rear their ugly head. The licensed digestive health specialist spearheads a practice dedicated to the most innovative and cutting-edge treatments when it comes to matters of the belly.

The Breathwork Expert
Sometimes healing can start from simply taking a breath—the correct way. Just ask Christian de la Huerta, who has been teaching folks how to do it for more than three decades. “It works so fast and heals so profoundly at so many levels,” he says. “It’s very powerful.” Sit in on one of de la Huerta’s three-hour introductory sessions (the next ones are May 13, June 3 and June 17) to learn about the process, then practice in the presence of a great guide. 2143 S. Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove, 877.773.7557,


Physician Matt Cooper is an expert on all matters related to the stomach.

The Recovery Haven
We love âme Spa & Wellness Collective for many reasons, but its new signature treatments focused on recovery top the list. Case in point: the Athlete’s Getaway, 80 minutes of advanced body work (using both hands-on massage as well as tools) to allow the musculoskeletal system to release contractions and spasms in the soft tissue to relieve pain and improve flexibility just in time for game day (whatever that may be). 19999 W. Country Club Drive, Aventura, 305.933.6930,

The Divine Doula
Doulas provide education and emotional and physical support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum, but Michelle Fonte does so much more. Having attended more than 1,000 births (six of which were her own) and possessing 25 years of experience, Fonte is also the co-owner of The Gathering Place, a full-service center for new and expecting families. “People understand that when they work with me they don’t just get me, but an entire community of resources,” she says. 16821 NE Sixth Ave., North Miami Beach, 786.953.6417,


âme Spa & Wellness Collective features various restorative treatments.

The Body Transformer
When 54D, the 54-day change-making fitness program from former soccer player Rodrigo Garduño, made its American debut in February, we were a little skeptical. Could it really deliver the dramatic results he promised? We checked in with the team at his Coral Gables facility for some stats: At the halfway point of the first nine-week session, 54D’s 85 male and female members had lost a combined 625 pounds of weight and gained 305 pounds of muscle. Body of proof, indeed. 4210 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, 305.600.8207,


Former soccer pro Rodrigo Garduño offers complete body transformations at his 54D studio.


Photography by:; Carillon Miami Wellness Resort photo courtesy of Robin Diamond Public Relations; Delicious Raw photo by Gary James/courtesy of The TAG Experience; Myk Likhov photo by Nick Garcia; Dr. Matt Cooper photo by Gary James/courtesy of Carma PR; Tierra Santa Healing House photo courtesy of Faena; Dr. Lori Bell photo by Brett Hufziger; âme Spa & Wellness Collective photo courtesy of âme Spa & Wellness Collective; Rodrigo Garduño photo by Holly Parker