The sensory isolation tank will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary. Nevertheless, between John C. Lily’s experimental capsules in 1956 and the hi-tech flotation bubbles of our spa centers in Lyon and Bordeaux, the differences are significant.
Our pools are designed to float effortlessly, and above all to ensure a soft isolation for an unequalled relaxation with proven benefits.
J. C. Lilly, a distinguished American researcher and a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, wanted to study the effects of sensory deprivation on the brain during his training in psychoanalysis.
At the time, the tanks were minimalistic. The guinea pigs had to put on an uncomfortable suit, a heavy mask with eye patches and ear plugs that also allowed them to breathe underwater: the body was completely immersed and the buoyancy was almost zero. As a good scientist of the 60’s, Lilly was one of the first to try the experiment. He will experience, according to him, a state close to deep meditation.
The US Air Force and especially NASA will of course be interested in his research. But it was not until the early 1980s that flotation tanks became available to the general public. Immediately, the craze is there, especially among high-level athletes, artists and stressed industrialists.
Since the first pools, enormous progress has been made to float effortlessly, free of any external influence.
Our floatation bubbles are real jewels of technology designed to welcome you into a space of tranquility like you’ve never experienced before.
Floatation bubbles, the perfect insulation
All in soft curves, with a resolutely futuristic and at the same time quite organic look, the floatation bubbles are above all objects that strike the imagination.
Nothing is left to chance.
This white cocoon that will welcome you is optimized to erase the five main senses.
Hearing is soothed by perfect sound insulation, reinforced by wearing comfortable earplugs. There is no noise from the air exchange and water heating equipment. An audio system allows to diffuse inside the floatation bubble a chosen music. It will accompany you during the first minutes of the session and will be replayed at the end to facilitate a gentle “awakening”.
Sight is hidden by the sealing of the cover. A button inside the capsule allows you to leave the soft blue light on during the session or turn it off as desired. The lid of the capsule can be opened for people who are afraid of claustrophobia.
The taste is in pause and so is the smell: the water and the Epsom salt have no particular smell*.
Lastly, touch is at the center of the sensory isolation device.
Thanks to the ideal temperature of the water and air, but above all to the very high concentration of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate), the feeling of weightlessness is real.
Floating in our bubbles has nothing to do with a traditional bath: almost 80% of the body’s weight “disappears”. 4 to 5 times more than for the famous Dead Sea baths.
According to our clients, it is this “disappearance” of the body that makes floating a magical moment and very different from a meditation session, sophrology or a relaxing massage.
Floating in a sensory isolation bubble in one of our GRAVITI spa centres in Lyon or Bordeaux is to live a unique experience and enjoy benefits recognised by science.
Floatation bubbles, the quintessence of serenity
It is difficult, in the hectic life we lead, to find a place of supreme tranquillity, a space of safety and total relaxation to recharge the body and mind.
The only solution is a sensory isolation session.
Floating out of time and space, away from noise and stimuli, has scientifically proven benefits for the body and mind.
During the floating session, the weightlessness quickly takes effect: muscles and joints are no longer under tension, and this phenomenon is also shared by the brain.
The effects of sensory deprivation go beyond mere relaxation:
– A state of well-being sets in and lasts beyond the float session,
– a reduction in joint and posture pain,
– relief of premenstrual syndrome pain,
– a reduction in stress, anxiety, depression concerns,
– a state of deep meditation,
– improved sleep quality, etc.
To find out more about the benefits of floating and the scientific studies, go to this page.
In addition, the Epsom salt contained in the water of our bubbles allows you to float, of course, but also to enjoy benefits that have been known since the 16th century: a powerful antiseptic, it acts on skin problems such as acne or eczema, and it also accelerates muscle recovery.
Finally, it is possible to float “actively”. Some artists, sportsmen, students or company managers take advantage of the relaxation of the body and the relaxation of the brain to boost their concentration, refine their analyses, find original solutions, etc.
As you can imagine, each session in a float room is a unique experience, a journey into complete calm or into the imagination of one’s brain, the bubble becomes a space of tranquility never reached in everyday life.
Flotation in practice
Planning a float session at GRAVITI couldn’t be easier: you don’t need anything.
All you have to do is arrive 15 minutes before the session and let yourself be guided. If floating naked is recommended, you can of course bring your swimsuit.
Each centre provides you with everything you need: sandals, shampoo, treatment creams, hair dryer, towel, etc. (note: a shower before and after floating in the pool is mandatory).
As relaxation and release are maximised, it always takes time to reconnect with reality. You will spend it in a quiet and comfortable room, around a tea or an infusion. One of our staff members will come to share this moment, to make a kind of assessment, to exchange on your experience.
The opinions are unanimous: these few minutes of exchange are a bit like the icing on the cake, a time shared with an attentive and available person after an in-depth journey out of time.
So don’t wait any longer and book one or more floating sessions with our teams in Lyon or Bordeaux.
Of course, we propose gift vouchers because we know of no finer gift than an hour of sensory deprivation: an original, intimate gift that is good for the body and mind, without constraint, without pressure and in total comfort.
* The water in each floatation bubble is filtered three times between each session. It also uses a UV light system to erase any micro-organisms that may have survived the Epsom salt. As in all treatment centres or spas, hygiene measures are our priority. Rooms, showers, bubbles, etc. are cleaned between each guest.