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Why it works: Sofitel’s new AquaVibe spa treatment

Whether it’s a luxury spa experience in its own right or a spa treat to get in the holiday mood, Sofitel London Heathrow’s new AquaVibe treatment uses a powerful sensory experience to help you relax and unwind.

What exactly is the spa treatment?

AquaVibe is a unique and powerful way of releasing stress and achieving deep relaxation. It is experienced by lying on a dry floatation platform that delivers pure sound frequencies to every cell of the body.

During an AquaVibe session you see, hear and feel beautiful soundscapes, as pure sine waves, transmitted through a crystal trituration suspended in water, massage all the cells in your body.

Essentially, that means that a complex range of sound and light vibrations gently massage and revitalise your body, while at the same time relaxing your mind.

Where does the spa treatment come from?

It’s a spa- or clinic-based treatment designed by Sussex-based hypnotherapist and transformational mind coach Nigel Hutchings. A sound and light experience, it involves lying on a waterbed and gazing at bright colours. It is sensory saturation at its best, occupying three of the main communication channels of the mind; seeing, feeling and hearing. It uses ‘vibroacoustic technology’.

What is it supposed to do?

The idea is that it coaxes all five senses into chilling out and in particular can help with sleep issues, anxiety and worry. The theory behind hypnotherapy is that you enter a relaxed state where there is greater access to your subconscious. So you’re susceptible to suggestion, creating new behaviours and breaking bad habits.

AquaVibe draws on hypnotherapy to help you gain more control over your emotional responses. Massaging vibrations help to ‘dislodge’ stress in the muscle structure. Meanwhile, you listen to a hypnotherapy meditative tape, and look into a sheet of pure colour. Because you don’t have to make out forms, it helps the brain relax.

All guided tracks start with a vocal introduction followed by a guided visualisation and end with a reorientation for coming back. The sound waves create subtle vibrations that pass through the body, massaging the muscles and increasing blood flow. This releases tension and stress, repairs and replenishes the cells. Light waves of different frequencies and colour stimulate the retina via closed eyes. This entrains the brain’s rhythms to an Alpha meditation pattern, helping a person to reset, relax and revitalise quickly and effectively.

Is there anyone you particularly recommend the spa treatment for?

Anyone who is struggling with sleep, stress or anxiety.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t have this treatment and why?

It is suitable for everyone including pregnant guests. Guests who are light sensitive or suffer from epilepsy can adapt the experience without the use of lights.


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