"Good Vibrations"
Brian Cochran
(This article is reprinted with permission and it first appeared in salon.com)

The rainstorm begins softly. You hear water falling gently through newly green spring leaves. When the first clap of thunder echoes in the distance, the sound reverberates along the length of your body, from the back of your neck to your ankles. Gradually, as the sound of thunder increases, so does the vibration. A single, primitive flute begins a plaintive tune, and the high and low notes are translated into vibrations that flow along pressure points in your body. You give in to the storm, the sounds, and the music, and you let it take you where it will.

No, it's not a dream, or even a meditation. It is SANCTORUM SOUNDSPA™, a multi-sensory, innovative sound/aroma treatment.

SANCTORUM™ was created by Jurgen Ahlers, of Atlanta, to help clients reduce fatigue and also to help them re-connect emotionally in a stressful world that too often disconnects their minds, bodies, and spirits.

The treatment seems almost too simple to work. At a day spa (Rejuvenate) located at the “The Gardens” of SunTrust Plaza, in Atlanta, where SANCTORUM is currently featured, you are led by one of the helpful staff members to a quiet, dim, and well-appointed room, which has a Corbusier-style (zero gravity) reclining chair. This chair looks comfortable, and it is. It also holds a secret you will only discover after the treatment begins. You lie back, and enjoy the scent of an amazing blend of natural essential aroma oil. The attendant quietly slips out of the room, leaving you alone for the experience.

Then it begins. This comfortable, reclining chair is also a smart chair -- it knows the music therapy you are about to receive and works in perfect symmetry and balance with the combined sounds of music and nature in the carefully orchestrated program. You are about to begin a journey you will not soon forget.

As I was lying there, I was intrigued by the mechanics of the chair -- how, I wondered, did they manage to align the sounds and the vibrations of the chair so perfectly? Then, almost without my consent, I was transported to a late summer day at my grandmother's farmhouse, where I was napping on her feather bed while sounds of a summer rainstorm pinged away on the tin roof. I was transported back to a time when I was a child, and a warm feeling of sweet memories, of my grandmother, and the comfort she gave me, enveloped me in warmth and light.

But that was only the beginning of my journey. Before the hour was over, I had soared on desert winds, sat around a campfire while a native tribe danced, and landed on a beautiful beach where waves lapped at my feet and sunlight warmed my skin.

When my time with SANCTORUM was over, after the music and nature sounds had gradually ended, I was left alone for a time to savor the feelings I had regained through the experience. My body, mind, and emotions seemed to have reconnected, and I wanted to hold on to the feeling of complete unity for as long as possible before facing the outside world again. I felt restored, empowered, and inspired. I was ready for anything.

Various sound programs are available, ranging from classical, to tranquil jazz, to new age, to Native American/primitive, etc.

Reconnect your energies with SANCTORUM, and you'll come away with a renewed sense of self, feeling refreshed, and better prepared to face any challenge or stress life might leave in your path.


"A Taste of Sanctorum in Atlanta"
Jonathan Lerner
(This article is reprinted with permission and it first appeared in Delta SKY Magazine)

Spiritualists say we can imagine our way to health. Massage therapists promise to work out our stress with their hands. My shrink tells me to think less and feel more. Now comes a spa experience that combines imagination, touch and emotion – and sits them in a chair.

It’s called sancTorum™. Think “inner sanctum,” or, with thrones in mind, “the kingdom of heaven is within you.”

Actually, it’s you in the chair, which is a molded modernistic recliner. Built into it is a new technology that translates the rhythms and resonances of a specially designed soundtrack into intense vibrations, a fingerless massage that jostles, penetrates and soothes. There are nature sounds, chanting choirs, classical music -- wordless, but with a narrative, or emotional arc. It works by causing you to imagine you are being shaken loose, lifted and gently set down again.

Someday, we can hope, you will find sancTorum in airport lounges, spas and fitness centers. But for the moment it’s available only at Natural Body Spa, Omni Hotel at CNN Center. A one-hour session is $40. Half-hour sessions are also available.

The lights are muted. The walls are covered in mossy bronze silk, a Zen-like fountain burbles quietly. Surrounded by lush tropical plants and purified, fragrent aromas, you settle into the SerenityChair™ and pull a soft throw to your chin. Propelled by the sounds and – literally – the feel of the music, you’re away on your journey.

During my journey, I imagined that I was tossed by fierce waves onto sand. I was brushed by ferns and birds’ wings and raindrops. I stood on a mountain peak, then in deep forest, then in a sweat lodge, then in a cathedral. At the end I was lying in a field.

Stress? Whazzat?


"Loews Atlanta Unveils Celestial DreamSuite"

ATLANTA—Loews Atlanta Hotel is premiering a new multi-sensory wellness suite called the Celestial DreamSuite.

The suite features a full host of massage, aromatherapy and sound therapy amenities to create a complete relaxation experience within the comfort of a guestroom.

“The Celestial DreamSuite is a ground-breaking concept in creating restful and rejuvenating experiences inside a hotel guestroom, and we’re thrilled to be the first luxury brand hotel to offer it to our guests,” said Mark Castriota, general manager at Loews Atlanta Hotel. “It’s critically important to Loews Atlanta Hotel to go beyond the basics of providing a great room in the city, and we’re doing that by creating an experience that can potentially make a guest smarter, more creative and improve performance. Initial guest feedback has been very positive.”

Created in partnership with Atlanta-based Sanctorum, LLC, the experience begins in the living room with a full-body massage in a high-tech recliner that scans the individual anatomical points to deliver a custom massage for 15, 30 or 45 minutes. A Zen-inspired art fountain babbles in the background, while soothing surround sounds and aromatherapy help set the tone.

Following the massage, the guest then moves into the bedroom where the king-size bed is retrofitted with low-frequency sound vibrations that create a sensation of being gently rocked to sleep by the ocean rhythms while the bed remains completely stable. A matching soundscape of nighttime ocean surf and acoustic strains combined with sleep-inducing aromatherapy and a life-like starscape that appears above the bed lulls guests into a deep sleep, according to the company. In the morning, sounds of morning surf and seagulls awakens guests gradually.

“Studies continue to show that stress inhibits creativity and well-being, and all of the technology and concepts in the Celestial DreamSuite are based heavily on this research to counteract the impacts of stress,” said Jurgen Ahlers, creator and owner of Sanctorum, LLC. “This is a completely new and unique concept for a hotel guest to be able to experience comprehensive relaxation without having to go to a spa or step outside of the room.”

DreamSuite