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Sensory Deprivation Tank business, Modern Gravity, brings relaxation to Edmonton

By Admin User on December 9, 2021

Sensory deprivation tanks, also known as float tanks, are a growing trend. They’re used to help relieve chronic pains, anxiety and stress, and other difficulties such as trouble sleeping. Although these tanks have been around for decades, only recently have they truly broken through to the mainstream market.

Modern Gravity Float Studio is a popular sensory deprivation tank business based out of Edmonton. Business owners and co-founders of Modern Gravity, Matthew Smith and Jamie Philips, saw a hole in the market for these tanks, so they decided to take the idea and run with it.

The NAIT grads are living a life they never imagined for themselves, but they are happy the roads took them to this point.

Modern Gravity

Modern Gravity Facility

Q: How did you guys get into floating?

Answered by Matthew Smith:

I’ve been floating for a very long time because of sports, actually, so it’s actually something I got into in 2008, where the first time I ever floated was the basement of an older woman’s house down in central Alberta. At that time, looking at it as a business wasn’t a thing, I was too invested in sports, and there weren’t a whole lot of float centres or things happening. It wasn’t until about 2013-2014 that Jamie and I, as best friends and roommates, [considered opening one up].

Q: What is the point of float tanks?

Answered by Jaime Philips:

People will do it for pain relief. People will do it for just general relaxation, mindfulness, trippy stuff happening. Some people have pains that they’ve had for years, or ailments and they’ve tried every other natural remedy, chemical remedy, and they find that it’s just something that doesn’t help, so they go into a float tank and actually get relief from it.

Q: Do you wear a swimsuit while floating?

Answered by Matthew Smith:

You do it naked, birthday suits only, for a variety of different reasons, mainly because it’s uncomfortable [to wear a swimsuit]. When you go into a float tank, the whole environmental setup of a float tank is that you’re going into an environment with no light, no sound, and no feel or touch. And it’s in that environment that your body and your body’s nervous system is able to really move and be flexible with how it wants to have that kind of experience, and so when you have a swimsuit on or you have a tight ponytail, or you have a tight bracelet or rings on they can sometimes distract you.


Modern Gravity Facility

Q: How would you explain the atmosphere of your facility?

Answered by Jamie Philips:

Because we originally started the business from our house, one of the first things people would say was, ‘Wow, I’m so glad this is in your house.’ So we designed this place almost like a big living room. It was kind of weird like when we first opened up, everyone that came through the door would stop and freeze, and they’d always say, ‘It feels different in here.’ Something about the ambiance in here makes them feel relaxed.

Follow up Q: Why do you think it makes people feel relaxed?

Continued answer from Jamie Philips:

I think it all comes down to intention. We want people to relax. It’s the atmosphere that we try to create, the feeling of calmness kind of resonates.

Sun Glasses

Modern Gravity Facility

Q: How do you guys make sure this experience is unique for your customers?

Answered by Jamie Philips:

Authenticity. Businesses are trying to be authentic, and it’s weird that businesses are ‘trying’ to be authentic. Shouldn’t you just be that? There are probably pros and cons to it. I’m sure they have a team of analysts that say if we up our authenticity by 10 per cent we’ll have these results.

Continued by Matthew Smith:

They’re like, ‘we should probably be authentic, so we’re successful’ versus just being authentic and then you’re successful because of that.

Continued by Jamie Philips:

We just want people to live in a happy, good world. Realistically, that’s why we started this stuff. If we wanted to make profits, we probably would’ve gone into finance. We’d be doing something a lot different.

Q: What has been your customer feedback?

Answered by Jamie Philips:

We’re good at getting a lot of reviews, and if you were to base it off of reviews, we look excellent. But not everyone loves floating, and that makes complete sense because not everyone loves everything. […] I had one guy who came in, and after the first two floats, he was going to write it off, but after the third, he said he finally understood it. So the feedback, in general, is great.

Modern Gravity Facility

Smith and Philips both say that coming to float sessions with an open mind is key. These tanks can also be used as a meditative tool, especially if other ways haven’t worked or you’re unsure where to start with meditation. Times range from 90 minutes to 2 and a half hours for floating and can be booked on their website.



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