Anyone who thinks stress is a the mark of a superior intellect should go soak their head. At Club Altered States.
If it sounds far out, it's not: You'll find it right down the street from the West Hollywood Sports Connection in a spiffy new 4,500-square-foot facility. What's more, its 1,000 members include solid-citizen types from business whizzes to federal prosecutors. "People used to come in and float because it was an unusual thing to do," says owner Larry Hughes, who opened the place 11 years ago. "Now they come in to get rid of stress and expand their potential."
When I walked through the door, an employee named Tobi took me directly to the MindGym, a room full of machines designed to turn one's fast-lane frequencies into various states of alpha relaxation and theta creativity.
First stop was the VibraSound. I lay down on a high-tech Magic Fingers waterbed, strapped on headphones and stroboscopic goggles and soon found myself awash in a synchronicity of sensations--New Age music, thunder booming through the mattress, sounds of rain as colors flashed. The pulses started out fast and gradually slowed down, pulling my brain waves into peaceful step. After 20 minutes, I had definitely chilled.