Scientific Research on Floating

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Scientific Research on Floatation Therapy

Floatation therapy was once considered a fringe field of sensory deprivation better suited for sci-fi movies than an academic laboratory—but no longer. Thanks an ever-growing body of scientific research, floatation therapy, commonly referred to in scholarly literature as floatation REST, grows each year in stature as a promising treatment for afflictions as wide-ranging as fibromyalgiaaddiction, and ADHD.

As we continue to break down the science behind the unique benefits of float therapy, we’ll be compiling a directory of floatation REST research studies here.

Studies on the Psychological Benefits of Floatation Therapy

From reducing stress to improving creativity and learning, studies have shown that float therapy can provide many psychological benefits:

  • The effect of the floatation version of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) on jazz improvisation. Oshin Vartanian, Peter Suedfeld. Music and Medicine, May 2011.

 

 

 

  • Case studies on fibromyalgia and burn-out depression using psychotherapy in combination with flotation-REST: Personality development and increased well-being. Åsenlöf K, Olsson S, Bood SÅ, Norlander T. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 2007.

 

  • Eliciting the relaxation response with the help of flotation-rest (restricted environmental stimulation technique) in patients with stress-related ailments. Bood, Sven Å.; Sundequist, Ulf; Kjellgren, Anette; Norlander, Torsten; Nordström, Lenneart; Nordenström, Knut; Nordström, Gun. International Journal of Stress Management, May 2006.

 

  • Enhanced independence and quality of life through treatment with flotation-Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique of a patient with both Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Aspergers Syndrome: a case report. Hanna Edebol, Anette Kjellgren, Sven-Åke Bood and Torsten Norlander. Cases Journal, 2009.

 

  • Quality of life with flotation therapy for a person diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, atypical autism, PTSD, anxiety and depression. Anette Kjellgren, Hanna Edebol, Tommy Nordén, Torsten Norlander. Open Journal of Medical Psychology, 2013.

 

  • Sensory Isolation in Flotation Tanks: Altered States of Consciousness and Effects on Well-being. The Qualitative Report, December 2008.

 

  • Flotation restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) as a stress-management tool: A meta-analysis. Psychology & Health, 2005.

 

  • Psychotherapeutic Treatment in Combination with Relaxation in a Flotation Tank: Effects on “Burn-Out Syndrome”. The Qualitative Report, September 2010.

 

 

 

  • Restricted environmental stimulation therapy of smoking: A parametric study. Peter Suedfeld, Gloria Baker-Brown. Addictive Behaviors, 1987.

Studies on the Physical Benefits of Floatation Therapy

Research has also shown that floating offers many physical benefits, from boosting athletic performance to pain relief to improving prenatal health:

 

 

  • The effects of floatation REST on the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Roderick Borrie, Tamara Russell, Stefan Schenider. Presented at Float Summit 2012.

 

  • Effects of flotation-REST on muscle tension pain. Kjellgren A1, Sundequist U, Norlander T, Archer T. Pain Research Management, Winter 2001.

 

  • REST for muscle contraction headaches: a comparison of two REST environments combined with progressive muscle relaxation training. Randy Rzewnick, Alistair B. C. Wallbaum, Howard Steele, Peter Suedfeld. Restricted Environmental Stimulation, 1990.

 

 

  • A pilot study to evaluate the effects of floatation spa treatment on patients with osteoarthritis S. Hill, M.J.H. Eckett, C. Paterson, E.F. Harkness. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, December 1999.

 

 

Scientific Research on Magnesium

One of the added advantages of floating may be increased absorption of magnesium, a mineral present in the vast quantities of Epsom salt that make float tanks so buoyant. Magnesium has its own unique benefits, demonstrated in many studies not specifically related to floatation REST:

 

 

  • The effects of magnesium physiological supplementation on hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Positive response to magnesium oral loading test. B. Starobrat-Hermelin, T. Kozielec. Magnesium Research, June 1997.