Floating or Sensory Deprivation

Floating or sensory deprivation works by providing an illusion of feeling nothing.  It reduces nearly all external input such as light, sound, touch, and even gravity.   Research into floating is limited, but there has been research since 1954. Currently the Laureate Institute for Brain Research is studying floatation and its effects on the brain and mental health.

 
 

Anxiety

Research studies have shown that floating helps with anxiety, which is a common symptom to many afflictions or an issue all on its own.  Using R.E.S.T. can help reduce anxiety symptoms.  

"A significant Time x Group interaction effect for GAD-symptomatology [F (2,88) = 2.93, p < .001, η p (2)  = .062] was found. Further analyses showed that the GAD-symptomatology was significantly reduced for the treatment group (t (23) = 4.47, p < .001), but not for the waiting list control group (t(21) = 0.98, p > .05), when comparing baseline to post-treatment scoring. Regarding clinical significant change, 37 % in the treatment group reached full remission at post-treatment. Significant beneficial effects were also found for sleep difficulties, difficulties in emotional regulation, and depression, while the treatment had ambiguous or non-existent effects on pathological worry and mindfulness. All improved outcome variables at post-treatment, except for depression, were maintained at 6-months follow. No negative effects were found.."

 

Stress

Floating research has shown a reduction of stress.  It is shown to reduce cortisol and lower blood pressure.  

"In this study we investigated the value of flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) as a stress-management tool. We focused on the physiological effects of REST, its influence on well-being, and on performance. Twenty-seven studies published in 25 articles or book chapters were included in a meta-analysis. The total number of participants was 449, with a mean age of 29 years (ranging between 20 and 45). Sixty-four percent was male and 36% was female. The results showed that REST has positive effects on physiology (e.g., lower levels of cortisol, lower blood pressure), well-being, and performance. The pre–post mean effect size and the overall randomized control group effect size were relatively strong. This suggests that despite some limitations of the original studies, flotation REST can be a useful stress management tool in addition to or instead of other stress management tools." 

 

use for Athletic Recovery

"The results indicate flotation R.E.S.T. appears to have a significant impact on blood lactate and perceived pain compared to a one hour passive recovery session in untrained healthy males. No difference was found between conditions for muscle strength, blood glucose, muscle soreness, heart rate, or OMNI-RPE. Flotation R.E.S.T. may be utilized for recreational and professional athletes to help reduce blood lactate levels after eccentric exercise"
 

 

preventive health-care

"The results of the present study indicate that flotation-REST may reduce contributing factors to potential stress-related illness as well as increase certain psychological factors in healthy participants. Stress, anxiety, depression, and worst pain decreased and sleep quality and optimism increased in the flotation-REST group compared to the wait-list control group. This technique might increase general health and thus help prevent future sick leave."