Beneficial effects of treatment with sensory isolation in flotation-tank as a preventive health-care intervention - a randomized controlled pilot trial.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 ;14:417. Epub 2014 Oct 25. PMID: 25344737
Anette Kjellgren, Jessica Westman
BACKGROUND: Sensory isolation in a flotation tank is a method known for inducing deep relaxation and subsequent positive health effects for patients suffering from e.g. stress or muscle tensions pains. Very few studies have investigated this method as a preventive health-care intervention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects in healthy participants after receiving a series of flotation tank treatment.
METHODS: Sixty-five participants (14 men and 51 women) who were all part of a cooperative-health project initiated by their individual companies, were randomized to either a wait-list control group or a flotation tank treatment group where they participated in a seven weeks flotation program with a total of twelve flotation sessions. Questionnaires measuring psychological and physiological variables such as stress and energy, depression and anxiety, optimism, pain, stress, sleep quality, mindfulness, and degree of altered states of consciousness were used. Data were analysed by two-way mixed MANOVA and repeated measures ANOVA.
RESULTS: Stress, depression, anxiety, and worst pain were significantly decreased whereas optimism and sleep quality significantly increased for the flotation-REST group. No significant results for the control group were seen. There was also a significant correlation between mindfulness in daily life and degree of altered states of consciousness during the relaxation in the flotation tank.
CONCLUSIONS: It was concluded that flotation-REST has beneficial effects on relatively healthy participants.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12613000483752.
Article Published Date : Dec 31, 2013
Neuroendocrine and psychological effects of restricted environmental stimulation technique in a flotation tank.
Biol Psychol. 1994 Mar;37(2):161-75
Authors: Schulz P, Kaspar CH
The restricted environmental stimulation technique or REST is a method of relaxation where the level of environmental sensory inputs is kept very low. A particular REST technique called tank flotation, or flotation REST, consists of 1 h sessions in a tank containing water with a high salt content and maintained at 35.5 degrees C. In this protocol, five normal subjects were studied before and during 2 h after a 60 min flotation REST session and a control session of 60 min in a supine position on a bed. Cortisol, thyreostimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4), prolactin, melatonin, luteinizing hormone (LH), growth hormone (GH), beta-endorphin, vasopressin (ADH), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and homovanillic acid (HVA) were measured in plasma. HVA, 5-hydroxy-indoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and vanylmandelic acid (VMA) were measured in urine. There were no changes in hormones concentrations that could be attributed to flotation REST. The urinary excretion of VMA was lower after the flotation REST session. The psychological consequences of flotation REST were more easily demonstrated than the neuroendocrine changes that are assumed to reflect the state of relaxation. Flotation REST increased subjective levels of sedation and euphoria. The possible mechanisms by which flotation REST induces relaxation are discussed.
PMID: 8003591 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Studies on the optimal temperature of flotation tanks in the management of skeletal injuries in the horse.
Equine Vet J. 1986 Nov;18(6):458-61
Authors: McClintock SA, Hutchins DR, Brownlow MA
In order to determine optimum tank temperature, nine horses were allocated randomly to three groups and placed in a flotation tank at temperatures of 28 degrees C, 32 degrees C and 36 degrees C. Their progress was monitored by subjective and objective clinical measurements and a variety of laboratory parameters. A 'reacclimatisation crisis' following removal from the tank was observed in most horses after immersion for 21 days and it was concluded that a tank temperature of 36 degrees C provided maximum patient comfort and minimum homoeostatic disturbance.
PMID: 3803359 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]