CLINICAL FLOAT THERAPY RESEARCH AND STUDIES

The history of REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) dates back to the 1950’s when the National Institute of Mental Health became interested in understanding how the human brain would respond to an environment without any sensory input. Float Therapy (also known as sensory deprivation) reduces all external sensory input to the nervous system, including sight, sound, smell, taste, temperature, and touch.

There have been a number of publications that have explored the potential therapeutic benefits of floating. The most consistent observation to date has been significant reductions in pain and stress levels and increases in relaxation as measured before and after the float. Float Therapy has also been reported to decrease blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels. Current studies through 2020 are investigating the long-term impact of floating in patients with anxiety disorders, anorexia nervosa, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and insomnia.

See below for studies dating back to the 1960s. As more research is published, we’ll continue to update this library of clinical float studies and research:

Publications and Research

 

The Elicitation of Relaxation and Interoceptive Awareness Using Floatation Therapy in Individuals With High Anxiety Sensitivity

Justin S. Feinstein, Sahib S. Khalsa, Hung Yeh, Obada Al Zoubi, Armen C. Arevian, Colleen Wohlrab, Marie K. Pantino, Laci J. Cartmell, W. Kyle Simmons, Murray B. Stein, and Martin P. Paulus
Biological Psychiatry CNNI
2018
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Examining the short-term anxiolytic and antidepressant effect of Floatation-REST

Justin S. Feinstein, Sahib S. Khalsa, Hung-wen Yeh, Colleen Wohlrab, W. Kyle Simmons, Murray B. Stein, Martin P. Paulus
PLOS ONE
2018
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Flotation restricted environmental stimulation therapy and napping on mood state and muscle soreness in elite athletes: A novel recovery strategy?

Matthew W.Drillera and Christos K.Argus
Performance Enhancement & Health.
2016
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Promising effects of treatment with flotation-REST (restricted environmental stimulation technique) as an intervention for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): a randomized controlled pilot trial

Kristoffer Jonsson and Anette Kjellgren
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
2016
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Beneficial effects of treatment with sensory isolation in flotation-tank as a preventive health-care intervention – a randomized controlled pilot trial

Anette Kjellgren and Jessica Westman
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
2014
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Float Presentations

Floating with Anxiety/PTSD/ Depression

Dr. Justin Feinstein, director of the Float Clinic & Research Center (FCRC) at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR). The FCRC’s mission is to investigate the effects of Floatation-REST on both body and brain, as well as explore its potential as a therapeutic treatment for promoting mental health and healing.
Float Conference 2017 (released in 2018)
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Lydia Caldwell - Enhancing human performance and recovery research.

Lydia Caldwell is a researcher for Ohio State University, and has worked with the Air Force Research Lab in collaboration with their STRONG program, a program focused on enhancing human performance and recovery, conducted through the 711th Human Performance Wing.

They have recently started to incorporate float tanks into their research, and Lydia speaks at the 2017 Float Conference to discuss the program and the results it has shown so far.
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Results from the first fMRI study ever done on floatation.

Justin Feinstein is the head researcher of the Float Clinic and Research Center, a state of the art floatation research facility housed in the Laureate Institute for Brain Research.
Float Conference 2016
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Benefits of floatation backed by research, and which are still anecdotal.

Dr. Peter Suedfeld is one of the seminal researchers in floatation tanks and REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy). Peter gives a talk at the 2015 Float Conference about what benefits of floatation are backed by research, and which are still anecdotal.
Float Conference 2015
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The Float Research Panel

The top researchers in floatation got together at the 2016 Float Conference for a research panel.
Float Conference 2016
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