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: