Study Reveals Flotation Therapy Helps with Depression & Stress Management
The World Health Organization (WHO) says around 450 million people in the world suffer from mental health problems. Worse, in the future, around 1 in 4 people will become afflicted with mental disorders.
These numbers are alarming. That’s why doctors and researchers have been looking for treatments of this type of illness. One area of interest is floatation therapy which offers relief from depression, anxiety, and stress.
Handle stress, depression, pain & anxiety better
The BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal published a study on flotation therapy in 2012. It involves 65 participants: 51 women and 14 men. They all have mental problems like pain, stress, anxiety, depression, and lack of motivation. The group was divided into two where the first group of 37 participants fell into the flotation-REST segment, while the remaining 28 people form a control group.
In seven weeks, the flotation- REST group participants were given twelve therapy sessions of 45 minutes each. After these, they were compared to the control group; the flotation-REST group can handle stress, depression, pain, and anxiety better.
Before the flotation treatment, the average stress among the floatation-REST group which was at 1.86 dropped to 0.95 after the therapy sessions. In contrast, the control group’s average score dropped from 1.84 to 1.89.
The same trend was observed for anxiety and depression. For depression, it rose from 4 to 4.30 in the control group and crashed from 4.42 to 2.25 in the floatation-REST group.
Floation-tank as a preventive health care intervention
Complementing this is this study that aimed to evaluate the psychological effects in a series of treatments of flotation-REST in healthy participants (i.e. not being on sick-leave absence).
The main findings show significant decrease in stress, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. At the same time, there were significant increases in sleep quality and optimism for the flotation-REST group compared to the control group.
This affirms floatation therapy’s ability to decrease mental fatigue and contribute to a better health.
Understanding Flotation Therapy
Given the results of the above studies, I hope you take an interest on floatation therapy as I have. Here’s an overview on what the treatment is about.
Flotation therapy is the process of numbing all the senses, which alleviates the ‘pain’ the body is feeling. External stimulus is removed and the mind experiences intense satisfaction as it reaches an almost meditative state.
The human body is naturally wired to react with a fight-or-flight response. But the flotation therapy is a ‘relaxation response method’ (RR) which takes the body into a deep sense of relaxation that helps to relieve and combat stress.
With these positive effects it’s no wonder flotation therapy is becoming popular an alternative medical treatment. In North America, there are float spas that conduct these sessions for patients.
Check out this testimony of Ben Harris regarding float tank.
Other Relevant Studies on the effectiveness of flotation tanks
Besides helping people with mental problems, floatation therapy has also been effective in addressing other health issues. For more information, you can check out the studies below:
- Enhancing Perceptual-Motor Accuracy Through Flotation REST
- The Use of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy in Treating Addictive Behaviors
- The Use of Sensory Deprivation in a Programme of Weight Control
This is a guest post of Jaime Olaer, a floation therapy enthusiast for Elevation Floatation that offers float tanks in Melbourne.