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
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.