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:
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
Matthew W.Drillera and Christos K.Argus
Performance Enhancement & Health.
Justin S. Feinstein, Sahib S. Khalsa, Hung-wen Yeh, Colleen Wohlrab, W. Kyle Simmons, Murray B. Stein, Martin P. Paulus
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)
The top researchers in floatation got together at the 2016 Float Conference for a research panel.
Float Conference 2016
Sven Å Bood PhD, Anette Kjellgren PhD, Torsten Norlander PhD Prof
Pain Research & Management 2009
Sven Å. Bood, Ulf Sundequist, Anette Kjellgren, Gun NordStröm, and Torsten Norlander
Social Behavior and Personality
Anette Kjellgren MSc, Ulf Sundequist MA, Torsten Norlander PhD, Trevor Archer PhD
Pain Research & Management 2000