As a doctor wary of overprescribing medications, I was intrigued by the idea that floating can combat stress and anxiety, but I wanted to know if there's any science to back up this claim.
So I visited the lab of neuropsychologistJustin Feinstein at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Okla. Feinstein is investigating float therapy as a nonpharmacological treatment for people with conditions like anxiety and depression.
Suffer from anxiety? Try a sensory deprivation tank
When was the last time you really stopped running around and just stood still? At a time when work, endless emails and a million distractions vie for our attention, the idea of taking time to just be present is more popular than ever.
This is where sensory deprivation flotation pools come in. Flotation pools promise to give that stillness back to you, even if you have never meditated a day in your life.
Promising effects of treatment with flotation-REST as an intervention for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
This study was a randomized, parallel group, non-blinded trial. Inclusion criteria’s were: 18–65 years and GAD (as defined by self-report measures).
Assessments were made at three time points (baseline, four weeks in treatment, post-treatment), and at six-month follow-up
Further analyses showed that the GAD-symptomatology was significantly reduced for the treatment group (t (23) = 4.47, p < .001), but not for the waiting list control group (t(21) = 0.98, p > .05).
Regarding clinical significant change, 37 % in the treatment group reached full remission at post-treatment. Significant beneficial effects were also found for sleep difficulties, difficulties in emotional regulation, and depression.