The science behind floatation therapy

Floating, floatation, sensory deprivation, REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulus Therapy)

Floating has been shown to have demonstrable beneficial effects on the human brain and body. Since the invention of floating therapy in the 1950s, a large number of scientific studies from independent universities and research institutes have examined the effect and its potential benefits on the human body and brain.

In various countries, floating has gained great recognition. In Sweden, floating therapy is approved as an alternative treatment for stress, anxiety and depression. In addition, floating has gained ground in Canada, New Zealand, the USA, Germany and England, among others.

Below you will find important articles on floating and it’s impact on us:


Effects of flotation-REST on muscle tension pain, Archer, Kjellgren, Sundequist, Norlander (2000)

Click here for more research on floatation therapy

Some of the research that has been conducted and has gain wide support and acknowledgement investigate how floatation therapy have a positive impact on:

  • Treatment for symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression
  • Mood and muscle soreness in professional athletes
  • Muscle recovery
  • Floating as an effective tool against stress
  • Chronic headache and migraine
  • Treatment for high cortisol levels
  • Treatment for addiction

In addition, several scientific studies are underway regarding:

  • ADHD symptoms
  • PTSD
  • Immune functions
  • Eating disorders
  • Improved hearing



Year of publication

Link to article

Taking the body off the mind: Decreased functional connectivity between somatomotor and default‐mode networks following Floatation‐REST

Obada Al Zoubi, Masaya Misaki, Jerzy Bodurka, Rayus Kuplicki, Colleen Wohlrab, William A. Schoenhals, Hazem H. Refai, Sahib S. Khalsa, Murray B. Stein, Martin P. Paulus, Justin S. Feinstein

Human Brain Mapping

Reduced environmental stimulation in anorexia nervosa: an early phase clinical trial

Sahib S. Khalsa, Scott E. Moseman, Hung-wen Yeh, Valerie Upshaw, Beth Persac, Eric Breese, Rachel C. Lapidus, Sheridan Chappelle, Martin P. Paulus and Justin S. Feinstein

Frontiers in Psychology

Flotation-restricted environmental stimulation therapy improves sleep and performance recovery in athletes

Vipan Broderick, Liis Uiga, Matthew Driller

Performance Enhancement & Health

The Elicitation of Relaxation and Interoceptive Awareness Using Floatation Therapy in Individuals With High Anxiety Sensitivity

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

National Center for Biotechnology Information

Examining the short-term anxiolytic and antidepressant effect of Floatation-REST

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

Promising effects of treatment with flotation-REST (restricted environmental stimulation technique) as an intervention for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): a randomized controlled pilot trial

Kristoffer Jonsson and Anette Kjellgren

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Flotation restricted environmental stimulation therapy and napping on mood state and muscle soreness in elite athletes: A novel recovery strategy?

Matthew W. Driller a, Christos K. Argus

Journal Of Elsevier, Performance Enhancement & Health 5, 60–65

Beneficial effects of treatment with sensory isolation in flotation-tank as a preventive health-care intervention – a randomized controlled pilot trial

Anette Kjellgren, Jessica Westman

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, volume 14, Article number: 417


The acute effect of floatation restricted environmental stimulation technique on recovery from maximal eccentric exercise

Paul M. Morgan, Amanda J. Salacinski, and Matthew A. Stults-Kolehainen

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Preventing Sick-leave for Sufferers of High Stress-load and Burnout Syndrome: A Pilot Study Combining Psychotherapy and the Flotation tank

Anette Kjellgren , Hanne Buhrkall , Torsten Norlander

International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy