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Pain and Depression Ebb with Flotation Therapy: Float Your Worries Away

May 29, 2015 11:12AM

New research from Sweden has found that flotation therapy helps increase sleep quality, reduce pain and relieve anxiety and depression. Flotation therapy, sometimes called isolation therapy, consists of floating in a tank of water with minimized interruptions and sensory stimuli.

Researchers from Karlstad University divided 65 people into two groups. One group underwent 12, 45-minute flotation therapy sessions for seven weeks, while the other group did not. Both groups were given a battery of physiological and psychological tests before and after the treatment period. The therapy was conducted using three commercial flotation therapy centers that provided sensory isolation systems to promote relaxation as part of the treatment.

Compared to the control group, the flotation therapy group reported significant decreases in pain, anxiety, depression and stress levels and better sleep quality. The flotation group’s average depression scores went from 4.42 to 2.25, while the control group’s scores barely budged. The worst pains among the flotation group dropped from 64 to 40 on the scale.

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