Floating & The Brain

neurons-firingFloating increases vasodilation, reduces corticosteroids, produces endorphins and encourages a theta state. It’s like spending 90 minutes in the gym, getting 8 hours of sleep, or just taking a huge cocktail of brain supplements … only in an easy, relaxing and entirely natural mode.  Recent research also tells us that floating drops the brain’s “Default Mode Network”, or resting state, to a level lower than we thought possible. To find out what all that means and why floating is excellent for overall brain health, read our section on Floating For Mental Performance.

Floating For Mental Performance  


2016 Float Science Results

Dr. Justin Feinstein of the Laureate Institute of Brain Research presents the latest findings on research into how floating reduces anxiety disorders, depression, and eating disorders.  He breaks down how floatation therapy may decrease activity in the brain’s Default Mode Network and can even disconnect parts of the brain that govern self-referential thinking and decision-making.


The Fibromyalgia Flotation Project

Oly Float participated in a long-term study whose aim was to identify the benefits floatation tanks can have on people suffering with Fibromyalgia.  The study has now closed, and the results of the study are being compiled.  We’re looking forward to announcing the results of the study.

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Clinical Studies On Floating

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

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine BMC series – open, inclusive and trusted
201616:108 DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1089-x© Jonsson and Kjellgren. 2016

“… 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), when comparing baseline to post-treatment scoring. 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, while the treatment had ambiguous or non-existent effects on pathological worry and mindfulness. All improved outcome variables at post-treatment, except for depression, were maintained at 6-months follow. No negative effects were found.”

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Sensory Isolation in Flotation Tanks: Altered States of Consciousness and Effects on Well-being

Anette Kjellgren, Francisca Lyden, and Torsten Norlander; Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden
A qualitative analysis (The Empirical Phenomenological Psychological method) of interviews involving eight patients (depression, burn-out syndrome, and chronic pain) was carried out in order to obtain knowledge regarding the effects of flotation tank therapy. This knowledge might be helpful for both professionals and potential floaters. The analysis resulted in 21 categories, which were summarized as four themes: (a) experiences during flotation, (b) perceived effects afterwards, (c) technical details, and finally (d) the participants´ background, motivation, and expectations.

Floating was perceived as pleasant. An altered state of consciousness was induced, varying from a milder state including profound relaxation and altered time perception, to more powerful with perceptual changes and profound sensations such as out-of-body experiences and perinatal experiences. Key Words: Flotation Tank, Sensory Isolation, Altered States of Consciousness, Relaxation, Transpersonal, and Pain

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