Rumour: Floatation therapy reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Truth: This is true.
Floatation therapy is a form of therapy that restricts the amount of external sensory input that reaches the body. Any outside event perceived by our senses like smell, touch, sight, hearing, or taste is an external sensory input. It involves a shallow pool of water saturated with Epsom salts to allow the individual to float comfortably with their face above water.
In a study published in PLOS ONE, researchers in the United States explored the effects of this therapy on symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression in a clinical sample. Approximately 75% of the participants reported higher relaxation than other techniques they have tried in the past, and all of the participants requested to float again. This study suggests that if a single floatation therapy session improved mood and reduced anxiety, multiple therapy sessions can make an even bigger difference in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. To read more about floatation therapy and this study, click here.
Feinstein, J. S., Khalsa, S. S., Yeh, H., Wohlrab, C., Simmons, W. K., Stein, M. B., & Paulus, M. P. (2018). Examining the short-term anxiolytic and antidepressant effect of Floatation-REST. PLoS ONE, 13(2): e0190292. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190292