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Does Floating Relax Us? What Science Says

Floating in a sensory deprivation tank has become a therapeutic way to manage and treat a wide variety of psychological conditions. People experiencing posttraumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and other conditions have sought effective relief with float therapy. Although float therapy has been shown to help induce relaxation and reduce stress, it has remained one of the most challenging forms of therapy to measure due to challenges in gathering data on test subjects. Fortunately, through technological innovations and creativity on behalf of researchers, it is possible to collect reliable biometric data on floaters.

The Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) is a clinical neuroscience research institute located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There is a state-of-the-art float tank research facility housed within the LIBR. Researchers at this institute study the impact of floating on the body. They measure physiological factors like blood pressure and heart rate, which are impacted by stress, as well as relaxation.

The point is to determine if floating can help induce a relaxation response. When we are relaxed, it causes blood pressure and heart rate to drop. Scientists at this lab use state-of-the-art monitoring tools to collect biometric data from subjects while they float.

Let’s take a look at the research.