Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Relaxation in a flotation tank brings peace and quiet, increased well-being, and reduced pain


A new dissertation shows that relaxation in a flotation tank can serve as an alternative form of treatment to reduce stress or relieve persistent pain, and it has no side-effects whatsoever.

In times like these, we are surrounded by stress and troubled by burn-out. Stress seems to retain its place as the greatest enemy to good health, well-being, and self-esteem. A major international field of research is now focusing on neurogenesis, that is, the generation of new nerve cells. This is against the background of our losing an estimated several thousand nerve cells per day. It has been known for the last few years that the formation of new nerve cells is constant. The latest findings about neurogenesis indicate that stress blocks the new formation of nerve cells and that relaxation, regular exercise, and an interesting environment increase and optimize the capacity for this. In most studies that have appeared, increased neurogenesis has been related to enhanced creative and intellectual performance.

To lie on your back and float in a tank filled with salt water induces extremely deep and pleasurable relaxation. It is dark and quiet in the tank, which enables maximum relaxation and well-being. To sink into deep relaxation, 45 minutes is a suitable length of time in the tank.

Patients with chronic muscle flexing pains in their neck who have been regularly treated with flotation-tank relaxation for three weeks experience a reduction in pain. After this treatment they also feel much happier and have less anxiety, alongside finding it easier to get to sleep at night. Blood samples taken before and after this period of treatment indicate that the count of stress-related hormones (MHPG) has declined. These studies have been carried out at the Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Karlstad University.

People in pain are not the only ones who can benefit from floating in a tank. Anyone looking for an environment that can help reduce stress or lend a moment of pleasant relaxation will find this technique helpful. It has been shown that after treatment in the flotation tank, subjects experience greater creativity: the number of new and original thoughts increases after a session in the tank. It has also been experienced as beneficial to spend some time by oneself in peace and quiet, perhaps to think thoughts or experience feelings that are crowded out of stressful everyday consciousness. Many people experience that they attain a pleasant state between dreaming and waking or a state of daydreaming and fantasy.

Almost everyone who has tried floating in a tank thinks that it is pleasant and agreeable, and they want to do it again. Problems associated with the fear of feeling closed in are extremely slight. For those who might be concerned about this, there is the possibility of leaving a light on in the tank or of having the door to the tank remain partly or fully open during the session. The knowledge that you can get up and leave any time probably also helps create a feeling of security.

Taken altogether, this raises hopes that relaxation in a flotation tank can become an alternative form of treatment to reduce stress or alleviate chronic pain, with the help of a method that is safe and entirely without side-effects. If the flotation tank reduces stress, then this must have major consequences for the rejuvenation of nerve cells in those parts of the brain (hippocampus) that are primarily associated with health and intellectual capacity.

Author of dissertation:
Anette Kjellgren
phone: +46 709-63 16 20, +46 54-700 21 73 (office)

Mrs Tina Zethraeus | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>