Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Floating reduces stress-related pain

16.02.2006


Treatment in the form of floating in huge tanks of saltwater, so-called ‘floating,’ is effective for chronic stress-related pain. This is shown in a study at Karlstad University, Sweden, led by Professor Torsten Norlander.



The research study shows that individuals suffering from stress-related health problems such as chronic pain, depression, or anxiety are often helped a great deal by floating. The effect remains four months after the treatment period. A control group, which did not participate in floating, experienced no improvement in their health. The study is part of a series at the Human Performance Laboratory and is research project run in collaboration with the Värmland County Council.

The patients who were treated with floating had had health problems for a long time. Several of them had been diagnosed with ‘burn-out.’ They had various stress-related symptoms like pain, exhaustion, depression, and anxiety.


“These are individuals who often have tried many different forms of treatment before. They are individuals who are in the greatest possible need of relaxation but who have the hardest time adopting methods of relaxation. They are so tightly wound up that the methods don’t work,” says Professor Torsten Norlander.

What happens, then, when these patients are allowed to float? It appears that floating is an effective way to trigger the body’s relaxation response. The level of stress hormones goes down during and after floating. Moreover, it seems as if the treatment has an even greater effect since prolactin, a kind of ‘life-force hormone,’ is released in larger amounts.

After a period of treatment totaling seven weeks, 22 percent of the participants in the floating group were entirely free of pain, and 56 percent experience a clear improvement; 19 percent noticed no difference, and 3 percent grew worse.

In terms of symptoms, the findings were as follows: 23 percent slept better; 31 percent experienced less stress; 27 percent felt less anxiety; and 24 percent were less depressed or came out of their depression completely.

What the researchers find particularly gratifying is that the positive effects were still in evidence four months after the floating treatment ended.

To ensure that the good results can be ascribed to floating as such, the researchers set up, on the one hand, a control group that did not take part in floating and, on the other hand, a subdivision within the floating group. One of these subgroups received normal attention and encouragement, while the other subgroup was given extra attention and encouragement.

“It might be suspected that it was the attention and encouragement that yielded results, so we wanted to try treating the two floating groups differently. But it turned out that there was no difference between the two subgroups of floaters: their results were equally good. On the other hand, the control group, which did not take part in floating, registered no improvement whatsoever,” says Sven-Åke Bood, a doctoral student in psychology and a registered nurse. This research on floating is part of his coming doctoral dissertation.

Stress is largely about how we worry about things that have happened and are going to happen. When an individual, instead, manages to reach a sort of ‘here-and-now’ state, the brain can rest. These researchers believe that floating is a way of achieving just such a state. In a dark and silent floating tank, the patient is cut off from many sense impressions. Besides the rest the brain gets, the muscles also become relaxed.

In one study the researchers found that about 12 floating treatments are sufficient to achieve results. The group that received 33 floating treatments attained only slightly better pain relief and blood pressure levels. It seems as if 12 treatments are enough to alleviate anxiety, depression, and other stress-related symptoms.

In another study the researchers examined whether floating can be combined with conversational therapy. Thus far it seems that patients who float achieve positive results more quickly during conversational therapy. Floating enhances the effect.

The research project, which has been underway since 2003, is being funded by the Värmland County Council and the Center for Clinical Research.

These research findings are being presented in the prestigious American scientific journal International Journal of Stress Management in May and in a specialist journal for pain research.

Christina Celsing | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kau.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>