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Effects of Flotation REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) on Stress Related Muscle Pain: Are 33 flotation sessions more effective as compared to 12 sessions?
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5668-0469
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences.
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2007 (English)In: Social behavior and personality, ISSN 0301-2212, E-ISSN 1179-6391, Vol. 35, no 2, p. 143-155Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study was to investigate whether or not 33 flotation sessions were more effective for stress-related ailments than 12 sessions. Participants were 37 patients, 29 women and 8 men, all diagnosed as having stress-related pain of a muscle tension type. The patients were randomized to one of two conditions: 12 flotation-REST treatments or 33 flotation-REST treatments. Analyses for subjective pain typically indicated that 12 sessions were enough to get considerable improvements and no further improvements were noticed after 33 sessions. A similar pattern was observed concerning the stress-related psychological variables: experienced stress, anxiety, depression, negative affectivity, dispositional optimism, and sleep quality. For blood pressure no effects were observed after 12 sessions, but there was a significant lower level for diastolic blood pressure after 33 sessions. The present study highlighted the importance of finding suitable complementary treatments in order to make further progress after the initial 12 sessions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 35, no 2, p. 143-155
Keywords [en]
anxiety, depression, dispositional optimism, Flotation-REST, negative affectivity, pain, relaxation response, sleep quality, stress
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology with an emphasis on medical psychology; Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1902OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-1902DiVA, id: diva2:4949
Available from: 2007-09-10 Created: 2007-09-10 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Bending and Mending the Neurosignature: Frameworks of influence by flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) upon well-being in patients with stress related ailments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bending and Mending the Neurosignature: Frameworks of influence by flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) upon well-being in patients with stress related ailments
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The overarching purpose of the current thesis was to assess the long term effects of a treatment program involving flotation-REST for the experience of pain, from the point of view of variables connected with Melzack´s neuromatrix theory, and to examine the extent of a potential attention-placebo effect in connection with flotation-REST.

The first study (Paper I) aimed to investigate long-term effects of flotation-REST four months after treatment. Seventy patients participated, diagnosed as having stress-related pain. Participants were randomly assigned to either a control group or a flotation-REST group and participated in a total of twelve flotation REST or control sessions. Results indicated that pain areas, stress, anxiety and depression decreased, while sleep quality, optimism, and prolactin increased. Positive effects generally maintained four months after treatment. The second (Paper II) examined the potential effects of attention-placebo. Thirty-two patients who were diagnosed as having stress-related muscular pain were treated for a period of six weeks. Half of the patients were also given attention for a period of 12 weeks, while the remainder received attention for 6 weeks. Participants in both groups exhibited lowered blood pressure, reduced pain, anxiety, depression, stress, and negative affectivity, as well as increased optimism, energy, and positive affectivity. The third (Paper III) investigated whether or not 33 flotation sessions were more effective for stress related ailments as compared to 12 sessions. Participants were 37 patients with stress related ailments. Analyzes for subjective pain and psychological variables typically indicated that 12 sessions were enough to get considerably improvements and no further improvements were noticed after 33 sessions. Finally, the fourth study (Paper IV) aimed to examine whether and how the combination of therapy and flotation tank could be used to treat patients with severe stress problems. Two women on long-term sick-leave participated in the study, which was carried out over a period of one year. Four overarching themes were generated: the therapeutic work model, transformation of feelings, self-insight and meaning. These together constituted a “therapeutic circle” which after a while transformed in to a “therapeutic spiral” of increased meaning and enhanced wellbeing.

It was therefore concluded that flotation tank therapy is an effective method for the treatment of stress-related pain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Fakulteten för ekonomi, kommunikation och IT, 2007
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2007:25
Keywords
Attention-placebo, Burn-out, Depression, Flotation-REST, Pain, Prolactin, Relaxation response, Stress, Therapy
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1150 (URN)978-91-7063-128-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-10-05, Sjöströmsalen, 1B 309, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-09-10 Created: 2007-09-10

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