Resources About Floating

None of the information on this page should be taken as medical advice. The above is simply a compilation of observed effects in specific people and groups. If you think that including floating as part of your treatment or therapy may be helpful, please talk to your doctor first.

Floating Videos

Statistics & Consumer Trends

The stress that people put themselves under, both physically and mentally, is extreme. Stress not only takes its toll on our health, it costs an incredible amount of money to address each year. Vital Float Centre found two research studies that show how this problem is affecting Canadians:

  1. “Depression, Anxiety Cost Canadian Economy Billions”, Conference Board of Canada says: “Lost productivity caused by workers' depression and anxiety costs the Canadian economy almost $50 billion a year, according to a new report released in September 2016. The Conference Board of Canada said in the report that depression costs the economy at least $32.3 billion annually, while anxiety costs another $17.3 billion a year. Worker productivity is lost through both absenteeism — when employees are away from their jobs — and presenteeism — when they go to work while sick and perform with reduced productivity, the group says. The report adds that if all these Canadians had access to better treatmentsand supports, the economy could see up to 352,000 Canadians with depression or anxiety enter the workforce as fully functional employees each year until 2035. In terms of disability benefits, mental illness represents a significant cost to employers, the Conference Board says. It accounts for about 30 per cent of all short- and long-term disability claims, with the value of these claims ranging from $15 billion to $33 billion annually.”[1]
  2. The Health Surveillance Indicator: Stress; from Toronto Public Health, prepared in August 2017 (attached), states: “Stress can be both short-term (acute) or chronic if it builds up over a long period of time. Major life events, such as a death of a loved-one, break-up of a relationship, or job loss, can require a major adjustment in a short period of time and contribute to acute stress. Chronic stressors do not always have an obvious beginning as they may develop slowly and persist over time. Common causes of chronic stress include financial worries, care giving, health problems, and aging. Work stress is one of the most common forms of chronic stress experienced by Canadians. Although there is an optimal amount of mild stress that can contribute to productivity, high levels can have a negative impact on quality of life and can be linked to poor overall mental health. High levels of chronic stress can contribute to health problems, poor relationships, and loss of productivity at work. Stress can also affect physical health because it can modify the response of the immune system and because people may choose unhealthy behaviors as a means to cope with stress. Highly stressful lives are linked with a higher likelihood and severity of cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological disorders. The negative effects of stress can be reduced by external resources, personal resources, and social support.
  • Nearly half of the people in Toronto reported that most days in life and at work were 'a bit' stressful. Approximately 24.2% of people in Toronto reported that most days in life were 'quite a bit' or 'extremely' stressful, whereas 29.8% reported the same for most days at work.
  • Adults aged 25 to 64 years were significantly more likely to report most days in their life as 'quite a bit' or 'extremely' stressful as compared to adults aged 65 years and older.
  • People with post-secondary education were significantly more likely to report most days in their life as 'quite a bit' or 'extremely' stressful as compared to people with less education.

Self-reported work and life stress was significantly higher in the high-income group as compared to the low-income group.”[2]


Industry Profile & Outlook

Vital Float Centre is in the health management business, the demand for health services is growing according to a BDC Study and the State of the Float Industry Survey results:

  1. According to "Mapping your future growth. Five game-changing consumer trends", BDC Study – October 2013 "The new "health mania":[1]
    • Health concerns are rising, and health awareness is growing among Canadian consumers and will continue to accelerate as the population ages, with 25% of the population over the age of 65 by 2031. Consumers now look for products and services to help them maintain and improve their health, changing the type of products they purchase for their family, the sports they play, and how they spend their leisure time. The demand for health and wellness-related products is increasing rapidly, and 31% of Canadian consumers are willing to pay a premium for health enhancing products.
    • Many SME s (small and medium-sized enterprises) can take advantage of the healthy lifestyle trend, as consumers attempt to modify their consumption habits and governments increase their support for products and services that help reduce rising health care costs.
    • SMEs in the spa and resort sector are likely to see continued growth. Spa services in Canada currently account for over three-quarters of the revenues in the health and wellness tourism sector, with hotel/resort spa facilities generating 61% of the revenues. The repositioning of gyms and spas as destinations for hotel visitors is expected to fuel continued expansion in the sector. With many people seeking ways to relieve stress and 80% of Canadian baby boomers planning to travel in retirement, this trend is likely to gain further traction.
    • The average Canadian spent an estimated $935 on health and wellness-related products in 2012, up from $818 in 2007. The opportunities are not limited to health food retailers and companies that produce vitamins or nutritional supplements. According to the recent BDC -Ipsos survey[2], nearly one-third of Canadian consumers claim they would pay a premium for health-enhancing products, and about half believe the health impact of a product is an important factor in their purchasing decision.
  2. Float Tank Solutions provides resources that help to fuel the floatation industry.They started Float Tank Solutions in 2012 to help people start and run their float centers. Since then, through their blog, trainings, and consulting, they've helped hundreds of centers to start, run, and grow their float tank centers. They are the founders of Float On, a six float tank center in Portland, Oregon and the Float Conference, the world's premiere float event. They started their center back in 2010, and since then they've been working to assist and build the float industry.

Float Tank Solutions compiled the 2016 State of the Float Industry[3]and here are some remarks regarding the float industry: Floating has seen exponential growth within the last few years and is one of the fastest growing niche industries in the country. On August 20-21, the 2016 Float Conference in Portland, OR brought together the float community for workshops, activities, and conversation on how to educate more consumers about the practice of floating.

"The growth of the float industry has been mind boggling. It seems like every time we turn around there are a dozen new float centers that opened up. And everyone who is opening seems to be doing it out of a love of floating. It gives me confidence that this is just going to continue to grow," said Ashkahn Jahromi, host and MC for the 2016 Float Conference and owner of Float On. "We can really see the rapid growth at the Float Conference each year. This year there were 700 people there, which was hundreds more than we had last year. At this point it feels like we should all strap ourselves in, because we're about to blast off."

The float centre industry grew 15% in 2017 and 89% in 2016. Most interesting there were 251 prospective centres in 2017; Vital Float Centre will be on of the hundreds of new float centres to open in 2018 across North America. According to the 2016 State of the Float Industry Report by Float Tank Solutions, most float centers offer other forms of wellness services in addition to floating. Massage is the number 1 service paired with floating. Approximately 48% of float centers in the US and Canada have 2-3 tanks, while 23% have only 1 tank.

[2]BDC Major Consumer Trends By IPSOS September 2013

Additional Learning Resources 

Stress: Float REST Research

  • Dierendonck, D., Nihenjuis, J., Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) as a stress-management tool: A meta-analysis, Psychology and Health June, 2005
  • Jonsson, K.; Kjellgren, A., Promising effects of treatment with otation-REST (restricted environmental stimulation technique) as an intervention for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): a randomized controlled pilot trial, http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral. com/articles/10.1186/s12906-016-1089-x, 2016
  • Koula, G., Jacobs G.D., Kemp J.C., Keane K.M.& Belden A.D., A Preliminary Clinical Outcome Study on a Hospital Based Stress Management Program Utilizing Flotation REST Biofeedback, 1985
  • McGrady, A., Turner, J., Fine, T., Effects of Biobehaviorally-Assisted Relaxation Training on Blood Pressure, Plasma Renin, Cortisol, and Aldosterone Levels in Borderline Essential Hypertension, Clinical Biofeedback and Health, Volume 10, 1987
  • Rzewnicki R., Wallbaum A.B.C., Steel H. & Suedfeld P., REST for Muscle Contraction Headaches: A Comparison of Two REST Environments Combined with Progressive Muscle Relaxation Training, Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Research and Commentary. pp.245-254. Toledo, Ohio: Medical College of Ohio Press., 1990
  • Schulz, P. and Kaspar, C., Neuroendocrine and psychological effects of REST in a otation tank, Biological Psychology 37 p. 161-175, 1994
  • Turner, J., Fine, T., Restricting environmental stimulation in uences levels and variability of plasma cortisol, Journal of Applied Physiology 70(5): 2010-2013, 1991
  • Turner, J., Hormones and REST: A Controlled Study of REST-Assisted Relaxation, Paper delivered at First International Conference on REST and Self-Regulation, Denver. Colorado, 1983

Stress: Chamber REST Research

  • Solomon, P., Leiderman, P., Mendelson, J., Donald, W., Sensory Deprivation: A Review, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Volume 114, Issue 4, October 1957, 357-363
  • Suedfeld, P., Distress, No Stress, Anti-Stress, Eustress: Where Does REST Fit In?, 1990
  • Suedfeld, P., Roy, C., Landon, P., Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy in the Treatment of Essential Hypertension, Behavioral Restricted Therapy, Vol. 20, 1982
  • Suedfeld, P. Sensory deprivation stress: Birth order and instructional set as interacting variables, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 11(1), Jan 1969, 70-74

Pain Reduction: Float REST Research

  • Åsenlöf, K., Olsson, S., Bood, S. Å., & Norlander, T., Case studies on bromyalgia and burn-out depression using psychotherapy in combination with otation-REST: Personality development and increased well-being, Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 2007
  • Bood, S. Å., Sundequist, U., Kjellgren, A., Nordström, G., & Norlander, T, Effects of REST(Restricted Environmental Stimulation technique) on Stress related muscle pain: Are 33 otation sessions more effective than 12 sessions?, Personality and Behaviour, 35, 143-156, 2007
  • Turner, J.; DeLeon, A.; Gibson, C.; Fine, T., Effects of Flotation REST on Range Motion, Grip Strength and Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp. 297-306, 1993
  • Jonsson, K.; Kjellgren, A., Promising effects of treatment with otation-REST (restricted environmental stimulation technique) as an intervention for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): a randomized controlled pilot trial, http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral. com/articles/10.1186/s12906-016-1089-x, 2016
  • Kjellgren, A., Psychotherapeutic Treatment in Combination with Relaxation in a Flotation Tank: Effects on “Burn-Out Syndrome”, The Qualitative Report Volume 15 Number 5, September, 2010
  • Kjellgren, A., Relaxation in a oatation tank brings peace and quiet, increased well-being and reduced pain, The Swedish Research Council 05.11.2003, 2003
  • Pudvah M.B. & Rzewnicki R., Six Months in the Tank: The Long-Term Effects of Flotation Isolation on State Anxiety, Hostility and Depression, Restricted Environmental Stimulation:Research and Commentary. pp. 79-85, 1990

Pain Reduction: Chamber REST Research

  • Barabasz, A. F., Restricted environmental stimulation and the enhancement of hypnotizability:pain, EEG alpha, skin conductance and temperature responses, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 30, 147-166., 1982

Improved Mental Health: Anecdotal Evidence

  • Edebol, H., Enhanced independence and quality of life through treatment with flotation-REST of a patient with both Attention De cit Hyperactivity Disorder and Aspergers Syndrome: a case report, Cases Journal, 7 July 2009, view/6979
  • Physical Recovery and Training: Float REST Research
  • Barabasz, A., Barabasz M., Bauman J., Restricted environmental stimulation technique improves human performance: ri e marksmanship, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 76, 867-873, 1993
  • Driller, M., Flotation REST and napping on mood state and muscle soreness in elite athletes: A novel recovery strategy?, Performance Enhancement & Health, August 18, 2016
  • Lee, A. B. & Hewitt, J., Using visual imagery in a otation tank to improve gymnastic performance and reduce physical symptoms., International Journal of Sport Psychology, 1987
  • McAleney, P. J., Barabasz, A. & Barabasz, M., Effects of otation restricted environmental stimulation on intercollegiate tennis performance, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1990
  • Morgan, P., The acute effects of otation restricted environmental stimulation technique on recovery from maximal eccentric exercise, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Exercises, Dec. 27, 2013
  • Norlander, T., Primary Process in Competitive Archery Performance: Effects of Flotation REST, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 11, 194-209, 1999
  • Suedfeld, P., Flotation REST and Imagery in the Improvement of Athletic Performance, Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 12, 82-85, 1990
  • Wagaman J. & Barabasz A., Flotation REST and Imagery in the Improvement of Collegiate Athletic Performance: Basketball, Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp.87-92. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc, 1993

Physical Recovery and Training: Chamber REST Research

  • Barabasz, A., Barabasz M., Bauman J., Restricted environmental stimulation technique improves human performance: ri e marksmanship, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 76, 867-873, 199
  • Stanley J., Mahoney M., & Reppert S., REST and the Enhancement of Sports Performance:
  • A Panel Presentation and Discussion, 2nd International Conference on REST. pp.168-183. Toledo, Ohio: IRIS Publications., 1982

Enhanced Creativity: Float REST Research

  • Norlander, T., Bergman, H., & Archer, T., Effects of otation REST on creative problem solving and originality, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 18, 399- 408, 1990
  • Norlander, T., Kjellgren, A., & Archer, T., The experience of otation-REST as a function of setting and previous experience of altered states of consciousness, Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 2001
  • Suedfeld, P. & Eich, E., Autobiographical Memory and Affect Under Conditions of Reduced Environmental Stimulation, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 1995
  • Suedfeld, P., Metcalfe, J. & Bluck, S., Enhancement of scienti c creativity by otation REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique), Journal of Environmental Psychology (1987) 7, 219-231, 1987
  • Vartanian, Oshin & Suedfeld, P., The effect of the oatation version of restricted environmental stimulation technique (REST) on Jazz Improvisation, Music and Medicine, October 2011 3(4), p. 234-238, 2011

Enhanced Creativity: Chamber REST Research

  • Fuerst, K. and Zubek, J. P., Effects of sensory and perceptual deprivation on a battery of open-ended cognitive tasks, Canadian Journal of Psychology, 22, 122-130, 1968
  • Zubek, J., Behavioral and Physiological Effects of of Prolonged Sensory and Perceptual Deprivation: A Review, Man in Isolation and Con nement, 1973

Women’s Health: Float REST Research

  • Barabasz, A. F. and Barabasz, M., The effects of consecutive oats and their timing on premenstrual syndrome, 1993

Women’s Health: Anecdotal Evidence

  • “Kirsten Gerrish & Lena Kilic - Float Conference 2016”. 11:03. Posted by Float Conference, November 22, 2016,

Addiction: Float REST Research

  • Adams, H. B., Studies in REST: Arousability and the nature of alcohol and substance abuse,
  • Report for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, 1987

Addiction: Chamber REST Research

  • David B., A Pilot Test of REST as a Relapse Prevention Treatment for Alcohol and Drug Abusers, 1997
  • Forgays, D., Flotation REST as a smoking intervention, Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, 1987
  • J.A. Best, Satiation and sensory deprivation combined in smoking therapy: Some case studies and unexpected side-effects, International Journal of Addiction, Vol. 12, pp. 337-359, 1977
  • Suedfeld, P., Restricted Environmental Stimulation and Smoking Cessation: A 15-Year Progress Report, The International Journal of the Addictions, August, 25(8), 861-88, 1990

Addiction: Anecdotal Evidence

  • Goldman, A., The Lives of John Lennon, Chicago Review Press, 1988