Perceptual Isolation: Understanding R.E.S.T

Restricted Environment Stimulation Therapy (R.E.S.T) which is also referred as perceptual isolation by certain quarters involves a therapy that deliberately reduces or eliminates sensory inputs or stimuli such as sight, hearing, temperature changes, gravity, taste and smell.

It would be easy to say that the removal of external stimuli could be easily achieved via the use of devices such as earmuffs and blindfolds and humid rooms, however among the greatest external stimuli that impact us and taken for granted for the most part is gravity.

In order of minimise the impact of gravity on our senses, it is critical to create the feeling of weightlessness, which up to this point could only be achieved via floatation tanks.

The salinity of the solution that fill these tanks due to the high concentration of Epsom salt, provides buoyancy which allows those immersed in it to float quite effortlessly and the temperature of these solutions which is usually preheated and maintained at body temperature disables our skin to pick up which parts of the anatomy is above or below the waterline.

Perceptual Isolation: Understanding R.E.S.T

How all this plays into a therapy that has thus far been credited for reducing stress levels, speed up healing, assist in pain management and also advocate recovery from a variety of ailments involves the freedom that the mind (brain) is afforded during the treatment duration.

This ‘deprivation’ or limitation of external stimuli input, effectively allows the brain to ‘rest’ and still have enough raw processing power to recalibrate our internal biological structure towards optimal performance.

In other words, stress related hormone production is minimised allowing the subjects to be less sensitive to pain (heightened states elevate the sense of pain we feel) which in turn allows the body not to be disturbed. It could be even stated that floatation therapy could be considered to be a natural form of sedation that takes the mind and body into a state of deep rest providing our biological mechanisms to repair themselves and set our nervous functions to optimal states.

During floatation therapy brainwaves are altered from the regular alpha and beta states to the theta state which is the same state our brain is during deep mediation or when we are just about to fall asleep or just about to wake.

Results collected over the years from various studies from all over the globe have proven that the therapy is a non-invasive therapeutic healing concept that has a positive effect on people at varying degrees.

Among the ailments or discomforts that floatation therapy has been found effective towards treating as an auxiliary treatment includes depression, insomnia stress, anxiety, discomforts during menstrual cycles, chronic pain and back problems.

The exponential impact that the treatment has on these issues has resulted in mainstream medical science including the treatment as part of their total therapy models.

The treatment has also been found to be totally ‘non-invasive’ and to date there has been no recorded incidents of negative side effects related to floatation therapy treatments.