Floatation-REST Therapy Shows Promise in Treating Anorexia Nervosa

Floatation-REST Therapy Shows Promise in Treating Anorexia Nervosa

A groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) has revealed the effectiveness of floatation-REST therapy in treating anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder characterized by low body weight, body image abnormalities, and anxiety. Floatation-REST therapy involves floating in a shallow pool of warm water filled with Epsom salt, offering a lightproof, soundproof, humidity- and temperature-controlled environment.

The study, published in the journal eClinicalMedicine, demonstrated that anorexia nervosa patients who underwent floatation-REST therapy reported significant reductions in body image dissatisfaction and anxiety compared to those who received traditional care. Importantly, these improvements were sustained for up to six months post-treatment.

Traditional treatments for anorexia nervosa often struggle to address anxiety and body image issues associated with the disorder. However, this study suggests that floatation-REST therapy may provide a promising non-pharmacological intervention to complement existing psychotherapies. The therapy offers a unique opportunity to address anxiety without relying on medication, which is typically ineffective in treating anxiety in anorexia nervosa patients.

According to Dr. Sahib Khalsa, the Director of Clinical Operations at LIBR and senior author of the study, these findings open up new avenues for treating anorexia nervosa and its associated symptoms. The sustained effect of floatation-REST therapy on body image dissatisfaction suggests that it could be used to augment traditional psychotherapies. Dr. Khalsa also highlights the need for further research to explore the potential anxiolytic effects of floatation-REST therapy in other eating disorders.

The study emphasizes the importance of seeking innovative approaches and expanding the range of therapeutic options available for treating anorexia nervosa. Dr. Scott Moseman, the Medical Director of the Laureate Eating Disorders Program, suggests that float-assisted psychotherapy could be developed as a new form of treatment to enhance body image and anxiety improvements achieved through existing evidence-based interventions.

In conclusion, floatation-REST therapy holds promise in addressing the challenging symptoms of anorexia nervosa. The therapy’s impact on body image dissatisfaction and anxiety provides hope for improved treatment outcomes for individuals with this severe eating disorder.

– “The impact of floatation therapy on body image and anxiety in anorexia nervosa: a randomised clinical efficacy trial” by Emily M. Choquette, Michael C. Flux, Scott E. Moseman, Sheridan Chappelle, Jessyca Naegele, Valerie Upshaw, Alexa Morton, Martin P. Paulus, Justin S. Feinstein, and Sahib S. Khalsa, 29 August 2023, eClinicalMedicine.
– Laureate Institute for Brain Research

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