Inner Outer Health, a health and wellness clinic in Melbourne, is enrolling Australian fibromyalgia patients to test its non-invasive alternative treatment, called REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) flotation therapy.
Fibromyalgia is a debilitating and chronic condition associated with muscular or musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and mobility issues, with symptoms varying from patient to patient. According to the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, 3 to 5 percent of the general population are affected by this condition, and people suffering from other rheumatoid diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are at an increased risk of developing it.
The disorder, which is difficult to treat, may benefit from flotation therapy. According to previous research, patients that participate in clinical studies with flotation REST report a reduction in pain, stress, muscle tension, anxiety and sadness, while also experiencing an increase in feelings of relaxation, well-being, energy, and improved movement.
One of these studies was organized by Dr. Roderick Borrie, who participated in the organization of flotation centers in five countries and recruited 81 fibromyalgia patients to identify potential benefits of this type of therapy.
The current study is designed to assess long-term effects and possibilities in FM patients in Melbourne, Australia. The flotation therapy consists of patients floating on their backs in tanks with warm magnesium-enriched water that contains 1,160 percent more salt than ocean water, giving it 12 times more buoyancy than the ocean. The complete absence of outside stimuli helps patients reach a deep state of relaxation.
“Flotation is intended to mimic the peaceful state that all humans experienced when they were inside the mother’s womb,” said Lena Yammine, owner of Inner Outer Health, in a press release. “Our flotation tanks are designed to insulate patients from external noise and distractions, escaping the force of gravity entirely.”
Participants in the Australian study, whose fibromyalgia status must be confirmed by a doctor, will be asked to complete an assessment questionnaire about their illness, lifestyle, and overall experience in the flotation study. More information and registration is available at the Fibromyalgia Flotation Project website.