The presence or absence of light during flotation restricted environmental stimulation: Effects on plasma cortisol, blood pressure, and mood
- Cite this article as:
- Turner, J.W., Fine, T., Ewy, G. et al. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation (1989) 14: 291. doi:10.1007/BF00999120
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This study examined the effect of light on relaxation associated with flotation restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST), as measured by plasma cortisol, mean arterial pressure, and psychometric parameters. Twenty-one subjects were paired by baseline cortisol levels into two groups: one experiencing flotation REST in the presence of light (REST-L) and one experiencing flotation REST in the absence of light (REST-D). Subjects were 15 male and 6 female students aged 22–28 in normal health who had not experienced REST. Repeated flotation REST (8 sessions) either with light or without light was associated with a decrease in plasma cortisol and a decrease in mean arterial pressure, with no differences in effectiveness between groups. The psychometric assessment of mood, using the POMS scale, before and after sessions 1 and 8 revealed mood state improvement in both REST-L and REST-D groups. These data suggest that the presence of light did not compromise the flotation REST experience, as evidenced by the lack of difference between REST-L and REST-D groups.