Hormonal Changes Associated with Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy
- John W. TurnerJr.
- , Thomas H. Fine
Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST), which involves placing an individual into an environment of severely reduced stimulation for brief periods, has been subjectively reported to produce deep relaxation. The present studies determine the effects of REST-assisted relaxation in the plasma levels of several hormones including Cortisol, ACTH, luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone and urinary levels of Cortisol. The possible role of endogenous opioids in the mild euphoria which is frequently associated with REST-assisted relaxation was also examined in a preliminary study using an opiate antagonist, naloxone. Varied protocols in these studies with different groups of subjects included from 4 to 20 REST sessions in frequencies ranging from bi-weekly to daily. The direct hormone measurement studies utilized a baseline-treatment-follow-up design, whereas the naloxone study employed a single subject double-blind crossover design. Plasma and urinary Cortisol and plasma ACTH showed significant decreases associated with REST. Testosterone and HL levels in plasma did not change. All subjects reported that the REST experience was deeply relaxing. Naloxone treatment consistently prevented the mild euphoria associated with REST. These data suggest that REST-assisted relaxation is associated with REST. These data suggest that REST-assisted relaxation is associated with specific decreases in the activity of the pituitary-adrenal axis, and that the mild euphoria occurring in REST may be mediated by release of altered sensitivity to endogenous opioids.
- Hormonal Changes Associated with Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy
- Book Title
- Restricted Environmental Stimulation
- Book Subtitle
- Theoretical and Empirical Developments in Flotation REST
- Book Part
- Section II
- pp 71-92
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Series Title
- Recent Research in Psychology
- Series ISSN
- Springer New York
- Copyright Holder
- Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
- Additional Links
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Faculty of Graduate Studies, The University of British Columbia
- 2. Department of Physiology, Medical College of Ohio
- 3. Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Ohio
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