Effects of dry flotation REST on hypnotizability, eeg and skin conductance in lighted and unlighted conditions .

Marianne Barabasz, Arreed Barabasz, Jennifer Darakjy-Jaeger, Timothy Justice, Katherine Anderson, Mike Trevisan
Washington State University
Pullman, WA

The effects of dry flotation restricted environmental stimulation (REST) on hypnotizability, EEG and skin conductance were tested in lighted and light free conditions. Washington State University community volunteers (N=30, ages 18-30) were assigned to lighted (N=10) REST, unlighted (N=10) REST or control (N=10) conditions after participation in hypnosis maximizing (plateauing) experiences (a minimum of 12 inductions prior to the experiment). The Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale: Form C (SHSS:C) (Weitzenhoffer & Hilgard, 1962) was administered prior to the experimental or control condition, after the 6 hour exposure to the condition and at a two-week follow-up. EEG and skin conductance level (SCL) data were collected during REST. Participants exposed to both lighted and unlighted dry flotation REST significantly improved their SHSS:C scores from pre to post and from pre to follow-up confirming Barabasz's (1982) theory of REST responding. Lighted and unlighted REST participants produced significantly higher SHSS:C scores at both posttest and follow-up than participants exposed to the Control procedures. The unlighted group showed significantly higher SHSS:C scores than the unlighted REST group. Consistent with Barabasz (1982), EEG alpha densities showed a U shaped curve while SCL responses showed an inverted U curve during REST. Consistent with Suedfeld (1980), these data support an arousal adaptation response to REST.


Effects of six hours of lighted and light-free dry floatation restricted environmental stimulation (REST) on changes in absorption and mood state.

Tim Justice, Arreed Barabasz, and Mike Trevisan
Washington State University, Pullman, WA

This study investigated the effects of dry flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation (REST) on transient mood states as measured by the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and on absorption as measured by the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS). Thirty subjects were assigned to either a lighted REST condition (N=10), a light-free REST condition or a no treatment control condition (N=10). Experimental participants floated supine on a salt water filled bladder using dry flotation REST (Relaxation Dynamics, Boulder, CO) for six hours. Participants in the lighted REST condition wore Ganzfeld goggles while participants in the light free REST condition wore a sleeping mask. Pre-to post REST and 2 week follow-up results showed that participants exposed to dry flotation REST in the lighted condition had a significant decrease in absorption. No significant changes were found for participants in the light free REST or control condition. Participants in the light free condition reported a decrease in anger pre to post REST.


Effects of restricted environmental stimulation therapy on cortisol, pain and indices of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritics .

Thomas H. Fine, MA, Betsy McCormick, BA, Dore Shefransky, DO, and J.W. Turner, PhD. Medical College of Ohio, Department of Psychiatry and Department of Physiology.

This proposal examines specific effects of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) and Autogenic Training (AT) on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a chronic, painful and debilitating disease which effects millions worldwide. The proposed study examined the effects of AT or REST and AT on RA-related measures in rheumatoid arthritics. All sessions are 40 minutes. One group received AT while a second group received AT+REST. In this study individuals were monitored for changes in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), Plasma Cortisol, and reported pain. Measurements were made at baseline, during treatment and post treatment follow up. No significant differences were found between groups or across sessions for cortisol, CRP, or ESR. Pain measurements showed a significantly greater decrease across sessions in the REST + AT group than in the AT group. The study supports the use of REST as an intervention for RA related pain. The mechanism of this effect remains unclear.


Effects of floatation REST on serum cortisol in rheumatoid arthritics.

Betsy A. McCormick, Doré R. Shafransky, Thomas H. Fine, and John W. Turner, Jr.

Medical College of Ohio

Rheumatoid arthritics (RA) is a painful debilitating disease involving synovial lined joints effecting millions worldwide. Currently treatment is pharmacological and expensive. The etiology is unknown but one cause may be a defective hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis resulting in abnormal cortisol levels. Additionally since psychophysiological changes which occur during relaxation are often opposite of responses to various disease states of RA, it is likely that relaxation training can benefit RA patients. This study examined the effects of two specific relaxation technologies on cortisol in RA, autogenic training (AT) (n=7) and floatation REST (n=7). The former is psychophysiological self-control therapy. The latter is a potent mediator of relaxation. Previous REST studies demonstrated decreased levels and variability in cortisol. Serum levels of cortisol were measured using RIA. No significant differences in cortisol across, between groups, or in a time-group interaction occurred.

John W. Turner, Jr., Ph.D., Dept. of Physiology and Molecular Medicine, Medical College of Ohio, 3000 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH 43699


The use of restricted environmental stimulation therapy in treating addictive behaviors.

Int J Addict. 1990-1991;25(7A-8A):995-1015.
The use of restricted environmental stimulation therapy in treating addictive behaviors.
Borrie RA.
REST Research Lab SUNY/Stony Brook.
Successful treatment of addictive behaviors is difficult because of the complexity of relevant contributing variables. Restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) is offered as a useful, flexible tool that can facilitate change in addictive variables at each level of complexity, from habitual acts through attitudes to self-concept and spirituality. The nature of REST is discussed in terms of processes and effects. Basically two processes, refocusing and rebalancing, contribute to the various physical and mental effects of restricted environmental stimulation. These effects include profound relaxation, relief from pain, and a shift in consciousness to a state that is more introspective, less defensive, and more receptive. Research in treating addictive behaviors with REST is reviewed with smoking, overeating, alcohol consumption, and drug misuse. There is a substantial body of literature demonstrating the effectiveness of REST in modifying smoking behavior. Very little research has been done on REST and drug misuse. Each of the other areas has a small number of preliminary studies that suggest REST as a promising treatment. In general, chamber REST proves to be effective in facilitating attitudinal and behavioral change, and maintaining those changes. The scant research with flotation REST show it to be less effective in modifying behavior but more relaxing and pain alleviating than chamber REST. The characteristics of the REST experience that make it effective in treating addictions are discussed as follows: (1) the induction of a general relaxation response, (2) substance misusers find serenity and relief by nonchemical means, (3) internal refocusing to concentrate on personal problems, (4) disruption of habits through removal of trigger cues and response possibilities, (5) increased feelings of control over addictive behaviors, and (6) enhanced learning processes. REST is a versatile, cost-effective treatment modality with demonstrated effectiveness in modifying some addictive behaviors and promising applications with others.
PMID: 2131327 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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