John C. Lilly
The concept of floating started in the scientific community. In 1954, a neuroscientist named John C. Lilly came up with the idea of sensory deprivation when he needed to eliminate incoming sensory information to create a control group for his experiments. What he discovered was that the sensory deprivation had far more benefits than the original experiments he was doing! By the 1970’s, the float tank design had evolved to the comfortable commercial tanks that we have now.
In the past 50 years, extensive scientific research has been done on floating and floatation tanks. All of the floating benefits listed are taken from over 200 research articles, containing both lab experiments and case studies, published between the 1960’s and today.
What is even more amazing is that almost all of the benefits of floating last for several days past the float itself! And the longer and more often you float, the longer the effects and the greater the benefits!
For more information on restricted environment stimulation technique (REST), see the following list of scientific research studies.