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Research Opportunity

As someone who may be interested in flotation sessions at Harvest Moon, you are being invited to take part in a research project examining flotation and mindfulness and how both may be related. There is a Participant Information Sheet below explaining in more detail what participants in this research project will be asked to do in order to take part.

It is important to note that participation in this research is entirely voluntary. Not only does your participation or non-participation in no way affect any arrangements with Harvest Moon’ services but – if you sign up for the project but later change your mind – you will be absolutely free to leave the study at any time.

Participation in this project will result in those taking part being provided with at least one – and possibly six – free flotation sessions at Harvest Moon.
To find out more about flotation sessions, please visit: However, participation in the study will also require participants to be enrolled in the Mindfulness courses at Oscailt, a nearby centre, and these courses are not free of charge. To find out more about the Mindfulness courses, please visit meditation-2/.

If you choose to take part in the research, such participation will be handled directly with the researcher, Mr. Eoin O’Shea. Eoin is a Registered and Chartered counselling psychologist who is investigating mindfulness as part of a research project being completed through City University London. He is therefore a mental health professional and is experienced in conducting research on a variety of topics. Should you take part, your contact will be with him regarding all arrangements.

If you would like to know more about the project without obligation, please either email Eoin at or call him on 086-190-8400 .
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
PSYETH 11/12 022

MBSR & Flotation-REST Study: Participant Information Sheet

This sheet is provided to potential/current participants in the doctoral research study of Eoin O’Shea, a registered psychologist and part-time doctoral student at City University London. It is provided by way of explaining the purposes of the research study to those interested in participation.

The current research will involve a comparison of the experiences of those participating in either (a) weekly MBSR groups over a 6-week period, or (b) those participating in the same MBSR groups in addition to weekly flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) sessions. The rationale for this study relates to better understanding how to optimise MBSR group participation, the possible complementarity of MBSR and flotation-REST, and the actual underlying mechanisms of both interventions, i.e. what it is about both interventions that actually contributes to the positive effects reported in a substantial number of previous research studies.

Both MBSR and flotation-REST have been shown to benefit participants in a number of ways, among them an enhancement of relaxation, lowered stress, and also alleviation of any number of physical and psychological difficulties.

MBSR groups at Oscailt involve participants meeting once a week for 6 weeks to practice various meditation exercises such as mindfulness of breathing, body scan, and gentle yoga exercises.

Flotation-REST at Harvest Moon involves participants entering a large, sound-insulated tank filled (to approximately 10 inches depth) with skin-temperature water. This warm water is suffused with diluted salt, making floating in this environment effortless. Once comfortable inside the tank, the participant can turn off the inner light in his/her own time and simply lie floating for an hour per session. This is often experienced as very relaxing and has been shown to be very beneficial in terms of enhanced relaxation response and lowered stress.

Participants in this study will be asked to:

    • Accept being randomly assigned to either the ‘MBSR only’ or ‘MBSR plus flotation’ group. (There is a 50% chance that flotation sessions will not feature in the experience of participants assigned to the ‘MBSR only’ group).
    • Complete a series of questionnaires prior to commencement of MBSR sessions (and possible flotation sessions).
    • Attend the MBSR groups on a weekly basis over a period of 6 weeks.
    • Attend flotation sessions weekly over the same timeframe – only if they have been randomly assigned to the ‘MBSR plus flotation’ participant group.
    • For those assigned to the ‘MBSR plus flotation’ group, participants will be required to attend weekly flotation sessions at Harvest Moon, Lower Baggot St., Dublin 2. Such participants are required to attend such sessions at the same time every week. All potential participants are asked to put themselves forward for this study only if they are willing to attend weekly flotation sessions at the same time every week should they be assigned to this group. The weekly time slot for such sessions can be agreed in advance with the researcher.
    • Complete the same series of questionnaires mentioned above after their 3rd week of the study.
    • Complete the same series of questionnaires mentioned above after their final week of participation in the MBSR group.
    • Complete the same series of questionnaires mentioned above six months after their final week of MBSR group sessions.

Those who have been randomly assigned to the ‘MBSR only’ condition will, having completed their 6-month follow-up questionnaires and returning them to the Principal Investigator, be provided with a voucher for a free flotation session at Harvest Moon.

Should participants have any questions for the principal investigator regarding the study at any point throughout, or following, participation, you can contact him on either 086-1908400 or email

Comments, concerns or observations procedure:

This project has been approved by the Research and Ethics Committee of the Department of Psychology of City University London (project approval number PSYETH 11/12 022).

If you have any comments, concerns or observations about the conduct of the study or your experiences as a participant, please contact the Secretary to the Committee, Mr Peter Aggar, quoting the above project approval number:

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 4566.

      • Postal Address: Mr Peter Aggar
      • Secretary to Psychology Department Research and Ethics Committee
      • School Office
      • Schools of Arts and Social Sciences
      • City University
      • Northampton Square
      • London
      • EC1V 0HB