Science Talks: VR as a treatment method
There is compelling evidence that Virtual Reality (VR) impacts our brain’s sensors in a unique way that, in terms of response, it resembles the “real thing”. It is no surprise that academics and psychology researchers have conducted experiments to explore, in vivo, the power of VR as a treatment method. From 2012 to 2015, 24 controlled trials have been conducted to evaluate the potential applications of VR in what is now called VRT (Virtual Reality in psychological Treatment). The findings unveil the huge potential of VR in a wide range of psychological cases, from panic attacks and anxiety to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
The common ground between treating severe psychological conditions and using VR for mindfulness is the way Virtual Reality is limiting distractions from the real world, increasing sense of presence and giving people an interesting place to go to practice mindfulness, according to a recent study. In other words, individuals enjoy VR meditations more and they are motivated to stay consistent with their practice, while the mind gets an intense, transformational experience, like “really being there”. This new reality sets off the relaxation mechanisms that allow us to be more receptive, and even to revisit old incidents and/or beliefs that have shaped us.
This new stream of thought has jumped from academia to popular websites and magazines (eg Forbes, Cnet etc) as the evolution of mindfulness apps as we know them. It is getting cleared every day that Virtual Reality opens the gate to a whole new world, where we can be more present, calmer and healthier. Enter for free, here or :
- Meditation experts try Virtual Reality Mindfulness: A pilot study evaluation of the feasibility and acceptability of Virtual Reality to facilitate mindfulness practice in people attending a Mindfulness conference. – https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187777
- RealWorld: Neuroadaptive and Immersive Virtual Reality Meditation System- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301635964_RelaWorld_Neuroadaptive_and_Immersive_Virtual_Reality_Meditation_System
- Virtual Reality and Anxiety Disorders Treatment: Evolution and Future Perspectives- https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4939-9482-3_3
- Virtual Reality Applications to Treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder- https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4939-9482-3_4
- Virtual reality in the psychological treatment for mental health problems: An systematic review of recent evidence- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165178116300257
- VR Meditation: The Path To Next-Gen Health & Happiness- https://www.forbes.com/sites/solrogers/2019/03/28/vr-meditation-the-path-to-next-gen-health-happiness/#421864b62ff4
- Meditation in VR: Virtually mindful- https://www.cnet.com/news/virtually-mindful/
- Virtual Reality Therapy: A Therapeutic Use Of Technology- https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/virtual-reality-therapy-a-therapeutic-use-of-technology/
- How Virtual Reality Meditation Helps Me Control My Anxiety- https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/meditation-virtual-reality#1