It’s no secret that Virtual Reality (VR) has transformed the gaming world. Yet scientists and health experts have discovered the technology can also transform the world of healthcare, offering tailored treatments for a range of conditions.
VR Portal, OTHERWORLD have revealed four surprising health benefits of VR –
1. Helping overcome social anxiety
Studies have shown VR to be an effective form of treatment for a variety of mental health conditions – including social anxiety. One popular technique involves creating a VR simulation of an environment that causes anxiety. During the simulation, therapists are at hand to guide people through the situation, teaching them calming techniques that they can use in the real life situation.
2. Pain relief
Certain VR experiences have been proven to reduce pain for a number of injuries and conditions. In fact, it’s even begun to be used in some countries on maternity wards to ease the pain of contractions and childbirth, acting as an alternative to epidurals.
3. Curing phobias
VR has been used successfully as a treatment for tackling phobias. By gradually exposing patients to situations they’d avoid in real life (e.g a room of spiders, a crowded public setting), people are taught to cope with their reactions in a safe, controlled environment with the knowledge that they can’t be harmed.
4. Reducing stress
Regular recreational play can work wonders in reducing stress, frustration and anxiety. Games which take you away from reality can also take you away from the day to day stresses of life. Calming simulations have even been shown to improve mindfulness!
Ed Wardle, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer
“Contrary to popular belief, VR offers more than just great games – it is an incredibly flexible ‘experience machine’ that is changing lives for the better. A significant body of research now supports VR’s ability to make us healthier and happier, and we are only just scratching the surface of what it can offer the world.”