Jamison Cush: Virtual Reality isn’t exclusive to gaming. It has practical and life-saving uses. Healthcare professionals are now using VR to both cares for patients, as well as to supplement tasks and processes.
Here are four major ways VR is being used to treat patients.
- Promote calm and relaxation. VR can mimic meditation used in other cognitive-behavioral therapies. And using VR in this manner helps patients suffering from anxiety, depression, phobias, and other mental health issues.
- To manage pain. While VR may not actually impact the physical sensations in the body pain, specific VR applications teach patients how to cope with pain through breathing techniques and positive thinking.
- To adjust bodily awareness, particularly with patients experiencing chronic pain or struggling with weight management. VR can dampen the effect that body signals like pain or hunger have on the individual.
- To treat cognitive disorders. Virtual Reality can help patients with dementia or other cognitive impairments better cope with memory loss, judgment, and distinguish hallucinations from reality.
Of course, VR will not replace face to face interactions and treatments for healthcare professionals completely, but rather serve as another tool for effective treatment.