When you think of virtual reality, what comes to mind? Video games? High-tech products? That’s what a lot of people think of. But, did you know that virtual reality might actually replace pain killer medications in the future? It is referred to as virtual reality therapy, and we explain it all below.
How Can Virtual Reality Replace Pain Killer Medications?
According to NOW, virtual reality therapy may help people who are in pain by giving them a way to immerse themselves in a totally different world. That new world is capable of distracting their minds from the pain that they are experiencing in their body.
With the right approach, those same patients can even begin training their own minds to be able to distract themselves from the pain even when they aren’t using a virtual reality machine. In other words, it is all about training the mind to remove the attention from the pain and place it somewhere else—somewhere positive.
Researchers Are Finding That Virtual Reality Shows Promise for Pain Relief
Millions of people suffer from chronic pain, and there is also an opioid problem because people who take strong pain killer medications run the risk of becoming addicted to them. So, it should come as no surprise that researchers are really interested in learning about how virtual reality might help in this area.
Studies have already found that people who use a virtual reality application feel a reduction in their pain, or complete relief from their pain, while they are in the virtual world. The results of the studies are so promising, in fact, that companies are already working on developing virtual reality technology that can help relieve pain. For example, modules that can cover topics like mindfulness medication, breathing techniques, positive thinking, and relaxation might be able to teach people methods that they can use to deal with their anxiety, stress, and pain every day.
It will really be interesting to see where this emerging field takes us. Keep an eye out for more news about virtual reality and its ability to reduce pain, and potentially even replace pain killer medications. It might even be a step in the right direction in the fight against opioid addiction.