VR entertainment center debuts pain-management trials

Courtesy Teddy Seidenberg Photography

Amped Virtual Reality is branching out, offering free virtual reality pain treatment trials to chronic pain sufferers.

The virtual reality entertainment center, located by Woodland Mall, will provide 30-minute VR sessions to help those dealing with chronic pain determine whether the virtual reality pain management is right for them.

According to Amped owner Greg Wander, the idea is backed by a Harvard study that has acknowledged the benefits of virtual reality techniques in pain management per an article released in April, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has approved prescription VR treatment plans.

Virtual reality pain management has been found to help relieve chronic pain in the neck, shoulders and upper and lower back, he said.

Wander said Amped Virtual Reality’s pain management VR therapy will consist of:

  • Dynamic breathing — Patients will be trained in diaphragmatic breathing
  • Education — Patients will learn how their body perceives pain and how they control it
  • Pain distraction — Patients will engage with immersive games, distracting them from their pain
  • Relaxation — Patients will gain an understanding of what is going on inside the body as they engage in relaxation
  • Mindful escapes — Patients will escape to a variety of destinations around the world

“We will provide internet and book recommendations as sources of information for dynamic breathing, education on how pain works, relaxation, and cognitive behavior therapy, which is part of the program,” Wander said. “Then, we will offer our VR to be a distraction to the pain or offer them relaxing/meditation applications to help them relax. We will offer games/experiences as both distractions and for relaxation and allow them to see if either of them helps reduce pain.”

Wander said Amped Virtual Reality’s trial would be a good fit for someone who wants to experiment with VR pain management.

“I just saw this as a unique community outreach/service that I could provide,” Wander said.

Amped Virtual Reality is not currently working with a medical professional or health care provider, but the company has plans to find a health care partner.

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