Mental health is more than just the absence of disorders. It is well-being that can be influenced by biological, psychological, social and economic factors. The omnipresent stress and the lack of mental balance is the price we pay for the rapid progress of civilization – the technological revolution. Fortunately, on the same path that has distanced us from mental equilibrium, technologies have begun to emerge, helping us to restore mental health. A good example here is the Virtual Reality (VR) technology applied by VR TierOne.
Health consequences of progress
Being healthy is associated with a sense of balance, which translates into satisfaction with life. Disturbance of this balance may appear as a consequences of civilization progress. The dynamically developing information technology and digitization may pose a threat to our health. Public access to information via the Internet may contribute to contact with inappropriate content, while the redundancy and speed of communication may cause shock and information overload. The mental consequences of progress include issues with concentration, decreased well-being and insomnia. Another threat here is Internet addiction, which brings about alienation and disintegration of real interpersonal bonds, as well as experiencing pain on the physical level (arms, wrists, back, eyes). However, the technology does not only develop in the negative direction. Responsible use of modern technical achievements can become an opportunity to maintain physical and mental health.
VR technology supporting the psyche
Virtual Reality is a technology that has already permeated the medical world. VR works well both in educating medics and treating patients. Modern methods based on VR support the activities of healthcare and successfully enhance the physical rehabilitation of patients. With the help of VR, we can improve motor functions, gait, balance, and recently also mental balance. VR has become helpful in reducing the following mental health disorders:
- anxiety states,
- stress, including post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD,
- and in alleviating unpleasant pain sensations.
Contact with the virtual world is associated with a high level of experience on an emotional level, hence the possibility of effective interaction in the sphere of the psyche. The stimulating digital environment allows to conduct the intervention required in the respective case in an effective and convenient manner.
Virtual Reality is not only an audiovisual experience, its effectiveness is based on the possibility of real-time interaction with the presented environment. VR technology is immersive, which means that the virtual experience is extremely engaging and can give us a feeling of total immersion. Immersion is a desirable feature, however, in order to achieve a total degree of immersion, sufficiently advanced equipment is required, allowing for a polysensory experience of the virtual world. The VR content and the quality of its presentation encourage you to immerse yourself in electronic reality. Transferring the patients into a state of immersion and maintaining their attention in VR allows them to divert from the stressful conditions and the experienced pain, enabling the VR to become a non-pharmacological analgesic. The feeling of being present in VR yields positive effects for mental health and enables:
- obtaining the effect of deep relaxation,
- rebuilding mental strength,
- making medical care enjoyable.
Virtual VR TierOne environment
Virtual Reality is a new way to treat mental health disorders. VR technology was applied by the team of VR TierOne medical solution designers in order to eliminate depression, anxiety and stress, and to increase the motivation for treatment. VR therapy is dedicated especially to stroke, infarction, COVID-19 or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, who – due to the accompanying depression – were deprived of motivation and strength to rehabilitate. Mental health is improved by subjecting the participant to therapeutic sessions in a virtual environment. This modern form of therapy has its justification – the patient not only listens to the metaphorical story of the virtual therapist, but also immerses their whole self in this therapeutic story. Virtual therapy breaks apathy and discouragement, bringing willingness to overcome a disease that, if not treated, will result in disability and low quality of life. The feeling of individual care provided by the virtual therapist is not the sole factor improving the well-being. A patient has to deal with the loss of private space in hospital conditions, which is a source of psychological discomfort. They find such privacy in the virtual VR TierOne environment. A therapeutic session with perfectly selected parameters, conducted using the high-quality VR TierOne device, allows for cognitive and physiological immersion. The effect of the twenty-minute session is felt on a mental and physical level, the breathing becomes more conscious and the mind and insight in your situation refreshed. After the therapy the patients demonstrate greater self-care and an active attitude, which is associated with an improvement in well-being. Therefore the required rehabilitation can be conducted with the patient at last.
The right environment for therapy is available without the need to visualize and physically leave the medical facility. The Garden of Rebirth becomes a deliberate reflection of the patient’s situation, a mirror of their aspirations for health. VR TierOne therapy offers an alternative or complementary form of treatment of depression and anxiety, depending on the patient’s needs and the availability of a psychotherapist. The effectiveness of the impact using the VR TierOne medical device has been determined in the course of scientific research. It amounts to 37% for depression and anxiety, and 28% for stress.