Article written

  • on 12.10.2009
  • at 01:20 AM
  • by Rick VanSant

Virtual Reality can Reduce Pain 2

Oct12

There is an area of the brain  (the cingulate cortex for you neuro-geeks) that is partly concerned with how much attention is given to experiencing a particular pain.  It has been found that the use of virtual reality is so stimulating, that it leaves less attention available to tune in to the pain… hence we don’t feel it as much.  In this particular research, burn victims found relief by immersing themselves in cooling virtual environment.

You see, pain is all in the mind.  Once the pain signal is sent to the brain, what we experience and how intensely we experience it is all a matter of how the brain interprets it.  This is why when you touch something hot or very cold, for a split second you can’t tell the difference.  This is also why we don’t notice a pain when we are very occupied.  (ever notice a bruise later and not have any idea how you got it). 

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There are 2 comments for this post

  1. Wendy T. says:

    I’m not sure if this phenomenon would work for me, but I believe it is real. I’ve seen the same concept performed with a mother giving birth, who is listening and self-performing relaxation techniques. She becomes so immersed in the type of meditation, she feels no pain. Now, I’ve been there, just not sure if it work for me. I just wanted an epidural.

  2. Veena Cole says:

    I agree with Wendy. I’m not sure it would work for me but I certainly know the value of distracting a hurt child with a sucker or a toy. Most children can put aside their pain and move on. When a child can’t then you know it’s something at least a little serious.

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