What if you could relieve someone’s pain? Like significantly relieve it? Would you do it?
Of course you would. As humans, we innately hate to see others suffer, and we want to ease as much pain as possible.
Fortunately, there’s a way that you can help by sharing something you already love to do.
Virtual reality is a groundbreaking field. We’re only starting to explore its benefits. But the studies that are coming out are pretty inspiring.
We’ll go into details below. In the end, we’ll challenge you to share your GoPro or Vuze biking footage with HEALTHeBIKER. We’ll use that footage to turn it into a virtual reality nature escape. These realities will go directly to bedridden patients, especially children. The footage will help to ease their pain, help them relax, and help them get back on their feet as soon as possible.
VR Relieves Pain, Reduces Stress, and Makes for a More Pleasant Hospital Experience
Several studies have come out testing how virtual reality can ease a patient’s pain. While results vary, they are still promising. In fact, one study showed virtual reality could ease a patient’s pain by 42%, from 7.2 to 3.7 on the pain scale. The more immersive VR recordings are, the better the results.
Doctor Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, shared his experience with VR and his own patients. He wrote about the visible changes a patient goes through when they’re introduced to VR. He explains this as a two-step process, first the Moment of Cognitive Immersion. Then, the Moment of Physiologic Immersion
Spiegel describes the Moment of Cognitive Immersion. This moment starts when the patient starts to look around and interact with the VR. They realize that this is something they have never experienced before, and they light up. Many get excited. They smile and laugh.
Second comes the Moment of Physiologic Immersion. This is something the patient is less aware of. Spiegel writes, “We can actually see the moment the patient takes his or her first, deep, purposeful breath. The chest abruptly rises, then slowly falls, and the body posture changes markedly. The shoulders will fall back, the torso sinks deeper into the bed, and tension is released, all without conscious awareness. This involuntary physiologic cascade does not always occur, but when it does, we know VR is having its impact. We can see it without question. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Unlike VR, most other pain medications have negative side effects. Many have an addictive nature. VR doesn’t have either. The only negative side effect some patients may experience with VR is mild nausea.
VR Isn’t For Everyone, But It Can Help Many People
Doctors use VR for cancer patients undergoing chemo, mothers giving birth, and more. It’s given to calm patients before they undergo surgery. It’s given to children to help them escape the stressful hospital environment.
While VR is widely applicable, not everyone can use it. Some patients are ineligible due to nausea, seizures, or head trauma. Other patients, who are at risk for infections, can be ineligible due to the danger of contagion.
Doctors don’t use VR for dementia patients to keep them from getting confused. Even still, VR can help dementia patients at home to make their lives less stressful.
But as time goes on, we can adjust our regulations to allow more patients to enjoy VR. Patients with minor nausea or dementia might find VR helpful. We can put extensive infection control precautions in place. This will make VR available to those who are more susceptible to illnesses.
How You Can Help
At HEALTHeBIKER, we’re incredibly grateful for our health. We’re grateful for our ability to travel to beautiful places. We’re grateful for every bike ride and every adventure. We hope you are too.
You can share your good fortune by recording your next ride via GoPro or Vuze. Then we encourage you to share your footage with us. From there, we’ll work to turn it into a virtual reality nature escape. These escapes will go to bedridden patients, especially children. You can let us know here you’re interested in donating footage.
Donate Your Footage to Help Patients Everywhere
What’s easier than sending over a file of something you’re already doing for fun? Not much. And your biking footage can provide relief to hundreds of patients. Help them escape the hospital bed, give them relief as they undergo chemo. Take away their pain.