The 5th Dimension proudly announces a new product line coming soon, that allows people with physical limitations to explore the world in new and exciting ways! How is this possible you ask? By using virtual worlds to transport you into an immersive environment that seems so real that you really think you are there.
Imagine being trapped inside a body that doesn’t allow you to live life the way you want too. Many of us can’t imagine not being able to travel, ride bikes, play sports or just take a walk with our loved ones.
Imagine having a condition that causes you so much anxiety that you can’t go to your local shopping center because you might have an attack that causes you to become paralyzed with fear.
What if there was a way that you can enjoy traveling again, riding bikes, playing sports or just being in public places without limitations?
VR interaction allows the user to transport to a world where there are no limitations physically or mentally. Imagine exploring Europe, Mexico, forests or even major cities again. Or how about, lying on a sunny beach with the wind gently blowing away all of your anxiety. VR healing has been proven to decrease anxiety, allow people with limited mobility to be able to immerse themselves in a world where functional limitations are all possible again.
VR has the potential to revolutionize how people with disabilities interact with the world. Several studies have proven that the use of VR technology can “trick” the brain into believing they are really experiencing the immersion afforded by the VR. The immersion experience can elicit affirmative feelings for the user that eventually heal both emotional and physical conditions. VR technology can even help people manage painful conditions without the use of pain medications. It’s no surprise that VR healing is becoming a focus point in medicine.
All of this is great news right? The 5th Dimension has even better news; we will be offering this technology very soon without a script from your doctor. Where would you like to go? Sit back and relax while we immerse you in a world without limits!
I Did it My Way
By Laura Elliott
I am the first to admit that I knew NOTHING about virtual reality (VR), or any kind of video games until a year and a half ago (unless you count “Pong” as technologically advanced)! The serendipitous events which aligned my unbiased slate with state-of-art virtual technology occurred when I accepted a job position for a virtual reality entertainment ride at a local mall. My new boss, Steve Walker, showed me a crazy roller coaster ride through VR goggles while I sat inside a giant egg! I thought the experience was real, although my spleen didn’t hurt after the ride (which is a huge plus at my age). The entertainment aspect of what I had just experienced was phenomenal and I was then further “blown away” by Steve telling me that VR can reduce pain, thwart addictions, and aide those who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder. I had to know “how” this worked and I needed to test it for myself, so I diligently became a VR expert.
Virtual Reality has been used in the medical field to treat phobias, PTSD, and anxiety by exposing clients in safe, virtual worlds to explore options (Rizzo, 2018). Virtual Reality overstimulates neurons in the brain, thus making an image “feel real,” while “blasting” new neuropathways. Research provides evidence of multiple benefits of virtual reality, yet medicine and therapies have been slow to incorporate with clients and patients due to the expense. The gaming industry has created a demand for faster computers and “user-friendly” equipment, and has thus lowered costs overall.
Problematic situations and cravings in real life can be realized at the flick of a switch. “The great advantage of virtual reality is that individuals know that a computer environment is not real but their minds and bodies behave as if it is real; hence, people will much more easily face difficult situations in VR than in real life and be able to try out new therapeutic strategies (Freeman, 2008).” Virtual reality has extraordinary potential to help those who struggle find a new path. Thousands of studies have been performed to date that show VR reducing anxiety or pain, as well as reducing cravings for drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. “The elicitation of cravings means that VR has the potential to be successfully used in treatment (Anderson, et.al, 2013).” Virtual reality has already been proven to be successful in eliminating cigarette cravings (Bordnick, 2005), so we can immediately take advantage of something that “works.”
The fateful day came when I had to put down the research and put into action my hypothesis about changing a bad habit with the use of VR “mind-jacking.” I had struggled with smoking cigarettes for more than fifteen years, and I was someone who had “tried everything.” The one remedy that I had not considered was virtual reality, so I chose an exciting roller coaster ride (what can I say, I’m a thrill-junkie at heart) that I would envision myself riding on with a surf-board! I put on the goggles and I “surfed” my way through the ride, and each time I wanted to have a cigarette, I surfed again on the roller coaster. It only took one day for the image to be easily retainable with my imagination, and I used the goggles less and less. I couldn’t believe my successful results because it wasn’t difficult to do, and then I realized that it was that type of thinking that kept me bogged down in the first place. Smoking cessation was attainable and simple! I am living proof that something virtual works! I have been cigarette free since November 12, 2017!!! If you want something different, DO something different!!
Anderson, PL, Price, M., Edwards, SM., Obasaju, MA., Schmertz, SK, Zimand, E., Calamaras, MR., (2013). Virtual reality exposure therapy for social anxiety disorders: a randomized controlled trial, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 81, 751-760.
Bordnick, PS., Graap, KM., Copp, HL., Brooks, J., Ferrer, M. (2005). Virtual reality cue reactivity assessment in cigarette smokers. CyberPsychology and Behavior 8, 487-492.
Freeman, D. (2008). Studying and treating schizophrenia using virtual reality (VR); a new paradigm. Schizophrenia Bulletin 34, 605-610.
Rizzo, A., Speaking of Psychology: Improving Lives Through Virtual Reality;https://apa.org/research/action/speaking-of-psychology/virtual-reality.aspx