Virtual Reality relaxation could be the future for those suffering from chronic stress-related disorders
Two researchers in Groningen, affiliated with the UMCG, have received a grant of around 500,000 euros for their research into VR stress relief. The idea is that if you show images of peaceful natural environments, or let people walk through nature, it has a calming effect on people suffering from chronic stress-related disorders.
Wim Veling and Catheleine van Driel will conduct research into stress reduction with VRelax, a virtual reality relaxation app. As reported by OOGTV.
The research will focus on people with depression, psychosis, bipolar or anxiety disorder. Veling and Van Driel will investigate whether the app helps to relax, reduce stress and improve sleep. This is expected to lead to a more favorable course of treatment for psychiatric conditions.
VRelax is an app that people can use independently at home with VR glasses. It consists of dozens of relaxing and interactive natural environments, such as swimming with dolphins or playing with stars in the sky. Participants will be asked to use the app every day for several weeks at home to relax and improve their sleep, whilst the scientists measure the effect on stress, sleep quality and rest.
185 patients will participate in the study over the next four years. It is expected that patients and practitioners will get their hands on a new means with which patients can regain control of their disease independently.
Image via PickPik. Public realm.