Finding Peace Through VR Therapy

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Visitations VR brings the world of art and science together to help lift the weight of the world off of your shoulders, even for just a moment.

Equal parts meditative experience and immersive art project, Visitations is a VR art therapy app designed to help center your mind in a way where you feel whole again and completely refreshed. The idea is to remove you from the weight of uncertainty by offering you a moment for yourself with no outside pressure of any kind.

This zen-like full-body experience immerses you in a VR world filled with hypnotic music that engulfs your audio senses, along with a series of digital vignettes specifically designed to make you feel relaxed by entrancing you with hypnotic visuals. Think of it like a virtual journey to a therapeutic world made specifically for you. The goal is to mesmerize, not overwhelm.

Visitations was created by award-winning designer David Lobser under the moniker of light.clinic. Lobser wanted to use VR as a way to uplift and heal users through digital technology. Each vignette inside of Visitations are based on real lessons in neuroscience and psychology.

“The power of VR to change people’s minds is just beginning to be understood,” said Lobser in an official press release. “Visitations has grown organically out of a desire to create beautiful and transformative virtual spaces. Experimentation and refinement using artistic intuition and real world feedback is how traditions and practices are born.”

One big driver for home wellness and the wellness industry recently has been the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital therapy resources like Visitations could help individuals find solace during these difficult times by providing a digital escape from our harsh realities. 

To create Visitations, Lobser worked with several individuals to make sure his VR app stayed on course to his goals for self-help. He partnered with artists and creators including Deirdre Barrett, a PhD Harvard Medical School author and psychologist focused on dream research; East Forest, a musician and leader in the field wellness; and EMBC, a creative lab focused on modern contemplative experiences that promote healing and renewal.

Lobser came up with the idea for Visitations during the explosion of consumer VR devices, such as the Oculus Quest. At the time he was in the midst of shifting from animation direction to creative code. This was when he discovered an immense passion for building hypnotic, trance-inducing VR experiences. He took this passion and ran with it, working alongside doctors at the Comprehensive Spine and Pain Clinic of NY and collaborating with researchers to test his VR experience on patients during infusions as a form of non-invasive pain management, much like how dentists are exploring the use of VR for their own practices.

Dr. Tim Canty of the Comprehensive Spine & Pain Center of New York said, “We treat patients who suffer from chronic pain and comorbid depression and we’ve been using Visitations in our clinic for over a year and patient response has been very positive,” adding, “They prefer using Visitations during their infusions and find it to be a comfortable, soothing, and inspiring experience.”

According to Saundra Dalton-Smith MD, there are 7 types of rest needed to properly re-energize yourself both physically and mentally:

  • Creative: The type that inspires and motivates you.
  • Mental: When you quiet your mind and focus on what’s really important.
  • Physical: The rest that relieves your body of muscle aches and tension and helps improve your sleep.
  • Social: You spend time on relationships you cherish and with people who enhance your life.
  • Emotional: The ability to express your deepest feelings and be your genuine self.
  • Sensory: Gives you a respite from background noise, including negative self-talk and digital devices.
  • Spiritual: You feel that you are part of something bigger, as well as a sense of belonging and fitting in.

Yes, these 7 different things are incredibly important for all of us, but wow….they all require effort, motivation, and sometimes can be stressful just to maintain. Taking a break from these things in a way that is non-destructive and helps us achieve a variety of different therapeutic and aesthetic goals is vital to our health. 

Ever get a full 8 hours of sleep only to wake up feeling exhausted? That’s the result of an ongoing culture of “high-achieving, high-producing, chronically tired and chronically burned-out individuals. We’re suffering from a rest deficit because we don’t understand the true power of rest,” according to Dalton-Smith.

Visitations could absolutely help you in achieving that much needed rest as suggested by Dalton-Smith and other health experts.

Visitations is available now on Oculus Go, Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 via SideQuest and Steam.

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p class=”has-text-align-center”>Image Credit: light.clinic

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