“Pain is our harm alarm and it does a really good job of getting our attention,” said Beth Darnall, a clinical associate professor at Stanford Health Care’s division of pain medicine. She says:
Virtual Reality is a psychological tool, like meditation, that can “calm the nervous system, and that dampens the pain processing.”
Read Pilot Studies from Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab.
VR Movies Could Be Coming Soon to a Hospital Near You
The idea is that the worst pain can be alleviated by manipulating the way the human mind works: the more you focus on pain, the worse it feels. Swamp the brain with an overload of sensory inputs—such as with the immersion in a virtual world—and its capacity to process pain, to be conscious of it, goes down.