People suffering from chronic pain and stress now have a new treatment option on the North Island.

Comox-based brain health expert and registered clinical counselor, Dr. Tom Diamond, has expanded his brain-changing practice to include Virtual Reality (VR) for pain, stress and anxiety management, and meditation training.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this effective and drug-free alternative for people looking for relief from chronic conditions,” says Dr. Diamond, owner of Brainigo Brain Fitness Center. “It’s a perfect complement to the existing pain- and drug-free treatment options available here at our clinic.”

Virtual Reality is a technology that transports users to whole new worlds with three dimensional visual and auditory sensory stimulation. In this situation, users employ it as an easy meditation method during which your eyes stay open.

“When you turn on the VR headset, you instantly escape into beautiful natural environments. With amazing colors, calming visuals and nature sounds, you quickly drop into a wonderfully relaxing trance state,” explains Dr. Diamond. “Hyper-realistic scenes flood your senses with engaging sights and sounds, which distract people from chronic pain, stress and anxiety, and racing thoughts – it’s really fun, like going to the movies for meditation.”

The technology uses an immersive headset and hand-controller that syncs the virtual world with real-world movements. VR has many applications, including medical and military training, film and television, education, along with mental health and wellness.

“The addition of VR opens exciting new treatment experiences for our clients. While beautiful scenes and meditations are enjoyable, it’s more sophisticated than simple relaxation: special visual and auditory cues train you to slow your breathing and quiet your thoughts,” notes Dr. Diamond. “You can also add neurofeedback, where your brain activity is projected inside the VR world, while a narrator’s voice guides you to consciously control your brain using practical meditation skills.”

Dr. Diamond notes that this and other treatments offered at Brainigo empower people to improve their health by strengthening their parasympathetic nervous system – the inner healer that controls pain, sleep and healing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. In addition to VR, other treatments that take place during the session include rejuvenating red-light therapy, relaxing sound massage and infrared heat, guided meditation, and real-time neuro/biofeedback from live brain waves, heart rate and breathing pace.

“This is a wonderful tool for people who want to deepen their relaxation states, and those who want to gain greater control over chronic pain,” says Dr. Diamond. “With practice, VR can help you diffuse and distract neural pain signals, produce pain-reducing neurotransmitters and free your mind and body for greater peace and well-being.

“VR is an excellent new drug-free alternative for your wellness toolkit.”

Experience VR for yourself at the Brainigo booth during the Chamber of Commerce’s Market Place event being held Saturday, October 26 at the Comox Community Centre from 10-4pm.

To learn more about Virtual Reality at Brainigo and other treatment options, book a free 10 minute telephone consult or visit the website at www.brainigo.com or call 250-941-5596. To find out if you qualify for funding, check the Rates and Booking page in the website.