Jump to content
Sthira

Any help from virtual reality imaginative regeneration?

Recommended Posts

My high school gymnastics coach got cancer. He recovered quickly, then told us repeatedly about the power of his mind in defeating the cancer. He said he would focus his imagination on killer t-cells (or whatever) attacking and killing the cancer cells one by one then dragging them out of the blood stream. He excreted his cancer first in his mind.

 

Yeah, yeah, I hear scientism supremacy jargon coming up next. But we know the power of placebo.

 

I have a torn ACL and meniscus damage from a dance fall. It's plagued me. Made me suffer. You have your own problems, we all do. I do drugs to perform, to keep down the stupid inevitable effusion. Orthopedic science has been sciencing us for years with breathless jargon about how their repair-magic is just around the corner, healing white zone (avascular) meniscal tears la-dee-da is immanent, exlaimation point, with upcoming scaffolds 3-d printed, exclamation point, and seated with stem cells to treat millions of people suffering from pain and instability which ultimately wrecks lives. We've been waiting for years, of course, and the crickets how I love their lonely chirping. They're a sign of good luck, we're told.

 

Meanwhile, what if we created virtual reality programs to help us visualize the healing of whatever is broken inside you and me. We're told now that many of medical sciences' claims are fraudulent, capitalism-driven, repairing damage or treating, say, depression is no better than placebo. Headache? No idea how aspirin works.

 

So since it's much about placebo anyway (drugs, surgeries, patch jobs) why not clarify placebo, strengthen it with virtual reality?

 

Back to my gymnastics coach: put on virtual reality some program targeted at your internal healing of misery, visualize it, work with placebo in more intense and accurate realm of self regeneration?

 

We should start a company.

 

What if we created virtual reality representations of what it looks like (approximations) of the healing and repair of broken human bodies?

 

While we await Calico's miracles, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sthira,

 

The mind is indeed an amazing instrument for healing, both physically and psychologically. We've heard about people coping with phobias through VR-mediated exposure therapy. But I thought you were going to point to this exciting recent result from Dr. Miguel Nicolelis at Duke, where paralyzed people were helped via virtual reality rehab - visualizing the movement of their limbs and seeing their "virtual" limbs move in VR:

 

The patients had each suffered severe spinal cord injuries from auto accidents, falls and other trauma that left them completely paralyzed for at least five years and as long as 13 years.
 
The training consisted of weekly sessions that first started with virtual reality that used mind control to move the legs of avatars. This training ultimately allowed the rehab patients to re-engage spinal cord nerves that had survived the impact of the injuries that had paralyzed their lower limbs, the researchers believe.
 
Several patients saw changes after seven months of training. Peak improvement was seen at 10 months of training. They also experienced some "autonomic" improvement, such as bowel and bladder function.
 
As a result of these improvements, half of these patients were upgraded from complete to partial paralysis.
 
One participant, "Patient 1," was a 32-year-old woman paralyzed for 13 years at the time of the trial who experienced perhaps the most dramatic changes.
 
Early in training, she was unable to stand using braces, but over the course of the study, she walked using a walker, braces and a therapist's help. At 13 months, she was able to move her legs voluntarily while her body weight was supported in a harness, as seen in a video recorded at the Alberto Santos Dumont Association for Research Support where the neurorehabilitation lab is located.
 
--Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's right Dean, that's where I was going here in my rambling way. Since I know there is nothing new under the sun, my thinking was someone would climb on stage and say yes an anti-aging, regeneration virtual reality thingy already exists, then helpfully link to it.

 

Virtual reality can hold great promise. But it's now being marketed to 12-year old boys -- lets kill shit in virtual reality. But what if we use this tool to create realistic visualization of the body healing itself? We see this in graphic form anyway, eg, the pov of drugs moving through the bloodstream and working their alleged magic.

 

Create a VR program to untangle Alzheimers plaques in the brain. Create a VR program to clear blockages in arteries. Create a VR program to relearn a double pirouette...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sthira,

You are not consciously aware of your spleen. In fact, you have no direct conscious experience of any of the things happening in your bloodstream, etc. Watching a fictional cartoon intended to represent what human cells are doing cannot grant you conscious control of processes which are totally disconnected from conscious control (and would still be humming along even if you were in a vegetative state).

Edited by Taurus Londono

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ bummer. But I still want one. Because I want a VR program that explores the human body and imagines how it self-heals rather than a VR program that kills imaginary demons.

 

It might be good for med students, too. How does the spleen work? Here, put on these glasses, take a ride around in spleenville

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/the-placebo-phenomenon

 

 

The below is an excerpt from Harvard magazine article on the placebo effect. There appears to be an unconscious as well as a conscious element to this well known phenomemenon. I don't think we can categorically say there is no "conscious awareness" at the physiological levels.

 

Kaptchuk, an associate professor of medicine, has spent his career studying these mysterious human reactions, he doesn’t argue that you can simply “think yourself better.” “Sham treatment won’t shrink tumors or cure viruses,” he says.

 

But researchers have found that placebo treatments—interventions with no active drug ingredients—can stimulate real physiological responses, from changes in heart rate and blood pressure to chemical activity in the brain, in cases involving pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and even some symptoms of Parkinson’s.

 

The challenge now, says Kaptchuk, is to uncover the mechanisms behind these physiological responses—what is happening in our bodies, in our brains, in the method of placebo delivery (pill or needle, for example), even in the room where placebo treatments are administered (are the physical surroundings calming? is the doctor caring or curt?). The placebo effect is actually many effects woven together—some stronger than others—and that’s what Kaptchuk hopes his “pill versus needle” study shows. The experiment, among the first to tease apart the components of placebo response, shows that the methods of placebo administration are as important as the administration itself, he explains. It’s valuable insight for any caregiver: patients’ perceptions matter, and the ways physicians frame perceptions can have significant effects on their patients’ health.

 

For the last 15 years, Kaptchuk and fellow researchers have been dissecting placebo interventions—treatments that, prior to the 1990s, had been studied largely as foils to “real” drugs. To prove amedicine is effective, pharmaceutical companies must show not only that their drug has the desired effects, but that the effects are significantly greater than those of a placebo control group. Both groups often show healing results, Kaptchuk explains, yet for years, “We were struggling to increase drug effects while no one was trying to increase the placebo effect.”

 

Perhaps Shamans were on to something see this:

 

Kaput husk team has investigated the neural mechanisms of placebos in collaboration with the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital. In two fMRI studies published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2006 and 2008, they showed that placebo treatments affect the areas of the brain that modulate pain reception, as do negative side effects from placebo treatment—“nocebo effects.” (Nocebo is Latin for “I shall harm”; placebo means “I shall please.”) But nocebo effects also activate the hippocampus, a different area associated with memory and anxiety. As happened with Kaptchuk’s patients in the “pill versus needle” study, the headaches, nausea, insomnia, and fatigue that result from fake treatments can be painfully real, afflicting about a quarter of those assigned to placebo treatment in drug trials(see “The Nocebo Effect,” May-June 2005). “What we ‘placebo neuroscientists’...have learned [is] that therapeutic rituals move a lot of molecules in the patients’ brain, and these molecules are the very same as those activated by the drugs we give in routine clinical practice,” Benedetti wrote in an e-mail.

 

“In other words, rituals and drugs use the very same biochemical pathways to influence the patient’s brain.

 

” It’s those advances in “hard science,” he added, that have given placebo research a legitimacy it never enjoyed before"

 

I read not long ago a study where older people were studied by reinventing their lives around an earlier time when they were younger and their biological markers are improved. I will see if I can fish for it and make the catch so I can post it.

Edited by mikeccolella

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ bummer. But I still want one. Because I want a VR program that explores the human body and imagines how it self-heals rather than a VR program that kills imaginary demons.

 

It might be good for med students, too. How does the spleen work? Here, put on these glasses, take a ride around in spleenville

 

There's a great little educational app for VR called the The Body VR..  One of the first things I tried out when I got my Oculus Rift. There's a video on youtube about how doctors are using virtual reality to achieve much higher success rates for brain tumour surgeries as well!

 

Nothing wrong with playing FPS games in VR. :p or flying fighter jets and spaceships :D I enjoy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×