Virtual reality is thought to create an immersive distraction that restricts the mind from processing pain
Not so far in the future, doctors might prescribe a virtual beach vacation to calm aches and pains, in lieu of pharmacotherapy. Insurance companies might offer scenic tours of Icelandic fjords to lower blood pressure, instead of doubling up on drugs. Psychiatrists might treat social phobia by inviting patients to a virtual dinner party. Hospitals may immerse children in a fantastical playland while they receive chemotherapy.