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clouds-1845517_1920What if there was a way to reduce pain and the use of narcotics? What if you could go through child birth without an epidural and work through the pain? Sign me up!

Virtual reality (VR) might be an answer. Just talk to Erin Martucci. She is believed to be the first woman to use VR for pain management during childbirth.

Here is how it worked. Erin was motivated to try an approach that was medication free. Her contractions were beginning and before the pain started to intensify, Erin was immersed in  a scene created by VR.  Instead of trying to imagine a beautiful sunset over the ocean waves, birds flying in the air, a waterfall and stars in the sky, the goggles provided the view.

For Erin, a  preprogrammed beach scene in her VR headset helped her focus on breathing and relaxing during labor. With a physician monitoring the contractions, Erin was able to work through the pain using the head set until the baby was about to crown. At that point, she was instructed to take off the goggles and start to push.

Other applications of VR for manage pain are currently being tested. So far, results are promising. With 32% of US births in 2015 due to scheduled C sections, maybe it is time to think alternatively and use VR in more clinical applications.

Bring me the headsets. While I am past child birthing age, I could use those goggles for my next dental visit. Forget the shots! A beach, a relaxing voice and nature’s beauty sound inviting to me!

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