Friday, September 3, 2010

Throw snowballs, feel less pain.

Well, I went back to work this week. Even though I follow the same schedule every September, it's always a bit of a shell shock adjusting from sleeping in and lounging around in yoga pants all day, to waking up early and leading my high school classes. Plus, to make things a bit crazier, September means my own children are heading back to their school, and I have to effectively manage that (without losing my mind in the process). Aw, the joys of adulthood.

Fortunately I have an awesome support system. My parent's invited us over for dinner last night so they could hear all about every one's first day of school. This meant not having to cook, which is awesome in my book... as if you didn't know.

While waiting for the spaghetti to finish up, I caught a very interesting story on the news. There's a new and exciting technology now available to burn victims: Virtual Reality. The program, developed at the University of Washington, is called 'Snow World', and it allows the patients to immerse themselves into a fictional world of penguins and snowmen, which is not only visually stimulating, but also interactive (you can participate in virtual snowball fights with the creatures).

Studies have shown that the game is able to distract the brain from sending pain signals, causing patients to perceive less pain when receiving treatment to their wounds. Doctors are also needing to give less pain medication which can help reduce prescription pain abuse.

SnowWorld is also proving helpful with military war victims who are returning from overseas with combat burns and post traumatic stress disorder. Snowball fights and 50% pain? This sounds like one rad videogame.


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