In 1992 David Hoptman initiated, designed and installed the first fully functional Eco-Therapeutic Virtual Reality environment. It was located at Desert Hills Psychiatric Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The premise then and now is that virtual immersion in Nature emulates the stress-relieving effects of physically being in a natural environment.
The eco-installation (below) was dubbed “The Room of Inner Peace” and was in use for many years at Desert Hills, helping both staff and patients lower stress while augmenting treatments sessions. The Room of Inner Peace integrated lighting, aromatherapy and the supportive ambient sounds of Nature. While the evaluation research showed definitive reductions in stress levels, pricing, logistics, and the general lack of insight about ecotherapy limited expansion to other venues.
Fast forward 25+ years and in 2019 David was hired by the University of Illinois as a VR-Artist and Consultant to help facilitate a pilot program for stress and anxiety reduction in the student population. David’s VR content and expertise proved invaluable and the research study will launch Fall semester September 2019.
Ecotherapy is the name given to a wide range of treatments designed to improve mental and physical well-being through exposure to Nature.
Virtual Reality is designed to create an immersive experiential illusion of reality, by removing the viewer’s psyche from the immediate environment and replacing it with a believable alternative. Integrating Natures healing attributes into a Virtual Reality video format enables healthcare facilities to engage their patients with the opportunity of experiencing being outside in Nature while confined within a Therapeutic facility. Virtual Reality experiences are like being there, wherever There may be? VR-headsets are almost as simple as putting on reading glasses. BE IN NATURE WHEREVER YOU ARE.
Virtual Reality therapies are now practical and cost-effective for both home and healthcare use. Healthcare practitioners are now understanding the beneficial effects and anxiety-reducing qualities that Nature freely offers. VR could and should be used much more extensively in Psychotherapy, Supportive Oncology, PTSD therapies, Memory Care, Palliative Care, and more.
Virtual Reality Environments are a non-toxic healing modality for stress and anxiety relief
Today it is possible to create the illusion of Nature within an institutional setting to facilitate healing and increase one’s personal well-being. David Hoptman founder of both Envirovisions and InviroVR has prescriptive content ready to distribute. Ecotherapist, Hospice, Hospitals, Assisted Care Living Centers etc. can easily integrate Nature into healthcare. Davids 40-year artistic career as a professional photographer, enables him to produce the highets quality and artisitc content available.
For those suffering from stress it is now possible to instantly take a short VR-escape to a Beach in Costa Rica. Experience the Hoh Rain Forest and Tropical Jungles. Visit Ghost Ranch in Northern NM. Sit next to a high mountain lake in the Rockies. Experience any of these beautifully crafted 360 VR’s through subscription purchases. The ambient sounds of Nature are part of each experience. A bit of essential oil on the tip of your nose/aromatherapy will make your experience more enjoyable.