How The “Idea” of Nature Is Making Dentist Visits A Little Easier

If you’re one of the many people terrified of the dentist, virtual reality may be the answer to helping you find your zen.

As the BBC recently announced, a team of scientists in the UK discovered that administering a nature-oriented virtual reality simulation to patients at the dentist’s helps reduce anxiety levels. Meanwhile, those who were given a more “urban” experience did not enjoy the same reduced stress levels. Much like the Green Road Project, the study confirmed that just the presence of nature has a healing effect. But unlike other studies, the research took it a step further by demonstrating the nature can still wield the same power, even if it isn’t “real”.

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As Mark Kinver quotes for the BBC:

“Our idea was that if we bring nature into a stressful situation, such as the one in a dentist’s surgery, then that should have a similar benefit as when people are able to go out into nature,” explained co-author Sabine Pahl from the University of Plymouth, UK.

“We know about the benefits of the natural environment in psychological and physiological terms– people can feel relaxed and restore their cognitive resources.

“We also know in dentistry, there is a high percentage of people with dentist anxiety and their teeth tend to be in a worse state and they tend to miss appointments because they are worried about going to the dentist; and that, of course, has an effect on their teeth.

“We are trying to intervene in that dental anxiety process,” Dr Pahl told BBC News.


To read more, visit the BBC.

Curious about the healing power of nature? Check out our run down of earthing— and try it for yourself!

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