a journey to a better place within
INNER WONDERLAND is an immersive 6 DoF VR experience designed to bring relief to children suffering chronic pain through a combination of mindfulness meditation techniques as taught by leading practitioners and the triggering of beneficial neuroplastic changes in the brain as supported by existing empirical studies.
Originally, VR technology was solely recognized for its entertainment value; however, in the past 10 years, its application has been expanded to a variety of clinical areas including; pain management, physical rehabilitation and the treatment of psychiatric disorders (e.g. phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorder. In clinical settings and experimental studies, participants immersed in VR experience reduced levels of pain, general distress/unpleasantness and report a desire to use VR again during painful medical procedures.
Mindful meditation is already considered grade A medical treatment and the results of research into the potential benefits of purpose-built VR experiences in the fields of pain management and meditation have confirm the combination of virtual reality and mindfulness have great potential to help people dealing with chronic pain, anxiety and psychological challenge.
It is theorized VR acts as a nonpharmacologic form of analgesia by exerting an array of emotional affective, emotion-based cognitive and attentional processes on the body’s intricate pain modulation system.
It has been hypothesized that VR analgesia originates from intercortical modulation among signalling pathways of the pain matrix through attention, emotion, memory and other senses (e.g., touch, auditory and visual), thereby producing analgesia. An overall decrease of activities in the pain matrix may be accompanied by increases of activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal regions of the brain.
While there are already medical researchers and professionals working with Virtual Reality equipment manufacturers in the areas of both research and development, we believe there to be a need and an opportunity to meet that need in the area of pain management for children. While there are pre-existing entertainment and distractive experiences for children, much can still be done in the area of medical science backed transformative experiences. Inner Wonderland is that experience.We envisage using biometric feedback to deliver personalised user specific experiences which adjust to a given patient’s vital sign responses in real-time.
Inner Wonderland will be a 6 DoF virtual world designed for children and created in Unreal Engine. Within the Inner Wonderland world there will be a variety of different locations and experiences designed to transport the users away from their immediate experience, reducing their pain and discomfort and bringing relief. Each location will have 3-dimensional audio with narration written based on the mindfulness teachings of Jon Kabat-Zinn.
It is envisaged Inner Wonderland will be a created world with many different location/experiences within it. Each of these location/experiences will be designed to appeal to different personalities and different ailments. The action depicted will be crafted to suit specific mindfulness guidance narratives and different meditations relating to specific experiences and outcomes. For example, some may deal with visualising pain being taken away, while another may focus on relaxation and peacefulness. the number of possibilities are infinite relative to the patient’s situation, their age, gender and taste. Once an Inner Wonderland designed to appeal to children has been successfully implemented, we envisage extending the expereince to also appeal to adults.
Initial experiences might be as follows:
o Caterpillars which cocoon then hatch into beautiful butterflies which flock then fly away taking the pain with them.
o Dandelion seed heads which bloom, burst then float away taking the pain with them.
o A female mindfulness guide who sits down near a tree and leads the user through a mindfulness exercise.
o A beautiful tree with falling blossom which blows away on a breeze.
o A leaf-boat which floats away down a stream with a waterfall.
o A murmuration of birds in the sky.
o Bubbles floating in the air and the user can burst them.
While we are still in the early stages of development we have possible imagery and the story lines created and we have also created a 3 DoF proof of concept 360 VR film which can be viewed in Oculus Go. We are seeking funding so as to employ an experienced 3D artist to work in Unreal Engine and create a full working 6 DoF version of the experience.
Inner Wonderland will be made by a partnership between film and design company Luscious and writer, model and Cancer survivor Kerry Doyle. Just over a year ago Kerry was diagnosed with Colon Cancer and now identifies as disabled. After having serious surgery and undergoing 6 months of Chemotherapy, she is now in remission. To manage debilitating chemotherapy-induced neuropathy pain, she is prescribed large doses of an anti-convulsant making her day to day lifer hugely challenging. While trying to navigate the side effects of the medication she has found relief through practicing mindfulness.
Kerry is currently studying for her Bachelor of Communications at Griffith University, (nearing completion) her majors are creative writing and screen studies.
She is a graduate of a 2-year conservatory of the Meissner Technique at Joanne Barron & Brown in Los Angeles and has also studied acting at Stella Adler and completed workshops at NIDA. She appeared in 2 Broke Girls.
My name is Kerry Doyle and I am a writer, model, Cancer survivor and the founder of INNER WONDERLAND.
I am a graduate of a 2-year conservatory of the Meissner Technique at Joanne Barron & Brown in Los Angeles and has also studied acting at Stella Adler and completed workshops at NIDA. I appeared in 2 Broke Girls.
I am currently studying for her Bachelor of Communications at Griffith University, (nearing completion) her majors are creative writing and screen studies.
At the age of 31, I was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer. I had 21 cm of my bowel removed, underwent 6 months of chemotherapy, cancelled an IVF egg harvest due to a life-threatening reaction to hormone therapy and I am currently dealing with an extreme case of peripheral neuropathy for which I am currently medicated. The neuropathy is due to nerve damage in my hands and feet which affect balance and my ability to be on my feet for extended periods and to work with my hands. The pain intensifies during the day and is exacerbated by normal levels of activity. The medication I am on effects my memory and my ability to focus. This is made worse as I probably still suffer a bit from chemo brain made worse by chronic fatigue. The side-effects of my medication along with the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and metabolic syndrome have affected my ability to return to acting and modelling.
While navigating neuropathy I found some relief through mindful meditation which is considered grade A treatment and research has lead me to believe employing virtual reality to amplify the effects of mindfulness has great potential to help not only myself, but others in dealing with chronic pain adversity, especially children who I have personally witnessed dealing with the overwhelming challenges of cancer treatment and chronic pain.
I am passionate about taking my adversity and channeling it into something good and so have partnered with a creative communication technology company and we have been researching and developing possible VR experiences designed to facilitate mindful meditation, chronic pain relief and other advanced forms of virtual therapy
Through Kerry’s role as an ambassador for Cancer Aid and her relationships with Cancer treatment professionals at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, it is our intention that Inner Wonderland will be developed with the support and guidance of medical professionals and researchers who are committed to improving the experience of Cancer patients. We envisage the Inner Wonderland experience will be offered to a wide number of patients dealing with chronic pain.
Luscious is an ideas based company specialising in storytelling, entertainment and emerging technology. Built around three senior partners with extensive experience in advertising, digital post-production, engineering, music, writing and design, Luscious actively seek out like-minded clients, technology entrepreneurs and innovators who enable us to push the boundaries of how we tell stories and communicate with the world.
Luscious has created award-winning advertising for global clients and recently won a Cannes silver lion for the VR and traditional commercial based Virtual Equality campaign.
Luscious has designed and created two large-scale experiences for The Australian War Memorial and recently designed and produced the critically acclaimed JAMES CAMERON – CHALLENGING THE DEEP immersive exhibition for The Australian National Maritime Museum along with producing television, online and print promotional and advertising material direct to client.
Further to their award winning 3-DOF VR experience for Virtual Equality, Luscious has also recently competed a 6-DOF experience for IPP LLC out of New York and 360 VR experience about OPERATION JAYWICK for the The Australian National Maritime Museum.
The Academy Award short-listed film A MESSAGE FROM FALLUJAH, was written, directed and produced by Luscious as was the high-rating television documentary AFGHANISTAN – THE AUSTRALIAN STORY.
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