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Patients who suffer from chronic pain may reach for the mouse and keyboard instead of the medicine cabinet

Even though researchers have increased focus on video games for a variety of research projects, very few of the endeavors have yielded astonishing results.

A researcher working at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada claims playing video games could be more effective than using certain drugs when treating chronic pain sufferers.  During controlled experiments, professor Diane Gromala reported that participants who played virtual reality games were more comfortable than participants who on pain medication only.

"Controlling pain through computerized VR and biofeedback meditation therapies has the promise of providing successful, cost-effective alternatives to pain medications," she said in a statement.  

As founder of the university's BioMedia Lab, Gromala believes there is a "real demand" for the technology.  Gromala adds, "As Canada's baby-boomers enter old age, pain management looms as a huge public-health issue."

Patients enrolled in programs to treat chronic pain typically endure physical therapy, counseling sessions and prescription pain-killers. Often, patients reject therapy rather than risk addiction to pain medication.

This isn't the first time game technology has been included for the general health of players.  Although playing games on the Nintendo Wii doesn't technically count towards the one hour of exercise children should receive per day, the console still has become a hit in rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes.

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By zsdersw on 1/3/2008 7:30:10 AM , Rating: 4
Avoid the pharmacy if you can.. however you can, is my advice. Drugs these days, now more than ever, are engineered to keep you somewhere in between healthy and dead. Think about it: there's no money in dead people, and there's no money in healthy people either. There's *lots* of money in keeping you somewhere in between and engineering new threats to scare you into placing your trust in the latest miracle pill. How about eating right and exercising? It's been done for centuries and appears to have no side effects. Try it!

There's also a lot of money in capitalizing on and enhancing maternal worries. A flood of anti-bacterial-this and sanitizing-that products are built on nonsense that parents should "disinfect to protect", etc. Again, creating a dependence on a product to maintain "health". It's stupid. Our bodies have immune systems for a reason.. and kids are supposed to get dirty and sick from time to time. In the long run it's better for them than living in a germ-free bubble.

Though common sense is quite uncommon, more people should find it.. because it is a far more trustworthy weapon in the fight of you-versus-the-world than any drug or "health-promoting" product.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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