Childhood Cancer

The Wend – virtual relaxation therapy

November 27, 2019 Word for Word Media 0Comment

Recently, blood disease patients receiving treatment at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, in KwaZulu-Natal, experienced virtual relaxation therapy. We hear about the positive effects.

The Sunflower Fund proactively creates awareness and education about blood diseases as well as the process involved in becoming a stem cell donor. They remain a Registry of donors that is representative of the people groups in our rainbow nation, who are willing to help anyone for whom they might be a match. With the support of sponsors, like The Wend, who generously supplied the visual relaxation as gifts to the patients, together they could uplift the spirits of those suffering from blood diseases at the A4 Haematology Ward at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

Virtual relaxation therapy

Originally made popular in sci-fi movies and the online gaming world, virtual reality (VR) has been around for many years and has now been introduced and fully accepted by the medical industry. 

As a result, traditional methods are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Now, you can strap on a VR headset and receive a revolutionary, multi-sensory treatment that promises heightened relaxation, comfort and a whole lot more. 

Escape hospital boredom and depression

Wish you could be on holiday instead of in the hospital? With the introduction of virtual relaxation therapy, you can now de-stress while exploring exotic destinations in the comfort of your hospital bed. Escape if only for a moment. Studies show it does the world of good for your recovery. 

It’s highly recommended for patients receiving chemotherapy.

Decrease anxiety

A 2017-study, conducted by Psychological Medicine, showed that VR exposure-based treatments reduces anxiety1. Virtual relaxation therapy is best used for calming those pre-op nerves, or even during an operation where the patient is required to be alert. 

Reduce pain

Virtual relaxation therapy reduces pain up to 25%. It also allows for comfort during difficult treatments. A study, by the American Psychological Association, found that VR provides a suitable distraction and is a highly-effective pain intervention2. 

Helps overcome fears and phobias

Phobias are difficult to deal with but with virtual relaxation methods, doctors can guide patients through their phobias in a safe and comfortable environment. With these excellent results, virtual relaxation methods prove to be great for helping children with getting through, the ever so scary injection, or when trying to find a vein for chemotherapy.

Improved sleep patterns

With The Wend videos, virtual reality stimulates the brain to produce melatonin while lowering cortisol, thus helping people manage stress and sleep better. Sleep is always recommended by doctors for a better recovery. 

Technology and human care

Simply, we are using technology to escape and bring people back to nature. It may sound counter-intuitive, but patients and doctors simply love the combination of immersive technology and human care because it provides a whole new level of mental wellness and relaxation. 

The Wend offers a variety of content. 

Nature is our God-given antidepressant so we capture 360º 4k footage of the most beautiful environments and calming animals. Guided talks, natural sounds and soothing music assists in subconsciously de-stressing the mind.  

The aim is to get The Wend in all hospitals, oncology centres, and we hope doctors who are forward-thinking and understand the value of mental wellness will use it in their everyday practices. 

The Wend will be available to patients through their doctors for home use soon.

To learn more about The Wend, please visit




Melloney Rijnvis

MEET OUR EXPERT – Melloney Rijnvis

Melloney Rijnvis is the Creative Director of The Wend – a young entrepreneur who wants to make a positive change. With having to overcome traumatic obstacles herself, she is understanding of how there is a need for a mental wellness tool in healthcare industry. She has been recognised as one of KZN’s Top Business Women for her forward-thinking ideas and drive to assist those in need.

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