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Holistic health in VR

Updated: May 31, 2018

Anja being interviewed by VR Today Magazine

Today we are going to take a look at a woman who's fascination with virtual reality has been merged with her professional career as a holistic health coach. Anja, who lives in New York, married to a VR-developer will be joining the magazine today, and prior to her first post about meditation, we thought we'd take her in for questioning, so you can get an idea of why she has seen Holistic Health potential in this industry of ours.

VR Today Magazine: Hey Anja. We are going to start with the obvious. Can you briefly inform our readers on why you believe these two go together? With a plethora of efficient exercise methods available for the general public, is there any reason at all why we should mobilize VR as a facilitator of health improvements?

Anja: “Absolutely! Just by including a little bit of free-moving VR in your day-to-day life, you could improve your overall health. Here's a quick example: playing Holoball in the HTC vive for 20 minutes a few times a week can be a great start for a workout routine. The connection between health and VR is there.  Now - you need to know how to incorporate both in order to achieve optimal health.”

VR Today Magazine:  That's great. So, what exactly is a holistic health coach, and why does it appeal to you?

Anja: "There are many definitions out there and not all health coaches do the same thing but in my own words, a health coach is someone who guides you while you embrace a health journey of self discovery and true potential. I wasn’t always an example of healthy living, I had to make changes and I worked towards the version of me that I wanted to be.  Following that moment, I realized that this was my passion. Wanting to help people achieve realistic health goals in order to live happier lives pushed me towards becoming a health coach."

VR Today Magazine:  Then here's the kicker - What are you doing with Virtual Reality and when did you have your a-ha! moment?

Anja: "That is a tricky question. When my husband, a VR developer, introduced me to virtual reality I had no interest whatsoever. The idea of being in a different world was not appealing to me. Honestly I believed that it was only for people who wanted to escape their reality. It took me a while to appreciate this new medium but it wasn’t until I experienced, and was fully immersed in the VIVE that I found myself fully hooked. Standing in the middle of a mountain, taking in deep breaths and relaxing while in real life - I was actually just sitting on an old smelly carpet mid-way through decorating my house, was a priceless awakening. My stress melted away and I was able to continue my day feeling calm and peaceful. That I suppose, was my a-ha! moment, where I started thinking about the many areas in which VR can help facilitate holistic health and physical activity"

VR Today Magazine:  Alright Anja. It seems like you have found yourself with a foot in both camps (however new your VR-based experience may be). How do you intend to combine health coaching and VR?

Anja: "Great question! I’ve been reviewing health products for a while now. You can check out my reviews on my website and maybe - if you are in the mood, try making one of my yummy recipes. But going back to the question, what I’ll be doing is reviewing VR experiences from a holistic health perspective.  The idea that you can combine health and VR in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle while having fun is just perfect. Tons of questions keep popping in my head, What are the best post VR workout smoothies? What are the benefits of relaxing in VR? How can I keep my VR headset clean without using toxic products? How can I balance nutrition and VR? And so many more! That’s It’s exactly why I gravitated towards VR."

VR Today Magazine:  Well, we're definitely keen on having you review the apps that are about to hit the market. With the constant flow of constant, and the public announcement of Oculus' support in the form of  10 million dollars funding for educational experiences, there's bound to be some interesting content coming up soon. Do you actually believe that VR can help make people healthy?

Anja: "Yes but you’ll need a combination of VR and healthy lifestyle habits in my opinion. I know it might sound a little bit too much, but it isn’t. You can create simple healthy habits such as playing Raw Data for 30 minutes and then have a glass of water instead of soda. You see? Small steps can lead to big changes."

VR Today Magazine: Small steps indeed. I suppose any tool that can help make exercise and health more fun, is a tool worth investigating. What are some of the downsides of VR-based holistic health therapy?

Anja: "A few experiences made me really queasy and It’s hard to focus my eyes, a soon as I get queasy. After that I have no desire to be in VR anymore and I leave the experience with a stomach ache that lasts for a few minutes. The best experiences require lots of gadgets that are expensive and people who are not in the VR world might be reluctant to buy. If it wasn't for my husband I would’ve been in the same boat and I would’ve miss this incredible world full of potential."

VR Today Magazine: Thanks again Anja. We appreciate your time, and look forward to your first article. Before we call it a wrap - is there anything else you would like to add?

Anja: "I'd like to thank you for the opportunity. To the readers out there who are new to holistic health - Be curious about health, it will improve your experiences in VR and you will feel empowered as an individual. And for the people like me, who are not from this VR world who might be reading. Give Virtual Reality a chance -  it might just take you by surprise"

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