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New Stress Management Tools for VA Workers and Veterans

A Virtual Oasis for VA Professionals and Veterans

Dedicated Veterans Affairs (VA) professionals who serve our veterans often find themselves on the front lines of burnout and mental wellness challenges. The weight of responsibility, coupled with the emotional toll of supporting those who have served, can lead to exhaustion, stress, and a myriad of mental health issues. 

The veterans they serve also face their own set of unique challenges as they transition from active duty to civilian life, grappling with stressors such as post-traumatic stress (PTS) and the complexities of readjusting to a civilian society. 

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Veterans’ Mental Health

 The journey from active duty to civilian life can be riddled with unique stressors for veterans too:

Veterans often grapple with the haunting memories of combat experiences, which can manifest as post-traumatic stress, affecting their day-to-day functioning and overall well-being. 

The transition from a structured military environment to civilian life introduces a set of challenges, including establishing new routines, finding employment, and navigating the complexities of the healthcare system. 

The social isolation that can accompany these transitions may exacerbate mental health issues, as veterans may find it challenging to connect with others who truly understand their experiences. 

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A Closer Look at VA Burnout

VA professionals play a pivotal role in the well-being of our nation’s heroes. However, long hours, emotional strain, and the constant need to navigate complex cases contribute to chronic stress, affecting both physical and mental health. The consequences of burnout not only impact the individual but also compromise the quality of care provided to veterans.


These consequences can manifest in:

•  Diminished empathy.

•  Increased risk of compassion fatigue

•  Physical health complications

•  Reduced effectiveness in decision-making.

•  Decreased ability to cope with the demanding and often traumatic nature of their responsibilities.

•  Higher turnover rates


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How Healium Helps

Healium is not just another meditation app; it’s a holistic solution that leverages VR and mobile technology, neurofeedback, and biofeedback to provide a unique and immersive meditation experience.

As you reach states of quiet mind, the biofeedback or neurofeedback wearables pick up pattern changes and transform the meditation experience as gentle feedback to you.

In other words, your body’s electricity fuels these healing journeys, while your data dashboard helps you track your progress over time.


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The Benefits of Healium

A woman wearing an Oculus Go headset is viewing the Dream Pool story that's displayed in the background behind her.
a. Stress Reduction: Accordion state arrow

Healium’s virtual environments transport users to serene landscapes, allowing them to escape the pressures of their work. The calming visuals and immersive experiences have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

b. Emotional Resilience: Accordion state arrow

By combining neurofeedback and biofeedback, Healium empowers users to learn to self regulate their emotions. This is particularly crucial for VA professionals dealing with challenging cases, providing them with the tools to maintain emotional resilience in the face of adversity.

c. Mindful Focus: Accordion state arrow

Healium’s meditation exercises guide users through mindfulness practices, promoting the mental clarity and focus needed to maintain sharp attention to detail at work.

Mental Fitness vs Mental Health vs Mental Resilience
d. Post Traumatic Stress: Accordion state arrow

Healium’s immersive experiences are designed to provide a sense of empathy, offering a safe and beautiful space for veterans to confront and process their emotions. By visualizing calming environments and guiding users through relaxation meditation exercises, Healium provides a holistic tool to self-manage symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress.

e. Anxiety and Depression: Accordion state arrow

The transition to civilian life can bring about anxiety and depression for many veterans. Healium’s empowers users to self-regulate their emotional states, providing tangible data to give them agency over their brain patterns or heart rate. Through guided meditations, veterans can find solace and learn to build emotional resilience.

f. Promoting Mindful Healing: Accordion state arrow

Healium encourages veterans to engage in mindfulness practices, fostering a deep connection between mind and body. The guided meditations help veterans cultivate a state of mindful awareness, enabling them to navigate life stressors with a clearer perspective.


The Science Behind Healium

Validated in numerous peer-reviewed journals, Healium blends the therapeutic effects of meditation with cutting-edge technology.

Bridging Nature and Technology for Anxiety Self-Management

This study conducted at the NeuroMeditation Institute in Oregon delved into the efficacy of Healium’s virtual reality experiences, particularly in the context of anxiety management.

The study investigated whether Healium’s immersive virtual environments could produce therapeutic effects comparable to the calming influence of natural settings, aiming to provide a unique alternative for generalized anxiety disorder. Notably, Healium’s VR meditation uniquely shifted power in brain frequencies, reducing broadband Beta activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, aligning with reduced anxiety. This highlights Healium’s impact. 

The study emphasized virtual reality’s strong sense of presence induces physiological changes, and Healium’s immersive experiences effectively influence the brain and mood state, serving as a potent tool for anxiety self-management.

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Unveiling the Neuroscience of Empathy

Another study explored VR’s potential to foster empathy, focusing on a 5-minute immersive narrative depicting individuals in Zambia gaining mobility through hand crank PET carts. 


The subject’s EEG data revealed significant gamma brainwave changes, linked to cognitive processing, while deeper brain structures, such as the Lingual Gyrus and left Insula, demonstrated heightened activity associated with language processing, internal reflection, and emotional empathy. 


These findings showcase Healium’s transformative power, affirming VR’s ability to induce subjective empathy and compassion while activating key brain regions. 


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Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to try the Healium headset. The positive effects that this technology has is nothing short of miraculous. As a former active duty Marine with a VA service-connected anxiety/depression disability, the transition to the civilian sector has been a 17-year, long challenge. Until recently, I felt hopeless at times. Healium has given me a new way to handle my challenges and I’m confident that this approach is healthy and sustainable for me.This option needs to be made easily available for any Veteran who would be willing to try it out.
I’ve been an Army Behavioral Health Officer for 19 years and this is the most powerful intervention I’ve seen yet.
LTC Chris Atkins
Our Nature-Based Experiences

Frequently Asked Questions: Addressing VA Concerns

How does Healium address specific stressors unique to VA professionals?
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Healium recognizes the distinctive challenges faced by VA employees and tailors its experiences to address the stressors specific to their roles. Guided meditations focus on themes like compassion, resilience, focus, calm, and positivity.

Is there scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of Healium in reducing burnout?
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Healium’s effectiveness is backed by scientific research in multiple peer-reviewed journals. Studies have demonstrated significant reductions in stress levels, improved emotional regulation, and enhanced overall well-being among users, including those in high-stress professions like healthcare and caregiving.

Can we use VR with glasses?
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Yes, you can wear eye glasses while wearing the VR headset. Much like a scuba mask, your VR headset will fit over your face, though you’ll need to move it around and adjust it on your face as the lenses are curved. For some of our stereoscopic scenes, if you’ve never seen depth on video, it may appear blurry at first.

Does Healium make its own VR headset?
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No, Healium does not make its own VR headset or goggles. Rather, our biofeedback meditation app can be used by a variety of VR goggles to experience our stories in 3D. Or, you can use Healium just with your mobile device. We’re also adding additional compatible wearables so check back with us to see if your smart watch or EEG headband is on the list.

What hardware or software is required to use Healium?
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If you want to use EEG Meditation with Healium, you will need a BrainLink Lite EEG headband, a compatible VR headset from Meta or Pico, a smartphone if you don’t have VR goggles, and a subscription to the Healium software.
Do we have to use Healium with the brainlink?
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No. Brainlink EEG headbands are not required to use Healium as a meditaiton app; however, those looking to leverage the biofeedback elements and harness the power of their brainwaves will need the Brainlink.

How long do the effects of Healium last?
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It’s not permanent like any fitness routine. If you stop lifting weights, you can’t expect your muscles to get stronger. You might liken Healium to a walk in the park or a warm bath at times when you can’t take a walk in the park. It doesn’t last forever but after a stressful day, it’s welcome virtual peace to quickly interrupt the stress response and downshift.

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