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There are a lot of things in this world that everyone should see but never will. The Grand Canyon is an incredible place, one that all humans should bear witness to at least once in their lives, yet the vast majority never will. There are plenty of similar locations that are unfortunately the same. Landmarks and natural locales are rarely seen by the masses that they should be, but with virtual reality, that could one day change.

One of the most lauded capabilities of virtual reality is how it can practically transport you anywhere in the world. You can live in Louisiana yet experience the scope of the Great Wall of China, and from the comfort of your own home. That said, is it any surprise that virtual reality can be used for nature experiences as well? 

One of the most massive tree species in the world is the Great Sequoia. These trees are thousands of years old, most of them predating the Roman Empire. They’re dozens of stories tall and so wide that ten or more of any other tree could probably fit inside of them. In short, they’re incredible, yet many people will never be able to see them. At least, not without virtual reality.

This particular experience has been constructed specifically in London. It’s a combination of virtual reality and a physical set. With the VR goggles you see the massive breadth and scope of a Giant Sequoia, but thanks to the physical set you can feel it as well. You can even push your face through the outside of the tree, allowing you to see the inside of it as well, making for one heck of an educational experience if nothing else.

You even get to follow the path of water throughout the tree, which means you get to ‘levitate.’ Naturally disorienting since it looks like you’re floating but are in fact not moving at all, this may be the real reason they had a physical set for you to hold onto. Either way, while this particular experience is highly specific towards one thing, it speaks volumes about how virtual reality could be used in the future.

Maybe you could soar over the Grand Canyon (terrifying though it may be), or visit foreign castles and landmarks from any vantage point you want. The options are almost limitless, and perhaps that is what the true beauty of virtual reality is. It can put the whole world at your fingertips. Let you explore things that you never would have been able to experience otherwise. Virtual reality is still in its younger stages, and it has a lot farther to go before it reaches the no doubt astronomical expectations of society. But the best part of it all is that those expectations are not out of reach. They’re ambitions well within in reach rather than dreams, as we can now use virtual reality to see the world and beyond no matter where we are.

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It was an innocent question, but one I’d heard posed one way or another too many times. “Aren’t you the people who do the Bible in VR or something?” While a worthy project, it’s not we’re doing.

As someone who has spent their whole career in communications, I realized I was failing in positioning the company successfully, despite my many efforts. Months into the branding and promotion and hundreds of conversations thick into the business, we were still being misunderstood by some people as a purely religious company.

SpiritualVR began as a development and publishing company with the goal of body, mind, and spiritual learning and health. Although our goal was always self-improvement and spiritual exploration, we were often misunderstood as a religious organization. I believe this is because the very word “spirituality” carries a different connotation to each person. The official definitions can’t even agree with one another.

Google:
spir·it·u·al·i·ty
spiriCHo͞oˈalədē/
noun
1. the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

Merriam-Webster:
spirituality
plural spiritualities
1. something that in ecclesiastical law belongs to the church or to a cleric as such

Dictionary.com:
spirituality
[spir-i-choo-al-i-tee]
noun, plural spiritualities.
the quality or fact of being spiritual.

And the list goes on. Words have both qualitative and a connotative value. The connotative value is where we get into trouble. If I say the word “chair”, you connote an image of a certain type of chair, because you have your own past experiences and definitions to make up your meaning of what “chair” means to you. It might mean any of the following.

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It’s the same thing with any word, including “spirituality”. It could mean Buddhism. Nature. Church. Music. Yoga. It could mean chakras. We found ourselves spending a lot of time explaining “what spirituality meant to us”, and not nearly enough time focusing on how we were going to “bring wellness to VR”. We’ve always believed in the transformational power of VR for personal growth. I think now, in the letting go of the name, we will actually be able to do what we set out to.

Buddhists practice the principle of “non-attachment”, surrendering and relinquishing misguided preconceptions that will allow us to experience the essential peace that is within.

Zen teacher John Daido Loori said,

"[A]ccording to the Buddhist point of view, non-attachment is exactly the opposite of separation. You need two things in order to have attachment: the thing you’re attaching to, and the person who’s attaching. In non-attachment, on the other hand, there’s unity. There’s unity because there’s nothing to attach to. If you have unified with the whole universe, there’s nothing outside of you, so the notion of attachment becomes absurd. Who will attach to what?"

And Unity there is. It was the only sound choice for our prototype. ;)

A prototype built by our CTO, Eiran Shalev, proved methods from our Active Psychology toolkit and the self-compassion/cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) exercise for which we realized there were much wider applications. We now see the larger opportunity to help people build their emotional skills to help them thrive in both personal and professional lives and are developing toward that end.

Technology’s promise has always been to make life more convenient — everything better, and faster. Yet what’s really affecting us, killing us in fact, if not at the very least damaging our quality of life and holding us back from reaching our true potential, are our stress factors and emotional issues. Twenty-five percent (25%) of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and nearly 50 percent of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime. But only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment.

That’s 180 million people missing the psychological support they need, a need NewPathVR is eager to address.

We aren’t abandoning the mission of SpiritualVR, however, we see the impact of the problems of the unwellness epidemic, specifically around stress and behavioral health, contributing to our dissatisfaction, and a 10-15% decrease in economic output. We believe we can change this and help improve health outcomes, through virtual reality.

Stay tuned.

It’s a new path. It’s going to take us somewhere better.

— NewPathVR

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Announcing Renew VR 
The World’s First VR Wellness Portal

San Francisco, California - July 1, 2017 - RenewVR.com is proud to announce the launch of RE:NEW the company’s VR wellness portal. Decades of research studies have shown that virtual reality has unique powers to increase health and wellness of the mind and body.

RenewVR.com is the only place to discover the growing number of VR wellness products. Meditation, mindfulness, nature, stress relief, personal development, music, and atmospheric environments are just some of the categories of VR wellness apps that can be found at RE:NEW.

RE:NEW covers products from all the major VR platforms including Google Cardboard, Apple iTunes, Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. RE:NEW is the only place where people can see all the wellness apps from all of these different platforms in one place.

In addition to the comprehensive, cross-platform virtual reality product directory RE:NEW offers articles about the most recent developments in transformative technology, podcasts, events, and insights from the leaders in the VR wellness community.

RE:NEW also has a partner network for developers of VR wellness apps. Partners enjoy being part of a community where their apps can easily be discovered by consumers seeking wellness through technology as well as be included in a catalog of wellness apps offered to corporate wellness and other distribution channels. Developers can contact the company for more information about all of the benefits of joining the partner network.

RenewVR.com is brought to you by NewPathVR.com, developer of research-driven VR experiences for personal empowerment and emotional intelligence.

About NewPathVR

NewPathVR is the creator of personal development and emotional intelligence applications in virtual reality. The company uses research-based methods to create wellness applications for VR with the goal of evoking positive change through transformative technology. We also power the world’s first VR wellness portal — RE:NEW.

Contact:

Ashild Fossum
Marketing and PR
NewPathVR
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
1390 Market Street #2710
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Dr. Phil's Pat to Recovery ProgramFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RE:NEW VR Wellness Portal to Feature
Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery Virtual Reality Experiences

San Francisco, California - August 21, 2017 - NewPathVR is pleased to announce that they will be working with Dr. Phil to promote Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery on RE:NEW (RenewVR.com), the Leading Source for VR Wellness Experiences.

Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery is a virtual reality recovery reinforcement tool available to help the newly sober make the difficult transition from rehab to the real world.

Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery VR experiences depict various scenarios that are common triggers for individuals reentering the world outside of rehab. Each scenario features a face-to-face experience with Dr. Phil.

This powerful new virtual reality tool for use in the fight against addiction was created with inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities in mind. The RE:NEW wellness portal will help direct people to the various facilities that offer DR. Phil’s virtual reality experiences as part of their treatment program.

"Dr. Phil's drug and alchohol rehab experience highlights the type of wellness content that will draw people to VR." said Lisa Padilla, NewPathVR's founder and CEO. "Wellness products will drive adoption because they represent meaningful content people will use on a regular basis to improve and change their lives."

Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery’s two-step supplemental strategy includes virtual sessions with Dr. Phil, accompanied by workbook exercises designed to be completed and discussed with each facility’s counseling staff.

Designed specifically for those struggling with addiction, it represents the culmination of more than four decades of experience Dr. Phil has working in the mental health profession and addiction recovery. Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery uses virtual reality to help people confront all of the problems in their life (not limited to addiction), identify the causes, and start working toward permanent solutions. You'll be able to find Dr. Phil's Path to Recovery VR program on RE:NEW starting this week and at participating rehab centers.

About Dr. Phil
The creators of this program, Dr. Phil McGraw, who has more than 45 years of experience working in the mental health profession, and Jay McGraw, understand what it takes for someone to make a drastic change in the direction of their life. Initially launched in early 2017, it has been enthusiastically received by reputable facilities coast to coast.

About NewPathVR
NewPath VR creates research-driven virtual reality experiences for personal development and emotional wellbeing. The company creates experiences using its proprietary Active Psychology™ platform which is based on extensive psychological research with the goal of evoking positive change through transformative technology. We also power the world’s first VR wellness portal — RE:NEW (RenewVR.com).

Contact:

Ashild Fossum
Marketing and PR
NewPathVR
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
1390 Market Street #2710
San Francisco, CA 94102


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Mindfulness in VR

September is National Emotional Wellness Month and there's no better time to build up resilience for the upcoming school year and holiday season approaching.

Here are my tips for building resilience through mindfulness.

Right now, as you’re reading these words, this is all that exists. Put the past aside for now. Nobody knows what’s going to happen in the next few seconds, let alone tomorrow. So, by living in the moment, you’re living in the only reality that you can be sure of. This is mindfulness. Being present and appreciating now, whatever is in your "now." Living in the here-and-now is especially helpful when you’re going through a tough time.

You can take things moment by moment, rather than worrying about the whole problem. Say to yourself, ‘I’ll live my life one breath at a time and see what happens.’

1. Get in touch with your body, be mindful of your posture, straighten up a bit, let your head rest comfortably on your spine. Relax your muscles.

2. Breathe. Live life one breath at a time. Take three deep breaths before and after tackling a task or conversation. You will be more present and mindful.

3. Accept what you cannot change. Letting go of things we cannot control can be liberating.

4. Be mindful of what and when you eat. Eat slowly, regularly and because you are hungry, not for distraction or emotional reasons.

5. When you're talking with someone, pay attention and focus on making eye contact, on really seeing them. Practice mindful listening — are you truly listening?

6. Stick gratitude quotes on your wall, mirror or computer, and bring a picture of your family to work – these things may all remind you to be grateful.

7. Spend time with grateful, positive people who inspire you. Robert Emmons, Gratitude Researcher at the University of California says, ‘If we hang out with ungrateful people, we’ll “catch” one set of emotions; if we choose to associate with more grateful individuals, the influence will be in another direction. Find a grateful person and spend more time with him or her.’

8. Listen to music. Music can help focus your mindfulness and meditation practice.

9. Enjoy nature. Enjoying the sunshine and outdoors is a great way to engage the senses and be mindful of the beautiful world around us.

10. Move your body for 30 minutes each day.

11. Sleep well. Mindfulness is associated with better quality and longer sleep, with fewer sleep disturbances.

12. Take time each day to reflect on why you’re here.

13. Discover apps on RenewVR that use the unique properties of virtual reality to encourage personal transformative change. We recommend the following designed for mindfulness:

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RenewVR.com has reached more than 300 interactive virtual experiences with the power to personally transform you and build emotional wellness, with more being added all the time. Frustrated searching the app stores? Find them here! Our health and wellness app reviews bring you the best in abstract art, atmospheric experiences, exploration, meditation, nature, personal development, puzzles, and stress relief.

Events next month:

* The 3rd Annual Innovations in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health: Virtual Reality and Behavior Change in Stanford, CA Oct 6-7
* SOCAP17 is coming up Oct 10-13 in San Francisco, CA
* One Love Experience Oct 20-22 in Lake Perris, CA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NewPathVR and LifeLiqe to Participate in Tech in the Tenderloin Organized by the Salvation Army

Emerging Technologies for Low Opportunity Youth Hackathon and Tech Carnival

September 29th, 2017— San Francisco, CA — NewPathVR is pleased to announce its participation in the upcoming Tech in the Tenderloin (TNT) Hackathon and Tech Carnival September 30th, 2017 at the community Kroc Center in San Francisco’s Tenderloin community.

This is a non-profit initiative focused on introducing emerging technology to the over 4,000 low-opportunity youth in the Tenderloin. TNT will expand career imaginations and opportunities for youth and families in our most challenging neighborhoods by connecting them with emerging tech through fun, innovative, educational programming and engaging activities.

Reimagine urban sustainability and the livability of our cities while experiencing the latest and greatest augmented and virtual (AR/VR) technologies via a one-day HACKATHON and TECH CARNIVAL.

Tech Carnival
Come for the fun! Stay for the tech! An afternoon of fun, food and festivities for kids and families. Interact with the AR/VR games, experiences, and tools. Connect with Bay Area tech companies and non-profits.

Hackathon
Experience a real-live hackathon in progress (including Stanford, Berkeley, Penn State, Carnegie Mellon, UC Davis, Academy of Art, etc.), as select Kroc Center youth support university teams in a solving their neighborhood's and our cities' toughest sustainability challenges using AR/VR technologies. Root for your favorite team during the heated evening pitch-competition!

Root for your favorite as 10 university teams from the Bay Area and beyond battle it out for the best way to engage city-dwellers in making their environment more sustainable, just and livable using augmented reality in fun and social ways.

Tech in the Tenderloin is a not-for-profit initiative in partnership with The Salvation Army's Kroc Center in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.

At the same time we would like to announce our partnership with Lifeliqe, an AR/VR Education platform winning recent accolades from the American Science Foundation. “Our distribution of RenewVR.com of the LifeLiqe application is very exciting because we know that this wonderful education content can now reach so many eager minds seeking new ways to absorb such wondrous information about the body and science. We’re honored to be working with such dedicated developers.”, said Lisa Padilla, founder and CEO of NewPathVR. “And we’re looking forward to showing the kids what else is on our VR Wellness Portal, RenewVR.com, from games for good, to puzzles and psychedelic and space experiences, education and exploration, nature, music, and more."

About NewPathVR
NewPath VR creates research-driven virtual reality experiences for personal development and emotional wellbeing. The company creates experiences using its proprietary Active Psychology™ platform which is based on extensive psychological research with the goal of evoking positive change through transformative technology. We also power the world’s first VR wellness portal — RE:NEW (RenewVR.com).

Contact:

Ashild Fossum
Marketing and PR
NewPathVR
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
1390 Market Street #2710
San Francisco, CA 94102


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Dr. Wang Brings Clinical Psychology Expertise & Therapeutic Innovation

drmichelleOctober 18, 2017, San Francisco, CA — Dr. Michelle Wang has been named chief psychology officer of NewPathVR, and will join as the company’s co-founder, according to CEO Lisa Padilla.

“Dr. Wang is an innovative thinker who brings both passion and strategic expertise to the table,” said Padilla. “Her enthusiasm for NewPathVR’s mission, her energy and her focus on applications with emotional wellness in mind make her an excellent addition to our leadership team, and the right choice to lead NewPathVR’s work forward.”

Dr. Wang holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has advanced training in Attachment Theory, Somatic Psychotherapy, Mindfulness and Meditation, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relational and Interpersonal frameworks, Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies, and Time-Limited Psychodynamic Therapy. She started her career specializing in PTSD, receiving training in state-of-the-art clinical settings including medical centers, VA (Veterans Affairs) hospitals, and centers for survivors of torture. Michelle has acted as a clinical consultant for various organizations, including assisting a Connecticut-based disaster relief team develop a somatic, body-centered treatment protocol aimed to mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress in school-age children in the immediate period following a natural disaster. Her interest in healing through non-ordinary states of reality, specifically, Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy and Virtual Reality (VR)-Assisted Therapy led her to NewPathVR.

“I'm thrilled to be joining NewPath VR as the chief psychology officer.” said Dr. Wang, “What an exciting time to be a part of the burgeoning intersection of tech and mental health! With all that is happening around us and in our communities, it's so important to reimagine traditional healing modalities to be more inclusive to the ever-present digital age in which we are deeply immersed. I am excited about the incredibly powerful healing qualities of VR when used as an instrument to unlock parts of our subconscious that may otherwise be unavailable to us.”

About NewPathVR
NewPath VR creates research-driven virtual reality experiences for personal development and emotional wellbeing. The company creates experiences using its proprietary Active Psychology™ platform which is based on extensive psychological research with the goal of evoking positive change through transformative technology. We also power the world’s first VR wellness portal — RE:NEW (RenewVR.com).

Contact:

Ashild Fossum
Marketing and PR
NewPathVR
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
1390 Market Street #2710
San Francisco, CA 94102

Healing and Expression Through Immersive Art - A New Paradigm

You don't need to be a great artist, or indeed consider yourself to be particularly creative. All you need is an imagination and an open mind to get the most from this VR Art Therapy course.

Here are some of the pieces of immersive artwork from our VR Art Therapy Help October 7th, 2017 in San Francisco, CA:

"I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the teams kind hospitality. I loved experiencing and experimenting with the concept of virtual reality. Definitely looking forward to the next workshop to attend." ~ Nabeel

Within this first ever of its type workshop, you will find exercises on self-exploration and healing painful emotions, as well as exercises for pure enjoyment and recreation. You'll also find exercises for interpersonal communication. This is great for better communication and an appreciation for each other, as you learn and create with one another.

The therapeutic, creative process of self-expression, can improve our physical and mental health, as well as our emotional well being.

  • It helps us to manage our feelings in a more positive way
  • Can give us the confidence to address and resolve issues from the past and present
  • Increase self-esteem and develop a greater self-awareness
  • Creating art through therapeutic means provides an outlet to express yourself freely, which will encourage and promote a healthier, happier life

Did you know that doing art for just twenty minutes a day can bring you enormous benefits, including:

  • A more relaxed state of mind
  • Lowering stress hormones
  • Help with insomnia

VR Art Therapy may sound a bit daunting, especially if you believe yourself not to be particularly artistic or creative or have not had much experience (or any at all) with virtual reality. However, this need not be an issue, as the purpose of art is simply to express, and not to judge, or compare. And, we’ll show you all you need to know.
Art should be an extension of how you're feeling, and for that, you are your own expert.

Check back with us about upcoming events (SF and LA) in your town, coming soon or to request one, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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