Today, we are going to meet a personal and professional development coaching firm specialising in change strategies, Agissons Ensemble. Why have they integrated Healthy Mind’s therapeutic virtual reality headsets into their sessions? What benefits do they see from using them and how do their clients respond? To find out, we discussed these topics with Nancy Christ, a wellness coach, in an interview, as well as in a video testimony with Merveil Christ, Sophro-coach and Relaxalogue.
Why did you choose to introduce therapeutic virtual reality headsets into personal and professional development coaching?
Nancy: Merveil wanted to breathe new life into coaching and relaxation. He was looking for a tool that could be innovative and that would bring a real plus compared to the coaching we were already offering in a “classic” way.
His market study was provided and he decided on Healthy Mind, because the tool met his expectations: a medical device with graphic landscapes that will really allow people to escape and that will encourage the imagination. Graphic landscapes also mean infinite creation!
When I accompany him in intervention, what I find interesting and positive is that we are not on a filmed image, it creates a surprise effect and it really makes a difference! This approach allows for real differentiation in the market.
If I had to summarise, I would say that it was a desire to be able to work in a different way and to be able to stand out from the competition.
What benefits have you seen from using immersions in your sessions?
Nancy: The wonderful thing about the Healthy Mind solution is that we have been able to add another string to our bow. We can offer relaxation sessions in different modalities: with the headset, without the headset or a combination of both approaches.
We have found that this use allows us to go faster and further. With the device, people are quickly immersed and the letting go also happens more quickly. In coaching sessions, for example, we sometimes add a relaxation part with visualisation. Now we suggest using the headsets for 10 to 15 minutes, which allows you to relax and to be able to continue with the coaching in a serene manner, leaving all the burdens behind.
For senior citizens in retirement homes or in nursing homes, we intervene in therapeutic animation or on a more regular basis. When we follow people over a period of 3 months, we can see post-intervention results, especially for those who suffer from chronic pain.
During an immersion, even if it only lasts 10 to 15 minutes, the pain is really reduced, or even completely forgotten. The person feels so far away that he or she forgets the state of his or her body. It is very gratifying to think that we are able to provide relief.
On the other hand, it also makes the work of the carers easier. Often the medical staff come back to us with good feedback, pointing out the change before and after for the residents. This makes them feel more relaxed about the approach to care and they will also tend to help and participate.
The carers sometimes write to us and say, “You’ve been away for two days, but our residents are still on cloud nine! We can’t wait to see you again” and that’s very nice to hear. This feedback is about things that we can’t see when we’re working, but it shows the lasting effect of the immersions.
The result remains and that is important to us. We want to give the residents the marbles so that they can maintain this state of well-being because they are actors in it, although the environment around them does not necessarily help.
How did your clients react when you offered this virtual reality experience?
Nancy: Generally speaking, we notice curiosity when we introduce virtual reality headsets. However, reactions vary depending on the generation.
Younger people, from teenagers to young adults, are very familiar with the technology and VR, so the introduction is easy. Those in their thirties are often surprised by the possibilities of the device, especially those who are new to virtual reality.
For people in their forties and fifties, the use of the headsets is a complete discovery and they themselves are surprised, after the experience, that they were able to play the game. At first, they are not convinced, but they try it anyway and finally they adhere because the promise is kept: you will be able to let go, release tension and leave with a full energy. It is clear that the process isn’t all that bad!
Each immersion is experienced as a total change of scenery. Users are completely seduced by the quality of the immersion and the sensations they feel inside themselves. Some people feel hot or cold. They even ask us if we intervened during the immersion!
We encourage people to try the device because we know that the product delivers what it promises. Customers often recommend the experience to their friends and family, explaining their initial doubts and their opinions after the demonstration.
What do you think makes Healthy Mind different from other proposals?
Nancy: The solution is a unique approach that takes into account the user’s condition. Merveil also takes the time to talk to people before, during and after the immersion. We like to emphasise the human aspect: we are not here to put a helmet on you, we are here to accompany you with a tool.
For people who are not used to this technology, we will start with a relaxation session in order to approach the immersion in a positive way. Throughout the immersions, we can continue to interact with the users. The person is never left alone in his or her environment, the intervention parameters of the solution allow us to communicate at all times with the users.
The functionality of recording a personalised accompaniment is great as it allows us to respond specifically to the needs of each person. After the immersion, we do a debriefing to find out how the moment was experienced and how it felt.
We also like to awaken the senses with scents for example, so that the person who arrives in our space can feel a break between where they were before and the place of relaxation where they are now, so they can say to themselves: “here I take time for myself and I start to escape through my senses”.
How did you integrate the Healthy Mind device into your practice?
Nancy: We easily integrated the device after the Healthy Mind training to understand the tool, everything went smoothly.
During the coaching sessions, while I talk to the person and suggest possible environments, Merveil starts the tablet and sets things up, then he takes over. We have integrated this naturally into our process.
Do you propose other uses for the virtual reality headset?
Nancy: We offer events that will bring together different participants in the field of well-being, which we call Eden Experiences. We continue to offer relaxation sessions with the headset and then we combine it with a massage session.
This combination allows us to achieve both mental and physical relaxation. We all need it at the moment! After the session, visitors leave with a new state of mind and the idea that taking care of their well-being is important in everyday life.
In the corporate world, we work more within the framework of quality of life at work (QWL) and we adjust according to what the company wants for its employees. We use the same process, but we adapt to professional constraints.
In the private sector, we can travel for solo, duo or group experiences. In parallel, we organise events to allow others to discover this experience and to leave with advice from our Coach or our Aesthetician-Masseuse to take care of themselves.
Agissons Ensemble and Healthy Mind: a unique duo to promote relaxation
We would like to thank Agissons Ensemble for this discovery of their work and for their feedback on the Healthy Mind device!
If you would like to experience a unique moment with Agissons Ensemble, you can find more information about their support on their website or during the Eden Experiences. The next meeting will take place in Marseille on the 24th and 25th of June. To discover other use cases of the device or to obtain more information on our Healthy Mind solution, feel free to contact our team.