Virtual Dreaming is more than computer-assisted lucid dreaming with wide therapeutic applications, because this new technology is designed to allow the user more choice over the direction of their dream experience.
Lucid dreaming is the rare situation when a dreamer is aware they are dreaming and manages to remain asleep. However, lucid dreaming is simply about awareness, not about control or direction of the dream. Virtual Dreaming on the other hand allows both awareness and a degree of control depending on the experience of the practitioner. This combination makes for an ideal therapeutic arena.
Virtual Dreaming technology has been developed by the Institute for the Development of Dream Research, which is a small and independent organization that operates as a hub for the licensing and further development of Virtual Dreaming. The technology is currently licensed out on a case-by-case basis to community organizations. IDDR focus their research and resources on the benefits of Virtual Dreaming in relation to therapeutics.
There have been numerous attempts to induce the state of lucid dreaming with various rates of success. The problem lies largely with the consistency of the methods. Dr. Stephen LaBerge developed an approach that he labelled mnemonic induction of lucid dreams, or MILD. He maintains that by recognizing a dream one is dreaming, one can attain control over it. LaBerge combined this with a number of supplements designed to boost Acetylcholine levels to increase the likelihood of lucid dreaming. 
Researchers following LaBerge, including Thomas Yuschak, further refined this method and cited the need for balancing the levels of other hormones and neurotransmitters, including Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine. Yuschak’s book, published in 2006, gained widespread popularity amongst people seeking to enhance their dreams for recreational or self-help purposes, as it went into detail on how to combine supplements with other techniques to enhance the vividness and overall recall of dreams.
In 2001, following the founding of IDDR by Gary McNaughton, continued research led to the discovery that the entire human body can act as a conductor of electricity and this can be achieved wirelessly. The current travels up the body and arrives at the brain as one signal amongst many.
Recent clinical studies have proven Virtual Dreaming to have therapeutic benefits in pain management, stress disorders and insomnia. This research is particularly notable because of the effectiveness of the technology in healing the milder forms of these disorders and severely reducing the symptoms of the stronger suffers.
Virtual Dreaming also has a wide range of applications in the broader community, from recreation to academic training, in much the same way computers have been adapted to all facets of life.
- Laberge, Stephen (1991-11-13). Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming. Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0345374103.
- Yuschak, Thomas (2006-12-21). Advanced Lucid Dreaming - The Power of Supplements. lulu.com. ISBN 9781430305422.
- Virtual Dreaming: Clinical Studies Show Successful Results, Grant H. Moorpark, Artmedia, ISBN 0957884443