Military (Active Duty and Veterans)
Overview of iRest in the Military
The origins of IRI and iRest are deeply tied to the service and support of the US Military. In 2006, the Department of Defense conducted research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) on the efficacy of Yoga Nidra (an ancient meditative practice dating back to 2500 B.C.E.). Renamed Integrative Restoration, or iRest for short, the protocol was developed and led by Richard Miller, PhD. The study was conducted with soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Following the study, the Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) at WRAMC integrated the iRest protocol into its weekly treatment program for soldiers. iRest programs have subsequently been set up at VA facilities in Miami, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Washington, DC, and Rockford and Evanston, Illinois. Also, we now have an iRest program at the VA Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee led by Lori Simms Ph.D.
Click here to listen to a free download (short practice) of iRest Yoga Nidra for the military! Click here to watch a YouTube introductory video for the series of 15 meditations that includes this short iRest practice.
About PTSD and iRest
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a severe anxiety disorder with typical treatment being medications and/or psychotherapy. IRI and senior iRest teachers work with those experiencing trauma, their physicians and caregivers to navigate the symptoms of PTSD, and often associated conditions such as phobias, suicidal feelings, mood disorders, insomnia, fatigue, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, all of which can be debilitating.
In working with traumas of the mind, as well as severe traumas in the body, iRest has helped navigate recovery and increase coping skills. iRest is integrative in that it heals the various unresolved issues, traumas, and wounds that are present in the body and mind, and restorative in that it aids the body and mind in returning to a natural state of functioning. iRest fosters freedom from stress and trauma, and helps identify and heal destructive tendencies that otherwise can impede the healing process.
Click here to watch a local news story about Nisha Money, an iRest teacher who is also an Air Force doctor in Washington, DC and who works with veterans.
Click here to read an article published in the US Air Forces Surgeon General's Newsletter in 2009 about the use of iRest in the military, written by iRest Teacher and Air Force doctor, Nisha N. Money, MD, MPH, ABIHM, Integrative Medicine & Global Health Specialist (email: email@example.com).
Click here to read the iRest Warrior Care blog from the Office Of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy - U.S. Department of Defense.
Read a recently published (3/18/2012) article from The Miami Herald: For Veterans, Yoga Can Offer Peace
Where iRest is currently being used in the Military:
Nashville, TN VA
Sepulveda VA in Los Angeles, CA
San Antonio Military Medical Center (formerly Brooke Army Medical Center), TX
Camp LeJeune Marine Corps Base and Naval Hospital, NC
Fort Carson, CO
Rockford, IL VA
Evanston, IL VA
Long Beach, CA VA
Northern California VA System/Martinez campus
Miami, FL VA
Palo Alto, CA VA
Sacramento, CA Vets Center
Yuba/Sutter CA Stand Down Office
Washington, DC VA
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, MD
This video clip is part of the TV show "The American Veteran" and was produced by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Featured in the video is one of our senior teachers, Molly Birkholm, teaching iRest at the Miami, Florida VA.
iRest offers the men and women serving in the Armed Forces and veterans in all walks of civilian life, a simple tool for healing through the variety of symptoms and issues that they are facing while actively serving or after being discharged from the service of our country.
"The techniques are simple and easy to follow at any time and anywhere. I have been able to tolerate my chronic pain and relieve my depression. After years of anxiety and depression, I have been able to go to school, finish my courses and return to work." Scott - Vietnam war vet
"iRest brought out the 10-year old boy that I didn't even know existed anymore. I was so happy to know that a part of me is still innocent. I want to find him again and learn to laugh again." Ralph - Vietnam Vet
"Instead of feeling like there is something wrong with us, iRest makes us feel like there is something right with us." Gilbert - Iraq War Vet
"I actually feel free of the prison of my mind." Rene - Vietnam Vet
This video clip is created by Walter Reed Army Medical Center's DHCC (Deployment Health Clinical Center) program for wounded warriors where the initial research was carried out on the effectiveness of Integrative Restoration (iRest Yoga Nidra) with PTSD. Robin Carnes, a certified iRest teacher based in Washington, DC, is featured in the video.