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Health & wellness at Central Arkansas VA

Health & wellness - Whole Health - is our cutting-edge approach to care that supports your health and wellbeing. It centers around what matters to you, not what is the matter with you. We get to know you as a person and work with you to develop a personalized health plan based on your values, needs, and goals.

At CAVHS, we offer a number of ways for you to take advantage of self care, learn about health & wellness practices and take charge of your life:

  • Mindfulness - using the power of the mind to help with stress, emotions and in building a happier life
  • Movement - using yoga, tai chi, walking and simple movement techniques to relieve pain, build energy, and calm the mind
  • Massage - using hand and body massage to relax muscles, relieve stress, and build health living
  • Meals - using basic cooking skills to help you prepare healthy meals

Orientation to Health & Wellness: Gain an understanding of the Whole Health approach to health care. Learn about the Components of Proactive Health and Well-being, also known as the Circle of Health. Begin to define or redefine your mission, aspiration, and purpose (MAP). Explore how the Personal Health Inventory (PHI) can be utilized in your journey for better health and well-being.  2nd and 4th Monday of the month; 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; in person or virtual; call 501-478-5014.

Taking Charge of My Life & Health: Gain a detailed understanding of the Whole Health approach to Personal Development. How much time do you invest in what really matters to you in life? Are you ready to learn a totally new way to wellness? The class helps build the foundation towards making positive changes in your health and wellness, plan how you will achieve it and provide support for your journey to success. In person or virtual; call 501-478-5014.

Yoga Introduction: Provides the opportunity to learn about yoga, basic definitions, positions and the mind body breath connection. Attendees will be able to ask questions and learn basic knowledge and safety regarding benefits, health issues and injuries. They will then have access to all Yoga practice offerings from beginner, intermediate and/or chair sessions. An increasing number of studies show that yoga, either seated or standing, provides many therapeutic benefits including stress reduction, increased flexibly, and improved sleep. In person or virtual; call 501-478-5014.

Tai-Chi Introduction:  Introduction will address basic knowledge about Tai Chi to include comfortable clothing, safety, language, mental focus, coordination, breath control and movement through footwork and meaning of postures. Standard standing practice as well as adaptations for seated, wheelchair and standing assist as needed for each attendee.  With completion of the introduction, Veterans will be provided list of all levels of Tai Chi available to participate in on a drop-in basis. Studies show that Tai Chi and Qi Gong provide many therapeutic benefits including stress reduction, improved circulation, improved balance, gait, mobility, improved mental health, immune defense, and lowering blood pressure.  In person or virtual; call 501-257-3754.

Walking for Movement: Walking for 30 minutes a day or more on most days of the week is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health.  But if you can’t manage 30 minutes a day, remember even a little is good.  This is for beginner walkers to casually explore their best walking pace/distance and advanced walkers to expand their baseline and set personal goals for walking.  Walking with others can turn exercise into an enjoyable social occasion. In person or virtual; call 501-478-5014.

Self-Awareness Through Mindful Practices: More and more people struggle with anxiety, excessive stress, and symptoms of depression in today’s busy paced lives. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. This class will teach you a variety of techniques such as breathing methods, guided imagery and body mind relaxation skills to help manage those moments that see to overwhelm us.  In person or virtual; call 501-257-1425.

Healthy Teaching Kitchen Introduction: Healthy Teaching Kitchen Intro is a class which teaches Veterans basic healthy cooking skills. The class aims to improve health by teaching Veterans how to feel confident in a kitchen and make healthy food choices by showing how to prepare foods.  The class provides cooking demonstrations and offers hands-on participation.  Completion of this course allows attendance for advanced cooking classes. Culinary medicine is aimed at helping people reach good personal medical decisions about accessing and eating high-quality meals that help prevent and treat disease and restore well-being. Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m.; in person or virtual; call 501-257-2865.

Spirit & Soul: One of the objectives of developing a Spiritual Relationship with life is to explore ways of living that work better than the ones we presently practice. Spiritual awareness is a process that allows us to look at ourselves in new & creative ways so that we may be healthy in all areas of our lives. This class incorporates activities, discussions & questions in a safe, non-judgmental environment. The emphasis is on the individual & personal experiences of our veterans in a quest for greater wellbeing & fulfillment in life. Call 501-257-2156.

Improve Financial Future & Reduce Stress: Financial challenges are typically listed as one of the top 3 causes of stress in our lives, typically affecting 70% of Americans.  Visiting with someone about your financial challenges has been found to be a leading method to find solutions to your financial challenges and reduce financial stress.  In our group meetings and individual financial coaching, we explore tips and techniques helpful in dealing with personal and family financial issues.  We focus on helping you find solutions and reducing financial stress. This session can be followed by individual sessions when suitable and slots are available. In person or virtual; call 501-257-3144.

SMART Goals in Motion: Join this session to create clear path/map to your Mission, Aspiration and Purpose by focusing on the importance of self-exploration to creating effective changes. Using discussion and real-life examples, this group is designed to strengthen observation of core values, purposes and strengths. Each session will begin with a short discussion, creation or update of a goal, 45-minute session break-out groups determined by your goal and returning to the general session for discussion. (Prerequisite: Health & Wellness Orientation or Taking Charge of My Life and Health.)  In person or virtual; call 501-478-5014.

Life Coaching, Small Shifts to Make a Big Difference: So, what is Life Coaching?  Life Coaching, in individual or group sessions, helps you address what is important to you right now helping you explore solutions to your unique challenges.  Additionally, Life Coaching helps you explore the possibilities of tomorrow and the various steps you might take to achieve your objectives.  Individual and group sessions are available with a certified coach.

Sleep Hygiene: A good night’s rest is essential to maintaining good health. This group provides education about healthy sleep habits including creating a positive sleep environment and tips for what to avoid around bedtime (i.e. exercise, caffeine, tobacco). This series also addresses the benefits of sleep restriction, consistent waking/bedtime routines, and relaxation techniques. This course is for anyone who is unsatisfied with their quality of sleep and is interested to learn more about how they can improve their healthy sleep habits. In person or virtual; call 501-257-3441.

Self-Care with Massage: Providing the Veteran with stress management skills through touch, that can be utilized at home.  Techniques such as acupressure and therapeutic touch will be discussed and practiced. This session will educate Veteran’s on how to be in tune with the body while promoting self-healing. Clinical benefits as well as healthy living benefits of massage will be covered in this class.

Healthy cooking recipes

Mandie Johnson

Mandie Johnson MS, OTR/L

Health & Wellness Program Coordinator

VA Central Arkansas health care

Phone: 501-257-3144

Lamanda Blackman

Lamanda Blackman HWISC

Lead Peer Support Specialist

VA Central Arkansas health care

Phone: 501-257-3144

Megan Green

Megan Green MS, RD, LD, IFNCP

Health & Wellness Clinical Dietitian

VA Central Arkansas health care

Phone: 501-257-3144

Kryste Whitehead

Kryste Whitehead LMT

Health & Wellness massage therapist

VA Central Arkansas health care

Phone: 501-257-3144

Cynthia Frusha

Cynthia Frusha

Yang Tai Chi Instructor

VA Central Arkansas health care

Phone: 501-257-3144

Meredith Morton

Meredith Morton APRN

Health & Wellness Clinical Coordinator

VA Central Arkansas health care

Phone: 501-257-3144

Stephanie Riedmueller

Stephanie Riedmueller MS, OTR/L, CCAP

Health & Wellness Aromatherapist

VA Central Arkansas health care

Phone: 501-257-3144