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Mindful Meditation at Washington DC VA Medical Center

A group of six people sit in a line while meditating.

This National Meditation Month, Washington DC VA Medical Center is spreading the word about meditation classes and resources available to Veterans through the Integrated Health and Wellness Program.

Meditation is a defined practice or technique that primarily focuses on training attention regulation processes, with the intent of cultivating general mental well-being or improving specific capacities such as concentration, compassion or insight. Simply put, meditation is the practice of training your attention to achieve a mental state of calm concentration and positive emotions. While the art of meditating has been around for thousands of years, its popularity has grown more recently as research shows its effectiveness in improving health and wellness.

“Meditating has so many health benefits like improving your overall mood and lowering stress and anxiety,” said Washington DC VA Medical Center Integrated Health and Wellness Coordinator, Jennifer Rapien, LISW, MS, C-IAYT, RYT-500. “Meditation allows for us to be in the moment and to find peace in challenging situations.”

Some of the health benefits associated with meditation include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved mental wellness
  • Promote healthy sleep patterns
  • Enhanced self-awareness
  • Boost cognitive skills
  • Increase pain tolerance levels
  • Reduced blood pressure

At the Washington DC VA Medical Center, Veterans can take advantage of several forms of meditation with Integrated Health and Wellness and the Whole Health Program. Meditation classes are offered in several formats, six days a week, to ensure Veterans can find a method that works for them.

“There are so many ways to meditate. For example, yoga and Tai-Chi incorporate mindfulness and movement, which may resonate better with someone who prefers a movement practice,” said Rapien. “With classes offered Monday through Saturday, I encourage Veterans to try them and see what works best for them.”

While the approach to each form of meditation might differ, Rapien said the goal of all meditation classes offered at Washington DC VA Medical Center remain the same.

“Our classes are designed to teach Veterans how to cultivate mindful awareness,” she said. “We want to provide them with the tools to focus on the present moment and apply that to their everyday life.”

To help Veterans continue their meditation journey at home, VA offers a wealth of resources like mindfulness guided recordings, relaxation videos and the Mindfulness Coaching App. To learn more about meditation services offered through VA, click here.

Talk to your VA provider to receive a consult with the Integrated Health and Wellness Program to start your meditation journey today.

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