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Tackling Injuries with Meditation, Not Medication
Veteran Tanya Boldt struggled with service-connected injuries for years. She used to associate the VA with pain and nurses drawing blood. All that changed when she started attending all-women’s yoga therapy classes at the Memphis VA to treat her health problems.
“Yoga helped me to feel different about the VA,” she said. “I go into a room with low lighting and peaceful music. I stretch through the pain and relax. Now whenever I think of the VA, I think of a soft, quiet place instead.” The VA has become Boldt’s haven away from pain.
Yoga is one of the newest forms of therapy at the hospital. Three specialized yoga courses are offered: a women’s class, a seniors’ class, and a mixed-gender class.
Though the stress-relieving program has only been in place for a few weeks, it’s already very popular with the Veterans who try it. When asked if they plan to continue the yoga program, every Veteran answered the same way: “Definitely!”
Volunteer Joyce Smith leads the classes. In one of her training courses, the longtime yoga instructor heard that the military used yoga to treat PTSD, so she signed up to volunteer. Read more.