IRI MILITARY PROGRAMS by Mary Ellen Rose

The origins of 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, which was adapted by Richard Miller, PhD, and renamed for military use as Integrative Restoration - iRest. The study was conducted with soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In June of 2010, iRest was endorsed by the US Army Surgeon General and Defense Centers of Excellence as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Following the 2006 study, the Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) at WRAMC integrated the iRest Program into its weekly treatment program for soldiers.

iRest programs have subsequently been set up in over 50 Veterans Administration Hospitals and Military Bases/Hospitals across the United States, supporting Active Duty, Veterans and families of Service Members.

Over 25 research studies have been completed utilizing iRest for healing PTSD, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, sleep issues, and for enhancing resiliency and well-being. iRest is also being studied as a non-pharmacological alternative to drugs that are used to treat PTSD, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and sleep-related issues.

We know many of our teachers offer iRest to the Military in venues across the US, Canada, and Australia. I hope over this next year to share the work of many of these exceptional teachers within our community.

We have recently designed support documents (flyers and brochures) to help iRest teachers working with Active Duty Military and Veterans to provide information about the practice. iRest teachers who offer classes at Yellow Ribbon events also have documents available to support their offerings. You will find the flyer and brochures on the Teacher Resource page later this month. 

I am also pleased to announce that in early March, we are running our first Level 1 iRest Teacher Training to Active Duty Service Members on the Sembach Kaserne Base in Germany. We are honored by the request to directly train Military Staff Members in iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation.