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    Wellness program makes breathing a breeze at Omaha VAMC

    Wellness program makes breathing a breeze at Omaha VAMC

    Photo By Jennifer Scales | John Cavanaugh (center), recreation therapy assistant and Air Force Veteran, leads the...... read more read more

    OMAHA, NE, UNITED STATES

    06.13.2018

    Story by Jennifer Scales 

    Columbia VA Health Care System

    “Breathe in…notice how air moves more easily in your chest…sweeping…breath out slowly releasing the tension…breathe in again…”

    And so, this is how at least 15 minutes during the lunch break goes for employees at the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System at least once a week.

    Qigong is just one of the programs instructed by John Cavanaugh, Air Force Veteran and recreation therapy assistant at the Omaha VA Medical Center.

    The Employee Wellness Program at the Omaha facility incorporates several theories of wellness for the staff as time permits either during the lunch hour or at the end of the day.

    According to Cavanaugh, employees anywhere can exhibit burnout and be completely exhausted at the end of the day. This is where the Employee Wellness Program at Omaha VAMC can offer a bit of help for all interested staff to find some time to relax and release the cortisol in their body.

    Cortisol is often called the "stress hormone" because of its connection to the stress response and can accumulate in anyone.

    “A build-up of the hormone can make people have ailments which includes lack of sleep,” Cavanaugh said.

    However, one way the Employee Wellness Program is championing the well-being of the staff is to offer free classes such as Yoga and Tai Chi, in addition to Qigong.

    “We give our all to our Veterans here,” Cavanaugh said. “We just want to make sure the staff is in good health. And breathing better is just one way to make sure we continue providing them with the best care.

    Veterans are not left out of the picture for better health along these lines. Army Veteran Daniel Strohmeier, also a recreation assistant who teaches Yoga, noted that future classes are planned for Veterans.

    “Right now, even though Yoga is offered for staff, Veterans will have specific classes available to them in the coming months,” Strohmeier said. “We want Veterans to be just as well-rounded in breathing techniques also.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.13.2018
    Date Posted: 06.14.2018 20:22
    Story ID: 281023
    Location: OMAHA, NE, US 

    Web Views: 59
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