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iRest®

About iRest®

“Our entire society reels in pain, exhaustion, despair, and debt. Look closely. All lives are affected and we all need be concerned.”
Edward Tick, Warrior’s Return: Restoring the Soul After War

iRest is a meditation practice based on the ancient tradition of Yoga Nidra and adapted to suit the conditions of modern life. When practiced regularly – a little and often – iRest enables you to meet each moment of your life with unshakable peace and wellbeing, no matter how challenging or difficult your situation.

iRest was developed by Dr. Richard Miller, a spiritual teacher, author, yogic scholar, researcher and clinical psychologist, who combined traditional yogic practice with Western psychology and neuroscience. It is practiced and taught by thousands of people worldwide in a wide range of settings, including health centers, schools, community centers, yoga studios, correctional facilities and military hospitals.

Based on current studies with iRest in the military, the Defense Centers of Excellence has approved iRest as a Complementary and Alternative Medicine warranting continuing research for its use in the treatment of PTSD. In addition, the U.S. Army Surgeon General has listed Yoga Nidra (based on research with iRest) as a Tier 1 approach for addressing Pain Management in Military Care. iRest has been shown to be effective in scientific trials for conditions including chronic pain, sleep problems, depression and anxiety, and PTSD.

iRest is simple to learn and easy to practice. It can be practiced by anyone, regardless of physical ability or experience with meditation. Once learned, iRest® becomes a set of tools for life.

How does iRest resolve trauma?

iRest is an evidence-based form of guided meditation that has been shown to resolve symptoms associated with PTSD. The simple steps of iRest (which have been tested in clinical trials) calm the nervous system, release stress, increase resiliency and restore a sense of balance and control.

iRest is easy to learn and can be practiced by anyone. Even short practices of 10 or 20 minutes can bring about a sense of calm and ease and the ability to face difficult or stressful situations.

There are currently iRest programs in active duty military and VA hospitals and clinics across the United States, as well as in correctional facilities, hospices, homeless shelters, clinics and schools around the globe.

Learn more at the iRest website.

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Statistics and Research

There is a pressing need for efficacious, non-stigmatizing, self-management for recently returned OIF / OEF military personal, veterans and public safety first reponders who do not have access to, refuse, delay, lack confidence or feel stigmatized with standard treatments.

We are at a time where awareness has been raised through research about the importance of overall physical and mental fitness, which includes promoting and instilling wellness across the many dimensions of health. This mind body connection explains why psychological resilience can motivate and sustain physical fitness and engage performance in challenging environments.

RESEARCH

2019

iRest® Meditation for Older Adults with Depression Symptoms: A Pilot Study.
Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCR; Melissa Nelson, CATC
Abstract – Older adults, a rapidly growing population in the United States, have fewer physiological reserves and are more likely to be affected by stress, making them especially susceptible to depression symptoms.
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2018

Effectiveness of Integrative Restoration (iRest®) Yoga Nidra on Mindfulness, Sleep, and Pain in Health Care Workers.
Livingston, Eva, RN, BSN; Collette-Merrill, Katreena, PhD, RN
This article examines the effectiveness of Integrative Restoration (iRest®) Yoga Nidra meditation on mindfulness, sleep, and pain in health care workers. As health care workers provide emotional support to patients, it is not uncommon for workers to experience both physical and mental exhaustion.
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2014
Delivering Integrative Restoration Yoga Nidra Meditation (iRest®) to Women with Sexual Trauma at a Veteran’s Medical Center: A Pilot Study.
Pamela G. Pence; Lori S. Katz; Cristi Huffman; Geta Cojucar, MA
This pilot study examines iRest, a form of guided mindfulness meditation, and its ability to reduce symptoms associated with sexual trauma, including military sexual trauma (MST), in a sample of women seeking psychotherapy services at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center.
View Full Paper Here

2014
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mindfulness Meditation (iRest®) for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in U.S. Veterans Using the Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale.
Thomas H. Nassif, PhD; Deborah O. Norris, PhD; Karen L. Soltes, LCSW; Marc R. Blackman, MD; Julie C. Chapman, PsyD; Friedhelm Sandbrink, MD.
This pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation (MM) for managing chronic pain in U.S. military veterans who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during deployment to Afghanistan (OEF) or Iraq (OIF). Musculoskeletal pain conditions are the most frequently diagnosed health condition in this military cohort, exceeding any other medical or psychological concern (1, 2).
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2011
Transforming Trauma: A Qualitative Feasibility Study of Integrative Restoration (iRest®) Yoga Nidra on Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Stankovic, L., MA, RYT.
This eight-week study examined the feasibility of offering weekly classes in Integrative Restoration (iRest®), a form of mindfulness meditation, to military combat veterans at a community mental health agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. Participants were 16 male combat veterans (15 Vietnam War and 1 Iraq War) of mixed ethnicity, aged 41 to 66 years, suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
View Full Paper Here

2011
Effectiveness of a Mindfulness Based Group Therapy (MBGT) Using iRest® in Improving the Quality of Life in People Who Have Had a Brain Injury: A Pilot Study.
Ovitt, L.
Acquired brain injury (TBI) is a major health problem in industrialized countries that has reached epidemic proportions. There are numerous physical, neurological and psychiatric consequences of TBI that interfere with a person’s day-to-day functioning.
View Full Paper Here

iRest® for the Miltary, Veterans and Public Safety First Responders

Whether you are an active duty service member, veteran, military family member or professional working in the military, iRest can help you address the unique challenges you face, whether related to adjustment back to civilian life, sleep issues, or Post Traumatic Stress injuries.

iRest is also designed to meet the growing demand for specialized trauma-informed clinicians and instructor who wish to acquire the knowledge and skills that will allow them to teach yoga and meditation to their own clients in a way that is safe, effective, and relevant.

How would it be if we could cultivate the emotional and mental dexterity to access a full spectrum of internal resources to activate optimum health and well-being?

Based on the ancient practice of Yoga Nidra, iRest is designed to systematically reduce physical, emotional, mental, and subconscious tension that characterizes multiple challenges including traumatic stress injuries.

Immersed in the iRest military program participants are taught to manage disturbing moods and memories with a skill set that enables them to objectively respond to intense emotional experiences through conscious choices rather than unconscious reactions. The simple techniques can also be used in all aspects of daily life to feel more mentally and emotionally balanced when encountering difficult situations. A sense of emotional mastery is developed. These techniques are presumed to cause a relaxation response through a multi-faceted approach of psycho-physiological mechanisms to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and the innate healing capacities of the mind body spirit complex.

The protocol is a synthesis of contemporary psychology and ancient yogic wisdom. It teaches progressive relaxation, breathing, stress reduction, cognitive and meditation techniques aimed at raising conscious awareness and healing various aspects of the mental, emotional, and physical relationship. Its approach is non-dogmatic and secular, which does not conflict with personal religious beliefs.

Regular practice enables participants to activate their potential to live more fully aware, accepting and welcoming of each moment and situation they encounter. This in turn strengthens participants’ abilities to respond rather than react.

Supportive evidence shows that regular iRest interventions lead to transformative and sustainable psychological changes.