NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Participants in the 2019 Resiliency Fair, sponsored by the Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Susquehanna Family Advocacy Program, were able to take part in the first meditation sessions held in the Fitness Center’s new Wellness Center.
Ann Walker, Family Advocacy program manager, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna, organized and facilitated the sessions. She explained how the idea became a reality.
“Managing stress is a major component of resiliency and a healthy lifestyle. In preparation for the Resiliency Fair in 2018, we thought it might be interesting to have an activity which focuses on stress reduction. We developed a segment of the event we called the “Meditation Station” and advertised that we would be holding 20-minute meditation sessions. To our surprise, several employees came to the fair and announced that they were specifically there for the meditations,” said Walker.
“Each session utilized several techniques including guided breathing exercises, mindfulness and progressive relaxation,” said Walker, adding, “We received rave reviews and several guests requested that we develop an official program.”
As a result of last year’s success, the official Wellness Center debuted at this year’s Resiliency Fair Sept. 19. Each session held during the fair was attended to capacity.
The Wellness Center room offers soothing décor, a salt lamp, a diffuser with mild, pleasant fragrances, battery operated candles and soft lighting. Gentle, comforting music will always play in the background and educational handouts on relaxation and stress management are offered.
“Each session will include a very brief presentation on the value of incorporating a stress reduction program into our lives,” said Walker. “Patrons may attend as they chose and there is currently no plan to have sign-ups. However, sessions will be limited to five individuals. Accommodations may be made to expand frequency and capacity if needed in the future.”
The Wellness Center officially opened Oct. 2. Two 20-minute meditation sessions will be held every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. and noon. Walker will facilitate the sessions. A licensed clinical social worker, she was a former instructor of Transcendental Meditation and has been leading guided Mindfulness techniques and relaxation exercises for many years.
“Employees may utilize their lunch period, or their wellness/fitness time to attend the sessions. If they use their wellness/fitness time, there may be additional time to take a walk or use the fitness equipment,” said Walker.
Walker mentioned there will be an add-on to the meditation program.
“There will be an additional service offered one time per month in the Wellness Center. A health educator from the Carlisle Barracks Army Wellness Center will be performing metabolic assessments and body composition and making recommendations based on the testing results. More information will follow on this program.”
According to Walker, the Wellness Center will eventually become part of a bigger center once the Fitness Center is updated.
“An addition to the Fitness Center has been approved and space for these types of programs have been allocated. Construction is slated to start sometime in 2020. We look forward to feedback on participation and receptiveness to the Wellness Program to assess interest in additional programs,” said Walker adding, “Yoga classes will be available in the future, and plans to offer massage therapy are being considered.”