2YH: Helping heal the mind by resting it

Published: Feb. 6, 2020 at 1:54 PM AKST
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Behind the doors at The Meditation Space AK is a quiet space. It's also a safe space.

iRest is a guided meditation led by Kelly Wright Sr. The hour-long class is designed to help calm the body and mind.

"The part that I really like about it is it's focused on each individual in the room will be hearing the same words, but they're dealing with their own stuff," said Wright.

Wright became interested in the practice after he retired from the United States Navy. He served 26 years,18 of those as a Navy SEAL.

"iRest has been very helpful in calming my mind to keep it more centered, more focused and not going off on a direction where it used to be very angry," said Wright.

The practice is used at Walter Reed Medical Center and other VA facilities to treat veterans with PTSD.

"I think that's the biggest thing is trust is wounded, hurt, broken and to learn to trust again can be the most challenging thing for people," added Wright.

Now, having implemented the meditation practice into his life, he's seeing more veterans like Tommy Grafstrom and Craig Fisher give it a chance too.

"It teaches you that you can find well being from within and it's always with you. Kelly, he's a Navy Seal, he's hardcore you know like and that's one of the things that brought me into it and then Kelly he has a real good demeanor and it's something I wanted," said Grafstrom.

"He can kind of walk you through different distractions, think about your hands think about the taste in your mouth, things along those lines.

When I'm done with it I feel myself at ease," added Fisher.

Both with very different stories, but a common desire for healing. Fisher suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car accident and Grafstrom turned to alcohol.

"I want a well being and I want to be calm and I don't want to react all the time. I want to be able to respond and be cool," said Grafstrom.

"There's not a whole lot of things that clinically that facilitate that return of volume to different brain injuries but meditation does," said Fisher.

After several sessions, both noticed a difference.

"Long story short after about 3 years of kind of plugging in and doing this that left side's almost the same as the right to the point to where it's functioning again," said Fisher.

"Being able to deal with life's stresses and stuff like that and have the right response to them. That's all you can control is yourself," 'added Grafstrom.

"Hopefully one step at a time, one person at a time, one iRest at a time and hopefully they can learn to trust again," said Wright.

All Veterans who are used to exercising their mind, now get a chance to heal it by resting it.

The iRest classes are open to everyone, not just veterans.

to learn more or schedule a class.

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