Remote Delivery of Mindful Movement Within Healthcare Systems: Lessons Learned From the Veterans Health Administration

Author: Alison M Whitehead1, Rashmi Mullur2,3, Marlysa B Sullivan4, Francesca M Nicosia5,6,7
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, Veterans Health Administration, Washington, DC, USA. <sup>2</sup> Greater Los Angles Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Los Angeles, CA, USA. <sup>3</sup> Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA. <sup>4</sup> Empower Veterans Program, Atlanta VA Health Care System (AVAHCS), Atlanta, GA, USA. <sup>5</sup> Institute for Health and Aging, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA. <sup>6</sup> San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System, San Francisco, CA, USA. <sup>7</sup> VHA Office of Rural Health, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center, Lowa, IA, USA.
Conference/Journal: Glob Adv Integr Med Health
Date published: 2024 Mar 17
Other: Volume ID: 13 , Pages: 27536130241235908 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/27536130241235908. , Word Count: 252

Mindful Movement approaches have been a growing part of the Veterans Health Administration (VA). Innovations in tele-health technology had been an important initiative before the public health emergency to meet the needs of rural veterans as well as challenges in getting to a physical location for care. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this transition to tele-delivery of many practices including mindful movement. This paper aims to share lessons learned from virtual delivery of mindful movement as part of clinical and well-being programs in VA. Benefits of virtual care discussed include the convenience and decreased travel burden; accessibility for adaptive movement options; translation to home practice; and shifting the emphasis to interoceptive skills-building supportive of self-efficacy for exploring and identifying safe movement. Important challenges are also identified such as technology related barriers; teachers trained to meet the need of offering adaptations for a heterogenous population and supporting interoceptive skill-building; and supporting both physical and psychological safety. Examples are provided of medical groups incorporating virtual mindful movement within programs for diabetes and pain care to further explore the potential benefit of these practices being integrated within the care itself, rather than as a separate practice. It is hoped that the lessons learned will provide support for Veterans and staff, and the wider health care community, in what they need to participate in virtual care that is high quality, accessible, and meets the needs for greater health and well-being.

Keywords: integrative medicine; tai chi; telemedicine; veterans; whole health; yoga.

PMID: 38501126 PMCID: PMC10946065 DOI: 10.1177/27536130241235908