Tag Archives: military and veterans health

Combatting Chronic Pain with Acupuncture

BFA Acupuncture 2015

Opioid use has reached epidemic proportions in military and civilian populations and in 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designated opioid overdose prevention one of the top five public health challenges[i].

Most notably, 80% of heroin users report that their opioid use began with prescription pain relievers.[ii], [iii]

Chronic Pain in the Military

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Building Confidence in the Kitchen

TK SAT-32 vegetables

TK SAT-11 Fennel“How many of you know what this is?” said Chef Woods, the instructor of the Samueli Institute’s Teaching Kitchen program at Joint Base San Antonio, as she held up a bulb of fennel.

A few tentative hands went up and the rest of the room was befuddled. Many of them had just unknowingly devoured a dish of poached tilapia with fennel and white beans. That is, after they had whipped out their iPhones to take photos of the beautiful healthy feast.

Learning about healthy ingredients as well as how to cook them, is part of a multi-faceted approach to lifestyle education that focuses on building culinary, nutrition, exercise and mindfulness skills to increase health, resilience and wellness.

Making Food Approachable

Expert chefs, one military and one civilian, make ingredients and cooking approachable. Participants learn the whys and hows behind previously intimidating cooking techniques like sauté, short-poach and en papillotte; dishes/ingredients like homemade stocks, aoli, court-bouillon and chia seeds; and kitchen tools like fish spatulas, cartouches and immersion blenders. Continue reading “Building Confidence in the Kitchen” »

Mind Tactics for Better Sleep, Nutrition and Performance

mindful eating TK

Can eating a single dried strawberry improve your overall health? As part of Samueli Institute’s Teaching Kitchen, a 12-week experiential learning program, service members and their spouses learned how eating consciously is part of a healthy lifestyle.

Too often, because of the hustle and bustle of daily life, food is consumed without even a thought. You eat what’s put in front of you without thought to whether you are hungry or when you become full.

This is especially true for the high-speed lives of service members and their families. Continue reading “Mind Tactics for Better Sleep, Nutrition and Performance” »

Veterans Success, National Success


A person’s ability to heal and fully recover after stressful and traumatic experiences is powerful, but also completely normal. There is no place in the United States where this is as evident as it is among our veteran and military service members. This is the message we should all hear on this Veterans Day.

Most of the discussion you hear in the nation about veteran’s health is focused on the struggles of a few. We read about veteran homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, chronic pain and drug use, and the need for education and employment. But these very serious problems are prevalent in a small minority of the 25 million veterans alive today.

Continue reading “Veterans Success, National Success” »

Learning in and from the Military


In 2009, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff commissioned a study to look at how to develop a whole systems approach to prevention, wellness, recovery and resilience.

At that time, the military was seeing increases in obesity, diabetes, lowering of psychological resilience, chronic pain, PTSD and suicide. It became clear that a fit force could not depend upon a health care system to improve health, as health care focused primarily on disease treatment and little on prevention. What was needed was a whole-systems approach that came from the units, the families and the communities in which service members were living. Continue reading “Learning in and from the Military” »

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