Offering Healing Sessions through COVID

Marcy B. Newman, DACM, RN, MPH, Caritas Coach® Candidate
Employee Whole Health Program Manager
VA Whole Health Website
Phoenix VA Medical Center

I am beyond grateful to coordinate and offer several healing sessions, experiential moments and trainings for employees to boost their well-being and hopefully lower their stress levels.

This is definitely one of my callings – to infuse Caritas in everything I do and have an impact across our VA and nationally. As my program was getting off the ground (just came on board last May of 2020 during the pandemic), I was contacted last November to ask if I would be interested in being on the team of COVID 19 vaccinators. I was told it would be a 2 month assignment.

For the 1st time in 8 months, I was in a clinically-related role and during such a critical time in our nation’s history. I was honored to accept and committed to the work. I soon realized that my complementary integrative health background (acupuncture, iRest meditation and yoga) would play a role in this assignment.

I led anxious employees through guided imagery as I gave them their vaccine. As the days continued and people received their 1st and 2nd doses of this precious liquid “gold” – I saw and felt the energy in the room change from excitement to stress and at times, disarray. One day, as we were awaiting more vaccines from pharmacy and nurses stood around – I called all of them over (about 6 RNs and LPNs) and told them we were going to do some stand up yoga… I proceeded to lead them through various poses. We only had about 10 minutes. My nursing colleagues appeared to suddenly smile again and appeared a lot more relaxed!

After that day, I offered other yoga, breathing techniques and we also had a fun, relaxing massage moment.

I am now back in my Employee Whole Health role and looking back on the memories in the COVID vaccination clinic. I will continue to bring mindful, Caritas moments to them, and all departments/Services of the medical center.

I am grateful.

Loving Kindness Meditation