By Mr. Mark Iacampo ( Hohenfels )August 24, 2012
HOHENFELS, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels recently unveiled a new facility designed to provide the tools and the training to increase resiliency in both the Soldier and the community.
Located in Building 96, the Army Community Services Wellness Center has three rooms dedicated to supporting healthy lifestyle choices for the body, mind, and spirit.
"We wanted to offer a space and an environment where people can come and reflect," said Erika Turner, ACS director. "The idea of the center is to make the individual more self sufficient and more resilient, but also to build resiliency within the community."
The center features a conference room that Turner said could be used for small, more intimate training sessions. The room also contains dozens of books and videos by such authors as Steven Covey and Dr. Wayne Dyer.
"This room is all about education," Turner said. "The books are all resources; healthy guides to help people build an understanding of resilience. Things like self-guided meditation or ways to do marriage and family support and resilience, things that can really help them start thinking about the things they not really understand about themselves."
The second room focuses on the body with mats for Yoga or calisthenics, a stationary bike, and a TV with a selection of exercise videos.
"It's all about self sufficiency and self-guided workouts," said Turner. "Through exercise you create happy endorphins in the brain, and the more physically fit you are, the happier you are, and the more well rounded you are."
The center's final room focuses on the spirit and is set up for meditation and reflection. Zero-gravity chairs, noise-cancelling headphones, and a meditation area with mats, small fountains and aroma therapy all provide a relaxing environment. CDs on stress relief techniques and guided meditation are also available.
The building also houses a bio-feedback computer capable of analyzing the physical signs of stress on a person.
"You may be in a situation where you don't think you aren't stressed but physically your body is manifesting signs of stress. People often ignore those signs, and they continue on until they can't anymore," said Turner.
ACS is working closely with the Hohenfels Health Center and combining efforts within the Wellness Center.
"One of the major things that we've accomplished with that coordination is to lesson duplication of services in different programs that we're doing," said Turner.
Currently, the OBGYN Well Woman brief for newly expectant mothers, cancer support groups, stress and anger management classes all meet at the new facility. But with two entrances and the ability to close off each room, Turner said the idea is that if there is training in the conference room, the other two rooms could still be utilized to refresh one's self throughout the day.
"This is all about building resiliency in the community," Turner said. She added that with the ongoing transformation within the Army, the changes and modifications could trigger feelings of loss within the community and affect how community members relate to and communicate with their peer groups and families.
"If we train them to be resilient before these changes come, when or if they do come they'll be able to handle them more easily," Turner said.
Turner knows about resiliency first hand. Twelve years ago, an accident left her with 3rd degree burns over 35 percent of her body. Being 32 weeks pregnant, she was unable to take pain medication and suffered through skin graft surgeries awake. She was told that the nerves in her left arm had been severed and she would never be able to use it again.
Turner refused to accept that diagnosis and worked diligently for five years to regain use of her arm. She credits her mental attitude for getting her through that ordeal, and she wants to pass that on to the community.
"Putting people in a healthy mindset before anything negatives comes into their life will make them able to deal with that negativity," Turner said.
For details on opening times and upcoming training, please contact ACS.