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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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STAR Well-Kit

The STAR Well-Kit: Tools for Healing (‘Simple Tools to Aid and Restore’) is a web-based toolkit for learning about wellness practices and Integrative Medicine tools for Veterans. The toolkit features Veterans describing their experiences of how Integrative Medicine tools and techniques may help. You can also follow along with brief demonstrations of various practices.

The STAR Well-Kit was created by the Veteran’s Health Administration’s (VHA) War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) with funding and support from the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation (OPCC&CT).


If you’re not sure about trying Integrative Medicine practices and want to learn more, we encourage you to start with the 16 minute Introduction… Try the introduction out or any video in the series on YouTube.
Captions ONLY are available by visiting the links below.

STAR Well-Kit logo

STAR Well-Kit: Complete Introduction

…or, view separate parts of the introduction that interest you and learn how Veterans have been helped:

Tracy Gaudet speaking

Introduction Part 1: The role of Integrative Medicine for improving Veteran health and wellness.

Nina Knight breathing deeply

Introduction Part 2: Veterans explain the benefits of Deep Breathing

Patrick Crehan talking

Introduction Part 3: Veterans explain how Guided Meditation Enhances Well-Being

Brian Bittings talking

Introduction Part 4: Veterans explain how Qigong Helps Energy Flow throughout the Body

Bob Driscoll talking

Introduction Part 5: There is No Downside to Trying – Veteran words of encouragement

Veterans Share Their Experiences

To learn more about Veterans’ experiences with Integrative Medicine: Personal Stories of Six Veterans (Or, scroll down if you are ready to try it out.)

Amy Dickinson

Amy Dickinson – Yoga, Breathing, Stretching

Veteran Amy Dickinson discusses benefits of yoga, stretching, and breathing.

Ben King

Ben King – Deep Breathing

Veteran Ben King discusses benefits of deep breathing.

Patrick Crehan

Patrick Crehan – Mindfulness Meditation

Veteran Patrick Crehan discusses benefits of mindfulness meditation.

Brian Bittings

Brian Bittings – Qigong

Veteran Brian Bittings discusses benefits of Qigong, an ancient martial art that is similar to Tai Chi.

Nina Knight

Nina Knight – Yoga, Breathing

Veteran Nina Knight discusses benefits of yoga and breathing.

Nino Morris

Nino Morris – Qigong

Veteran Nino Morris discusses benefits of Qigong, an ancient martial art that is similar to Tai Chi.

Demonstrations of Techniques That Work

If you’re ready to try some of the techniques, begin here. We encourage you to follow along with the practices as you watch.

A well-tread dirt path through a dense, lush forest of deciduous trees.

James Gordon – Soft Belly Breathing

James Gordon demonstrates a breathing exercise.

A bubbling brook from close proximity

Richard Miller – Guided Meditation

Richard Miller demonstrates a guided meditation.

Nan Lu demonstrating a technique with hands placed upon his chest.

Nan Lu – Qigong and Energy Gates

Nan Lu demonstrates Qigong practices.

Danny O'Brien demonstrating a technique on a chair, arms outstretched

Danny O’Brien – Chair Yoga

Veteran Danny O’Brien demonstrates chair yoga.

Kim Wade demonstrating a technique with hands pressed against each other at chest height

Kim Wade – Mindful Hatha Yoga

Kim Wade demonstrates mindful hatha yoga, a more active practice of yoga.

Views from the Provider Community

Dr. Stephen Ezeji-Okoye, MD speaking

Views from the Provider Community

US Department of Veterans Affairs medical providers discuss the role of Integrative Medicine in improving Veteran health and wellness.

Additional Resource Links and Contact Information

To see more information from practitioners featured in this DVD, check out:

Richard Miller (Guided meditation)
Integrative Restoration Institute
Author of The iRest Program for Healing PTSD (coming out Fall 2014)

James Gordon (Soft belly breathing)
Center for Mind-Body Medicine, which holds trainings in many IM practices
Author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression

Nan Lu (Qigong and energy gates)
Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation

Kim Wade (Mindful Hatha yoga)
Inner Gaze Yoga

Medical Disclaimer: These resources are offered as a public service and are not intended to substitute for professional medical care.

STAR Well-Kit Credits and Thanks

This DVD was produced under a special grant from the Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation, United States Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Produced by Ruder Finn (Finn Partners) for the War Related Illness & Injury Study Center (WRIISC), VHA


  • Anna Rusiewicz, PhD, Executive Producer
  • Jaclyn Witkowski, MS, Project Coordinator
  • Michelle Marki, Project Coordinator
  • Rachel Held, PhD, Health Science Specialist
  • Drew Helmer, MD, MS, Director
  • Susan Santos, PhD, MS, Associate Director of Education and Risk Communication

For Ruder Finn and Finn Partners:

  • David Katzive, Executive Producer
  • Ellen Schaplowsky, Special Advisor
  • Valerie Thompson, Director, RFI Print
  • John Gruen, Writer

Special Thanks to:

  • Amy Dickinson
  • Ben King
  • Brian Bittings
  • Nina Knight
  • Nino Morris
  • Patrick Crehan
  • Daniel O'Brien
  • Michael Eckstein
  • Robert (Bob) Driscoll
  • Arlene Harris
  • Jermaine Johnson
  • Santos Febus
  • Gail Matthews
  • Tracy Gaudet, MD
  • Laura Krejci
  • Sandra Warren
  • Doreen Korn
  • Mary Therese Hankinson
  • Kim Wade
  • Major General Maria Falca-Dodson
  • Matthew Reinhard, PsyD
  • J. Wesson Ashford, MD, PhD
  • Eric Proescher, PsyD
  • Thomas Findley, MD
  • Stephen Ezeji-Okoye, MD
  • Gudrun Lange, PhD
  • Wayne Jonas, MD
  • Larry Stoler, PhD
  • Nan Lu, OMD
  • James S. Gordon, MD
  • Richard Miller, PhD
  • Kenneth Mizrach
  • Susan Gould Fogerite, PhD

And special thanks to:

  • Rene David Alkalay
  • MaryJo Apice
  • Jim Ayers
  • Kathryn Berndtson
  • Jill Borman
  • Algernon Crainley
  • Rayford Davis
  • Rosemary Driscoll
  • Rick Echler
  • Rashid El-Amin
  • Michael Eros
  • Eric Groessel
  • Eugene Jarvis
  • Ann Kelly
  • Dennis Kim
  • Bert Laurence
  • Louise Mahoney
  • Robert Malloy
  • Paula McMurray
  • James Morris
  • Thomas Palmer
  • Laura Redwine
  • E.S. Rothstein
  • Karen Soltes
  • Arthur Stallings
  • Larry Stoler
  • Ralph Thomas
  • Carlos Upegui
  • Richard Ventola
  • Richard Zuckerman
  • The Center for Mind-Body Medicine
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation
  • Integrative Restoration Institute
  • Inner Gaze Yoga
  • Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University)
  • Vets4Warriors