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Introducing YogaShield® Rx: A Prescription for Resilience

On October 23rd, 2023, YogaShield®Yoga For First Responders® (YFFR) will launch its first Instructor School geared to the medical provider population. With the proven success of our culturally informed and job-specific approach in supporting first responders and military personnel, YFFR is thrilled to extend our services to the medical community under the name YogaShield® Rx (YSRx).


Patient on stretcher being attended to by first responders
First responders tend to a patient up to the moment they reach the hospital

First Responders are revered for the incredible task of walking into unknown circumstances day or night to offer assistance, whether emotional support in crisis or measures to save a life. Once a patient is transported to the hospital, the official job of the first responder may be complete, but the situation can have a lasting effect. A common stressor first responders report is not knowing a patient's outcome.




A common stressor first responders report is simply not knowing a patient's outcome. While the medical staff learns the outcome of an incident or diagnosis, that knowledge brings heavy challenges.

As one team leaves the incident, a series of units begin to take over: first, the ER personnel. Then, patients may be passed along to doctors, nurses, and other staff members in surgery, recovery, and perhaps ICU or rehabilitation. While the medical staff learns the outcome of an incident or diagnosis, that knowledge brings heavy challenges. These kinds of emotionally draining patient encounters, extended hours, administrative burdens, and the pressure to keep up with ever-advancing medical protocols are just a few factors that can leave healthcare providers feeling overwhelmed and emotionally depleted. Inadequate work-life balance further exacerbates the problem. It is imperative for healthcare providers to find effective coping mechanisms to maintain their well-being. Similar to public safety, the dire need for proactive wellness and resilience training for medical professionals is well known, yet the resources to incorporate it remain scarce.

Doctor tying on surgical mask
Medical staff encounter unique challenges and stressors during patient care

YFFR recognizes these unique challenges for healthcare providers and the critical need for proactive resilience in this demanding profession. YogaShield® Rx will equip medical providers with the tools to process stress, build resilience, enhance performance, foster well-being, and cultivate a strong community and support.


Introducing yoga early in medical training is crucial to the success of our mission. Medical schools and residency programs can integrate yoga training into their curriculum, encouraging students and trainees to incorporate it into daily routines. Early exposure to yoga equips future healthcare professionals with valuable and proactive mechanisms from the very start of their careers, setting them on a path of resilience that will serve them well throughout their professional lives.


With that in mind, below is a glimpse of the implementation strategies of YogaShield® Rx:


1. Closed Instructor School at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center:


Step one is to empower from the inside out. By training providers and educators within the medical system to instruct the YSRx Protocol, they can share and teach the resilience tools consistently and effectively, furthering the mission faster than ever.


2. Imbed Resilience Curriculum into Training


Proactive resilience training for high-stress professionals cannot be optional. Typically, wellness training does not require follow-up or standardized qualification markers to show an individual is skilled enough for long-term survival in a career that sees daily trauma, loss, and death. This skill can be more easily integrated into basic training by providing a set curriculum for YSRx Instructors to teach.


Medical training schedules are often packed, leaving little time for self-care. The curriculum will be concise and provided at the beginning or end of the day, which can be immensely beneficial. These sessions can be done in groups or individually, depending on the setting.


3. Put it to the Test


We can tell as many anecdotal stories as we want, but until it is published, peer-reviewed data, yoga, and other training tools for resilience will always be an afterthought. In partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the YSRx training protocol will undergo a clinical research study similar to the Yoga For First Responders® Training Protocol research studies that yielded significant results in preventing Post Traumatic Stress.


4. Flexible Online Resources:


Considering the demanding nature of medical training, providing online yoga resources can be advantageous. Medical providers can access these resources conveniently, allowing them to tailor their practice to their unique schedules. YFFR On-Demand and YFFR University are the online platforms providing these resources.


5. Encourage a Supportive Environment: A culture that values its providers is the only path to success. Hospitals and healthcare institutions can demonstrate their commitment by providing dedicated spaces for yoga practice or offering incentives for participation in YSRx classes. As an individual, awareness of how one speaks about resilience training, especially in front of newer medical staff, will impact generations to come.


As the benefits of yoga become increasingly evident, it is time for the medical community to embrace this ancient practice, just as first responders have by using the YFFR Training Protocol.

Group of yoga students from YFFR Instructor School practicing child's pose
Three members of Dartmouth-Hitchcock's medical training staff became YFFR-trained instructors at Class 026

As the benefits of yoga become increasingly evident, it is time for the medical community to embrace this ancient practice, just as first responders have by using the YFFR Training Protocol. YogaShield® Rx will pave the way for a more resilient and fulfilled generation of healthcare providers. The outcome for those who continue to serve with compassion and effectiveness while safeguarding their mental and physical health is long-term survivability.


YogaShield® Rx will pave the way for a more resilient and fulfilled generation of healthcare providers.

Do you know a medical provider who could use these tools?

Email info@yogaforfirstresponders.org




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