August 15, 2012
The MindSpa includes several relaxation rooms equipped with items like a zero-gravity massage chair and a stress-management audio library.
In the final weeks before the fall semester begins, celebrate National Relaxation Day (Aug. 15) with a visit to the MindSpa at the Texas Tech Student Counseling Center.
The MindSpa was opened in September 2011 to offer students, faculty and staff a variety of resources and equipment to manage stress and anxiety. The MindSpa includes several relaxation rooms equipped with items like a zero-gravity massage chair, a stress-management audio library, and meditation cushions called the “Zafu” and “Zabuton.” Video programs are available to facilitate and guide meditation.
“Stress and anxiety are two of the most common concerns that students have when they come to college,” said Eileen Nathan, director of the Student Counseling Center and licensed psychologist. “The MindSpa is self-guided and a financially efficient way to reach many people.”
Nathan and staff psychologists Ashlee Brown and Lisa Viator believe the MindSpa to be a preventative service to ensure students, faculty and staff do not become clients of the Counseling Center.
“There is a normal curve when it comes to anxiety,” Brown said. “As anxiety increases, performance actually increases until you hit a critical point when performance plummets. We want to keep people on the proactive side of the anxiety curve, not the paralyzing side of anxiety that affects grades and success.”
The MindSpa also features video games that use biofeedback technology to monitor the body’s physiological state.
The MindSpa also features video games that use biofeedback technology to monitor the body’s physiological state and provide visual information to promote stress management and relaxation.
“One cannot be both anxious and relaxed at the same time,” Nathan said. “In the video games, you succeed in the game by finding a way to make yourself relaxed.”
The MindSpa also contributes to the overall health and wellness of the Texas Tech community. According to Brown, finding ways to manage stress is not just important for productivity’s sake, but also for general health concerns.
“Stress has such wide ranging effects,” Brown said. “It can contribute to chronic disease, high blood pressure, and perhaps even obesity.”
Because stress and anxiety can affect academic performance, services such as the MindSpa help students become more academically successful, contributing to a higher retention rate.
Students, faculty and staff do not have to be clients of the counseling center to use the MindSpa, but they do need to make an appointment by calling the Student Counseling Center. The rooms are available for one hour at a time.
“I think National Relaxation Day is a reminder that we need to relax,” Brown said. “We can’t work all the time and we can’t be busy all the time, because if we do then we’ll miss out on everything that life has to offer us.”
To visit the MindSpa or to learn about other services at the Student Counseling Center, visit their website at www.depts.ttu.edu/scc/ or call (806) 742-3674.
The Student Counseling Center (SCC) provides short term counseling and consultation to students who are experiencing emotional and psychological problems that are interfering with their ability to be successful in school and/or with their individual personal development.
No scheduled appointment necessary to initiate services. Walk in to the SCC, fill out paperwork and see a counselor for an initial intake for approximately 30 minutes. Walk-In Clinic hours are Monday - Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.