Tranquil music whispers softly in the background as students take advantage of the Human Touch Massage Chair, power nap area and biofeedback machine available free of charge at the new Mind Spa.
The Mind Spa, located at the Student Health and Wellness Center, on the second floor near the CAPS clinic, has been aiding students in stress management since it opened in the spring. Although CAPS is supported mostly through student funding, The Mind Spa was made possible through funding from the Andrew D. Donnell Memorial Fund.
The original idea was inspired by the University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey, conducted in 2006, which found that 45.7 percent of UC students expressed that stress interfered with their academic success “frequently” or “all the time.”
“Knowing how to relax and cope with stress goes a long way toward keeping on top of the challenges of life on campus,” said Dr. Dorje M. Jennette, psychologist and Stress & Wellness Clinic coordinator.
Jennette, along with the help of student Stress & Wellness Ambassadors, came up with the idea of creating a place on campus where students could not only find relief from stress, but learn how to manage it as well. Student Stress & Wellness Ambassadors help guide students to the proper Mind Spa resources and offer peer counseling services.
Arguably one of the most state of the art features of the Mind Spa is the biofeedback machine. Much like a thermometer measures temperature, the biofeedback machine evaluates physiological functioning, such as heart rate and invisible changes in a person’s sweat response. This determines how stress is being held in the body. Awareness allows students to develop skills to manage their daily stress.
As a student Stress & Wellness Ambassador, Emily Wang, senior pschology and human development double major, would like to see more students take advantage of the ammenities offered at the Mind Spa.
“The Mind Spa is a great place for students to come and relax,” Wang said. “The services are free to all students and you can gain insight on how to reduce stress.”
Recently the Mind Spa was named one of the top 10 places on campus to take a nap by Health Education and Promotion (HEP). An increasing body of research shows that a 20-minute power nap can help reduce anxiety, stress and depression, according to the Mind Spa press-release.
Students looking for further support on campus can visit The House, situated next to the UCD Housing Office and across from Regan Residence Hall, where they can find peer counselors and free meditation workshops.
HEP, located at the Student Health and Wellness Center, is a resource dedicated to helping students achieve wellness through student-centered education and creating health-promoting environments.
The Mind Spa is open Monday through Friday (closed Tuesday mornings) from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:15 p.m.
KATIE LEVERONI can be reached at email@example.com.