Counseling Center brings relaxation rooms to campus


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The Counseling and Testing Services at SMSU now have relaxation rooms to help students de-stress.

Diane Stieper talked about why relaxation rooms may be needed.

“Stress is a very common problem that almost everyone suffers from,” Stieper said. “Just 30 minutes of a stress reducing activity will help reduce anxiety levels. Reducing stress has many benefits. A few include sleeping better, better immune function, and more energy. People relax in different ways, some examples are running, reading a book, coloring, meditating, and yoga. We have provided many activities and techniques for you to relax.”

There is a massage chair room as well as a general relaxation room. The massage chair room is a private room with a massage chair that has Bluetooth capability.

The relaxation room is the larger of the two rooms, which is available for individuals or groups. This room includes adult coloring books, relaxing crafts and games, yoga mats, relaxation CDs, and more.

“The massage recliner will loosen muscles, provide better blood flow, increase circulation, alleviate back and neck pain and relieve stress,” Stieper said.

“[A] yoga [mat] provides opportunity for physical, mental and spiritual practice, while biofeedback assists in learning effective breathing and meditation skills through computer technology which allow connection of mind and body through interactive graphics and music.

“Benefits include stress reduction, improved sleep and increased wellness.

“Music will assist in relaxation, meditation and reduced anxiety and stress.

“Aromatherapy lotions improve mood and provide stress relief.

“Guided imagery guides your thoughts toward a relaxed focused state,” Stieper said.

Universities across the U.S. have relaxation rooms for students, staff, and faculty. Relaxation rooms at Mankato State University report over 100 visits a year.

Stress can manifest itself physically, emotionally and socially. It can be experienced through shallow, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, headaches, stomachaches and chronic worrying.

The relaxation room offers a variety of resources to help to effectively manage stress and improve relaxation skills.

“The relaxation room is designed to help students improve their emotional and physical health,” Stieper said.

For more information, or to book an appointment with Diane Stieper for a counseling session or a relaxation room, SMSU Counseling and Testing Services is located in BA 156.

They can also be contacted by email at [email protected] or by phone.

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