In time for Finals, Counseling Services offering meditation, relaxation

It’s that time in the semester where students are frazzled, professors are extra stressed and everyone is looking forward to a well-deserved winter break. This is because in less than a month, it will be final exam week for Baldwin Wallace University students.
To better manage stress brought on by final exams—and college in general—Counseling Services at BW offer various different resources. These resources can be especially helpful during high-stress times like the end of the semester. Among these services are individual counseling, group programs, consultations and the MindSpa.
The MindSpa is a particularly unique service because it helps students manage their “physiological response to stress” through do-it-yourself relaxation techniques.
MindSpa services are available to students based on a first-come-first-served basis and appointments are scheduled in 30 minute increments. Techniques available during this time include technology, aromatherapy, massage therapy and a light box.
Some students and professors are unaware of the MindSpa and all of its features and benefits. Angela Planisek, assistant professor of business, believes this resource is a good idea for students, but more people should know about it. “I think it would be more useful if it was more widely publicized,” says Planisek.
Measures are being taken to spread word about the MindSpa so more students can benefit from its services. Karen Heft, B.S. and part-time office manager of counseling services, says, “This time of year, there’s typically an influx in the MindSpa use because classes make it an assignment to visit.”
Classes such as Stress Management require students to use the MindSpa at least once to encourage its use. By requiring students to utilize this resource, the hope is they will continue to make appointments.
“We want our students to be mentally and physically healthy so they do their best,” says Heft.
One way the MindSpa helps students reach their full potential is through computerized programs. One program uses biofeedback games to “promote relaxation, focus and centeredness.” Guided meditations are also available through another computer program offered.
Aside from computerized programs, aromatherapy is another resource to help students relax while “supporting physical and emotional health.” There is also a massage chair to relieve tension and help sore muscles. Heft says the massage chair is a favorite among students who use the MindSpa.
Students who have used the MindSpa often find it very beneficial. Emma Walker, senior Early Childhood Education major, visited the MindSpa for her Stress Management course. “The MindSpa helped me take a step away from everyday stress and realize the importance of relaxation,” says Walker. She plans to make more appointments in the future and says it helped her “relax and unwind in the most perfect way.”
Kimberley Baker, junior Athletic Training major, has used the MindSpa three times. “It is a very peaceful environment to escape reality for a little bit,” says Baker “I look forward to using the MindSpa, especially the massage chair, during finals week.”