Counseling Center
mindspa

Mind Spa

Welcome to the Counseling Center’s Mind Spa Website! The Mind Spa is a resource with tools to help you relax, improve concentration and memory, and overall success as a student. The Mind Spa is located in the Counseling Center and is open Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

The Mind Spa is an important campus resource as it is a space equipped for practice of mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, and overall self-care. Practice of mindfulness and meditation have important physical and mental health benefits such as increased concentration, awareness, and regulation of emotions. Studies show that these practices have positive short and long-term effects on the brain. You might begin to notice benefits from your participation at the Mind Spa immediately or after a few sessions. To visit, you can call the Counseling Center (410-455-2472) to reserve a resource or just walk in.

Biofeedback

What is Biofeedback?

  • Biofeedback involves the use of technology to help us monitor our internal emotions through our biology.
  • The attention to physical sensations can help us attend to and become more aware of our feelings. When we become aware of our feelings, then we can better monitor and regulate them especially in times of stress. You may find the use of biofeedback devices to be a helpful adjunct to your psychotherapy at the Counseling Center.

Ways you can use Biofeedback in the Mind Spa

  • Portable BioFeedback: The EmWave
EmWave

What does EmWave do?

  • EmWave helps you to manage your heart rhythm by managing your heart rate to achieve harmony. You do this through changing your breathing patterns and focusing on positive emotions. For more information go to www.heartmath.com/emwave-technology
  • The portable emWave device can plugged into the Mind Spa’s PC where you can view your heart rhythms and play games that help to regulate your breathing.

How do you use the EmWave?

  1. Just plug the provided USB cord into the computer and the other end into the portable emWave device.
  2. Place your thumb on the sensor or use the ear sensor.
  3. Open the program on the desktop.
  4. Follow the on-screen directions and enjoy!

Biofeedback Games/Activities

We currently have two biofeedback games in the Mind Spa, Journey to the Wild Divine and Relaxing Rhythms & Zen Journey. The EmWave (see portable biofeedback) can also be plugged into the computer and used with EmWave Software

Journey to the Wild Divine

Journey to the Wild Divine

This series of computer-based games, activities, and lessons uses biofeedback equipment to assess the physical signs of emotions and anxiety in your body in order to help you develop your ability to regulate your inner life. Journey to the Wild Divine will challenge you to complete tasks and adventures by regulating your emotional state.

Journey to the Wild Divine

Relaxing Rhythms and Zen Journey

This program provides personalized feedback and lessons from well-known experts to help you practice breathing, meditation, and relaxation skills.

Light Therapy

What is Light Therapy?

  • Research has shown that light therapy is an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or “the winter blues”. As the amount of natural sunlight waxes and wanes throughout the year, students may notice an increase in depression or lethargy. The lamp can increase energy and foster a positive mood, even on the darkest of days!

How can I sign out a lamp?

  • Let the front desk know that you would like to reserve a lamp. Fill out the consent form.

Aromatherapy

What is Aromatherapy?

  • Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots, or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.
  • The various aromas from these “essential” oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. It is also believed that the use of essential oils can help one attain a pleasurable emotional balance.

Massage Chair

Select an automated massage program or create a custom relaxation experience to put your mind and body at ease. Massage helps by soothing sore muscles, relieving stress, and prompting the body to release endorphins which relieve tension and improve mood.

Massage Chair

Meditation Cushions/Zafus

In the Mind Spa, we have created a space for meditation consisting of several meditation cushions, or Zafus. Instructions for proper use of the Zafus can be found in the Mind Spa.

Meditation Cushions/Zafus

Hot Tea

We have a variety of hot teas available in the Mind Spa, as well as cups and a hot water kettle. Drinking tea is not only soothing, but boasts health benefits as well!

Breathing/ Mindfulness Exercises

We have designed the Mind Spa to be an ideal space for practicing mindfulness and breathing exercises. Feel free to come in and shut the door for the ultimate relaxation experience.

What is Mindfulness?

  • Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to what is happening to you moment to moment. To practice mindfulness, one focuses on slowing down and bringing awareness to thoughts, feelings and actions without attaching judgments to them.

What are the benefits of Mindfulness?

  • Researchers, clinicians, and spiritual practitioners define mindfulness as the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment. Mindfulness meditation practice involves the cultivation of capacities for attention, self-awareness, and regulation of emotion. Research has linked increased capacity for mindfulness meditation with a reduction in the presence of the stress hormone, cortisol (Jacobs, et al., 2013). Mindfulness has also been linked to increased self-awareness (Carlson, 2013). Importantly for our students, mindfulness training has been linked to improved test scores and working memory (Mrazek et al., 2013). These are only a few studies, and interest and research about mindfulness meditation in the medical literature is growing rapidly.

How Can I Practice Mindfulness in the Mind Spa

  • Check out our “Practicing Mindfulness” worksheets in the Mind Spa
  • Play with our Sand Tray to focus exclusively on the tactile experience of touching and sculpting the sand.

Other Breathing/Relaxation Exercises

See below for a list of websites that include tutorials for breathing/relaxation exercises. Please note that these sites are not maintained by the Counseling Center and include external resources. These resources are not meant to replace treatment and we encourage you to visit the Counseling Center should you have questions or need support with engaging in these exercises.

Self-Help Library

We have a number of self-help books available for students to enjoy in the Mind Spa. Grab a book and a seat on the meditation cushions or in the massage chair!

Author Title
Ackerman, Robert Children of Alcoholics
Bloomfield, H., Colgrove, M., McWilliams, P. How to Survive the Loss of a Love
Bornstein, Kate A Queen & Pleasant Danger
Burns, David D. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
Ciarrochi, J., Hayes, L., Bailey, A. Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life for Teens
Ellis, Dave Becoming a Master Student
Evans, Patricia The Verbally Abusive Relationship
Forsyth, J. & Eifert, G. The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety
Hallowell, E. & Ratey, J. Answers to Distraction
Hallowell, E. & Ratey, J. Driven to Distraction
Hayes, Steven> Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life
Kabat-Zinn, Jon Wherever You Go, There You Are
Paterson, Randy The Assertiveness Workbook
Taylor, Charles (ed.) Handbook of Minority Student Services
Weeks, Claire Hope & Help for Your Nerves
Zimbardo, P. Shyness: What It Is; What to Do About It

 

Contact Us

Student Development & Success Center
Where are we located?

410-455-2472

Monday-Friday
8:30am-5:00pm

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