Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Latest issue

I visited OSU’s Mind Spa and here’s how it went

Brandon Ndungu
The zero gravity massage chair in the OSU Mind Spa.

As much as the college lifestyle allows for personal growth, let’s be honest, sometimes the academic and financial pressures of college become harsh weights on our shoulders.

Located on the fifth floor of Snell Hall and filled with activities such as a zero gravity massage chair, a zen garden, a meditation corner and much more, Oregon State University’s Mind Spa offers students and staff free opportunities to relieve stress and relax. 

 “The Mind Spa is a consistent attraction for students, faculty, and staff,” said Jaden Shelit, a student outreach assistant for OSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services. “It is common for the next opening to be 3-5 days out, make sure to plan and book in advance.” 

Appointments are made online through OSU’s Mind Spa Website.

The earliest appointment I could do that fit my schedule was an appointment at 8:15 a.m. and I am not a morning person. In full honesty, I sat in bed contemplating whether or not I should just forget about the appointment. Fast forward twenty minutes and there I was, groggily walking to the Mind Spa in the November morning fog.

Shelit described the MindSpa as, “a private sanctuary to allow yourself to relax, and soothe your mind, body, and spirit.” 

When you enter Snell Hall, go to the elevator and head to the fifth floor. The reception desk is located directly opposite you when you exit the elevator. This is where you give them your name and check you in. 

The room, though smaller than I expected, seemed to be its own different world. The building’s fluorescent lights were nowhere to be found. Instead, they were replaced with the soft glow of ambient lighting.

Every activity sat close together, adding to the calm and cozy atmosphere which after walking in the cold, was very comforting.

The facility offers a zero-gravity massage chair, weighted blankets, a meditation corner, daylight therapy lamps and a neck massager. It also has a tea station for warm refreshments.

If you do run into confusion on how to use one of the activities, the Mind Spa has a guidebook to help you understand not only how to do each activity, but also how each activity is meant to soothe you.

With the sounds of a rainforest filling the room from the white noise speaker, I began with the neck massager. 

With so many hours of looking down at my phone and working on my laptop, the neck massager helped smooth out the knots in my neck and upper back with varying settings of vibrations and temperature levels.

The meditation table provided numerous cards and QR codes that led you through different guided meditation exercises that ranged from affirmations to soothing words of support. 

If you’d like a taste of the type of meditation that the Mind Spa offers, here’s one I tried out.

My favorite mental exercise was the Zen garden, a small box of sand with a little rake that you can make interesting patterns with. It was refreshing to do something with my hands that didn’t involve technology. My hands did not have an end goal, it was a fun outlet to stimulate movement.

As I moved through these exercises, I realized that rather than focusing on what I was creating or absorbing in school, I was too focused on finishing assignments before deadlines; moving from one task to another without rest.

By the time I reached the Zero gravity massage chair, the last activity I tried, it felt as though I had moved through the relaxing part of a nap without taking one.

The massage chair has a remote with many different settings depending on the type of massage you want. Whether you choose to focus the massage on your neck, back, or shoulders, the chair will still slightly massage your legs, keeping mobility in that region which helps the relaxation of the whole body.

As I have said, I am not a morning person. However, experiencing the Mind Spa first thing in the morning resulted in a positive start for my day. 

“The Mind Spa is a space for you to find calmness, and help with stress you may be experiencing,” Shelit said.

For those who tend to have busier schedules or simply want to do the mind spa elsewhere, the Mind Spa also offers ways to create your own Virtual Mind Spa and a set of relaxation techniques from the comfort of your space.

If you are curious and want to know more or want to set up an appointment, click here.

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