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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

Relaxation Room in Branson Library provides opportunities for campus community to unwind.

Staff at the New Mexico State University Library and NMSU Counseling Center believe relaxation is a skill that can be improved, and the Relaxation Room in Branson Library provides an opportunity for campus community members to practice this skill.

A photo of Sandy Newsome at the Relaxation Room in Branson Library at NMSU.
Sandy Newsome, Behavioral Health and Wellness coordinator, uses a massage chair, biofeedback device and soothing sound machine to unwind in the Relaxation Room in Branson Library. (NMSU photo by Kristina Medley)

Stress can affect a person's capability to work on necessary tasks. Stress also can increase a person's likelihood of getting sick, can cause high blood pressure, decrease in memory, depression and anxiety and can even lead to substance abuse, said Sandy Newsome, psychologist and behavioral health and wellness coordinator.

"Most students have some type of life stressors, whether it is school, relationships, finances or a job," Newsome said. "Just having a place to take a break, especially a place specifically designated for relaxing, is unique and very useful."

The Relaxation Room offers a variety of free services, including massage chairs, relaxing sound machines and biofeedback devices. These mind-body medicine devices use feedback from the body to help the person learn to control certain body responses, such as brain activity, blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate and breathing rate.

The Resperate, for example, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to lower blood pressure. When a person learns to recognize and control body responses, he or she can use biofeedback to help treat a wide range of mental and physical health problems.

"Positive physical changes can happen when you slow down your breathing and relax," Newsome said.

The Relaxation Room, located in Branson Library Room 127, is open from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It is open to NMSU students, faculty and staff, with preferential scheduling given to students.

The Relaxation Room is co-sponsored by the NMSU Library, Counseling Center and the Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education Program.

For more information, contact Newsome at 575-646-2731 or email newsome@nmsu.edu.