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Relaxation pods, reflection room draw students in renovated Health Center

Students can find time for rest and relaxation in the relaxation pods located in the Colorado State University Health and Medical Center.

The relaxation pods are an addition to the Still Point Reflection room in the new building and were paid for with the building costs of the Health and Medical Center, according to Viviane Ephraimson-Abt, the manager of Resiliency and Well-being Initiatives for the CSU Health Network.

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“We started with the reflection room and wanting a place for students to reduce their stress,” Ephraimson-Abt said. “The relaxation pods was one of those things we wanted to have for students.”

Ephraimson-Abt said the relaxation pods are intended to help students reduce their stress in addition to utilizing the reflection space.

The relaxation pod is an opportunity to add to what we have in the reflection space,” Ephraimson-Abt said. “Students often have a lot of stress … Anything we can do to help students take a moment is really important.”

The reflection space is an area for relaxation, mediation and prayer. The space is full with chairs, yoga mats and blankets.

According to Ephraimson-Abt, the Health Center has received positive feedback on the pods, with a majority of students who have used them saying that they enjoyed the space where the pods are located. Other students said that they find the pods relaxing and restorative and the atmosphere of the space calming, according to Ephraimson-Abt.

While walk-ins for the relaxation pods are an option for students, Ephraimson-Abt suggests booking a session in advance. 

“One of the reasons we’re asking people to book the pods (in advance) is so students don’t have to walk across campus and find it unavailable (when they get here),” Ephraimson-Abt said.

According to Ephraimson-Abt, CSU students, staff and faculty can call 970-495-5246 to reserve a 20 minute session in the relaxation pod or stop by the information desk in the lobby of CSU Health and Medical Center to see if a pod is available. Both the reflection space and the relaxation pod are available for use during CSU business hours.  

Ephraimson-Abt said sessions are limited to 20 minutes because research suggests shorter naps can have better health benefits. According to the National Sleep Foundation, napping for 20-30 minutes can improve mood, alertness and performance.

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Exact data for how many students use the relaxation pods is somewhat limited since the CSU Health Network opened in June, but the CSU Health and Medical Center has seen more students since classes began. Since the Health Network’s opening after renovation, medical appointments increased 16 percent and counseling appointments increased 20 percent, according to Ephraimson-Abt.

Ephraimson-Abt said about 70 percent of people who come into the Health Network’s reflection room are students, and 60 percent of people who come to the reflection room are there to use the relaxation pod. 

We’re three months in, so we’re still doing some evaluation, but this data is good,”Ephraimson-Abt said. “I have students bringing other students in.”

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