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The Stress Free Room at the Counseling Center is a quiet space where you can

-listen to relaxing music

-listen to CDs containing stress management strategies and exercises

-browse books and brochures related to managing stress and anxiety

-recline in a chair with a heated back-massaging mat


-use a biofeedback computer program

-use a weighted lap pad and/or neck wrap

Stress can affect us physically and emotionally, and one healthy way to learn to manage stress is through self-regulation techniques like biofeedback.  Biofeedback uses your body’s reactions (e.g., breathing, heart rate, skin temperature) to help you learn to adjust these reactions when you experience stress.

The emWave desktop biofeedback program is available for use in the Stress Free Room.  This program uses an ear clip to monitor your heart rate and provides audio and visual feedback of your progress.  The program has been used with concerns including pain (e.g., headaches, recurrent abdominal pain), insomnia, stress management, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety disorders, depression, anger management, Asperger’s Syndrome, emotional dysregulation, performance anxiety, ADHD, and chronic illness like asthma, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, hypertension, and inflammatory bowel disease. 

There are cautions and contraindications for use of the emWave program.  If you are considering use of the emWave program we encourage you to read the following: 

-The program is individualized, so you should not try to compare your coherence scores to someone else’s

-If you have a medical or mental health condition, you should check with your physician prior to use of the program, to determine whether or not it is safe and appropriate for you to use the program

-Individuals who have acute, severe, or unstable medical illness should not use the program

-Individuals who have disorders that involve severe, unstable Autonomic Nervous System or metabolic functions should not use the program

-Some medication needs and responses for certain conditions (e.g., pain, anxiety, diabetes) can be affected by the use of self-regulation techniques such as the biofeedback program

-Individuals with irregularities of heart rhythm (e.g., atrial fibrillation, flutter, or intense clusters of premature atrial contractions) may not be able to successfully use the program

-Individuals who cannot sit still may be unable to successfully use the program

-Individuals who have severe impairments of memory or attention should use the program with caution and may not be able to successfully use it

-Individuals with neurological conditions such as seizure should use the program with caution and may not be able to successfully use it

       -If you find yourself becoming distressed due to difficulty using the program, you may 
       wish to discontinue your session and try again at a later date/time