Sand tray and miniature tools to tend a small japanese garden.

Welcome to the Mind Spa

at Sindecuse Health Center

The Mind Spa is a space designed to help Western Michigan University students develop and practice the relaxation skills that will enhance their academic productivity and their sense of well-being. Relaxation strategies are an integral part of treatment approaches to depression, anxiety, anger management, and sleep disorders, among other issues. Students will find a comfortable space and resources to develop or strengthen these skills. Please read our Mind Spa Agreement at the bottom of the page before using the rooms.

How to Access the Mind Spa

Enrolled WMU students may book a wellness activity online through the health center's patient portal. Come to the health center's Counseling and Psychiatric Services located on the upper level and let the receptionist know that you are scheduled for the Mind Spa. We'll sign you in and give you access to the spa.  Be sure to read the guidelines below to understand how this shared space should be used.


The Mind Spa is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.


View of the Mind Spa includes biofeedback station, yoga station, and two relaxation stations.

The main Mind Spa space offers a variety of features that promote relaxation.

View of room with two massage chairs and artificial candles.

The massage chair room offers a soothing place to experience a massaging recliner.

  • Massage Chair in a room.

    Massage Chair #1

    “Zero-gravity” massage chairs offer a gentle stretch and massage of the body. A 30-minute session elevates the feet and is gentle and quiet enough to be paired with mindfulness audio—a combination we recommend to help maximize the benefits of this experience.

  • Massage chair in a room.

    Massage Chair 2

    Similar to Massage Chair 1.

  • A recliner yoga stretch station in front of a window

    Yoga Stretch Station

    Already have a yoga or meditation practice? Need a place to practice between classes? Take a few minutes to stop in and loosen up your body and mind.

  • Computer and desk with chair and tools for biofeedback activity.

    Biofeedback Station

    Biofeedback programs provide a graphic representation of how mental states affect the body. In biofeedback, one training strategy is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a skill that improves the ability to observe the mind’s activity in a way that reduces reactivity and anxiety. The biofeedback program measures Heart Rate Variability (HRV), a signal which changes as a person experiences stress and relaxation. Once a baseline signal is established it acts as a reference point for measuring attempts to deliberately affect the signal. Users may deliberately affect their responses by using specific training strategies.

  • A relaxing couch with sand tray and other soothing simple activities.

    Relaxation Station 1

    Enjoy a quiet time tending a sand garden with miniature tools from a comfy couch. Or turn the wheel to watch the natural and soothing effects of gravity on tiny sand particles.

  • A home-style soft massaging power-lift recliner

    Relaxation Station 2

    Sit in a relaxing soft massaging power-lift recliner and plug in soothing music for a refreshing break.

  • Light Therapy Box

    When used correctly, a light therapy box which mimics natural outdoor light is one way to help alleviate symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the winter blues. SAD is a condition associated with the lack of natural light during fall and winter months. Individuals with SAD may experience an increase in oversleeping, overeating, carbohydrate craving weight gain, fatigue, and social withdrawal. With regular exposure to light of sufficient intensity, mood may lighten and energy may increase. See below for more information.

Special Programming

  • Light Box Therapy

    NorthStar 1000 Light Therapy Box
    When used correctly, a light therapy box is one way to help alleviate symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the winter blues. 

    Possible Side Effects
    The guidelines outlined here are applicable for SAD, the winter blues, and supporting general well-being. If you suffer from a mood disorder such as depression, are on prescription medications that react with sunlight, such as certain antibiotics or anti-inflammatories, your skin is sensitive to light, you have a history of eye conditions or you are under medical care for any reason, please consult your health professional before using. Although negative side effects are uncommon, light therapy may cause irritability, headaches, sleep disturbances and/or insomnia. Discontinue use if you experience any negative side effects. 

    To Start
    Begin with 15-minute sessions and adjust to your needs to alleviate your symptoms, up to 30 minutes. You will sit approximately 24 to 40 inches away from the light.  Reading, using a laptop, doing homework, etc., in front of the light is a great way to get the full effect.

    Therapy Length & Distance Recommendation 
    In your first few sessions, sit approximately 40 inches from the light (2,500 Lux) for 15 minutes. After a few sessions, move closer to the light, until you are approximately 24 inches (10,000 Lux brightness range) and increase the time spent under the light to 30 minutes. 

    DO NOT STARE DIRECTLY INTO THE LIGHT. Discontinue use if you experience any negative side effects. 

    More Information on Seasonal Affective Disorder and Light Therapy

  • Expressive Arts

    Express Your Stress

    We all carry stress, whether it is about school, work and finances, family and friends, or something else! Consider joining this Mind Spa Workshop where we will explore how doing art can help alleviate stress and increase our well-being. Workshop participants have the opportunity to learn by participating in a live art project. All art-making material will be provided to students at no cost.  Presented by Danielle Snow, M.A.

    Length of Workshop: 60 minutes 

    RSVP: Send an email with your interest in attending one of the dates below to  Danielle Snow. M.A.

    Offered at 11 a.m. on these dates:

    Thursday, Jan. 26

    Thursday, Feb. 9

    Thursday, Feb. 23

    Thursday, March 16

    Thursday, March 30

    Thursday, April 13 

    Thursday, April 20

  • Therapy Dog programming

    Interaction with therapy dogs can help with many of the concerns and stressors college students experience. These include reducing anxiety, easing depression, stimulating memory and problem-solving skills and more. This activity also provides a safe space to socialize with peers. Schedule to be announced.


Use of the Mind Spa indicates an agreement to abide by these guidelines:

Sign in/out – Please check in at the front desk before using this space. Upon checking out, we'll send you a brief survey to invite feedback and suggestions.

Quiet zone – Please silence your cell phone and keep noise and talking to a minimum to maintain a relaxing environment for all.

Keep it tidy – Please clean up after yourself and put items back where you found them. Do not remove items from this room. They are here for
everyone to enjoy.

No food or beverages – Please only enjoy water in this space. Please notify the Counseling desk of any spills.

Relax – This is not a study room. Please refrain from doing homework or using technology for work purposes here.