Clubs sponsor stress free event
Posted May 16, 2008
Sher Porter
During the sixth annual Stress Free Zone, Danielle May massaged away all the stress Chris Duarte-McDermott had before finals week begins. Both students are part of the Athletic Training Club that participated in the event sponsored by the psychology department May 8. The club is raising money for its own funds as well as for Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disease. At the event, students were treated to help with stress points.

Psi Chi, the national honor society and the psychology department hosted the sixth annual Stress Free Zone Health Fair in the University Mall on May 8.

The fair provided students with information and activities to help them cope with stress during finals.

Associate Professor of Psychology Ngoc Bui said stress is different for everyone and people deal with it in various ways.

“It is how one perceives it and everyone deals differently with it depending on what it may be,” Bui said.

For example, one student may enjoy calmly preparing to make a speech while another who has gone through the same preparation may become extremely stressed, have anxiety and become more nervous.

There are many different effects that stress may have on a person such as severe depression, anxiety and even difficulty breathing.

Michelle Ball, a psychology major, said stress can lower the immune system in fighting off colds. It can also create tension in the muscles and it is not healthy for the body.

The Psi Chi department also provided information and tools on stress prevention such as advice on alcohol abuse, safe sex, safety tips and discussions on how stress affects your health.

The department also gave a “stress dot test” by putting tiny dot stickers on the back of your hand to see what color the dot would turn.

The dots switched from dark colors to light. If your dot turned black it meant you were very stressed out and if it was a light turquoise green, you were very relaxed.

Many students found that the dot turned black before taking a test and after the test it would lighten up.

The director of The Wild Earth Spa in La Verne, Shawn Hardy, was also at the event promoting spa events to help relax from stress with facials and massages.

“We offer green, organic natural therapies at the spa,” Hardy said.

The spa is a great way to rejuvenate the skin and help relax from treatments such as detox body wraps, facials, hot stone massages and many others to help refresh the face and body.

One treatment you may have to try is called the “Stress Buster,” which relieves tension and stress in specific places in the body.

The ULV Athletic Training Club, who are trained in injury prevention, rehabilitation and management, set up massage tables and provided massage therapy for those who wished to relieve tight muscles or problems with stress.

ATC Secretary Anthony Valenzuela said that they help a lot of the athletes on campus in getting back to shape, especially with areas where muscles may be tight and have tension that target stressful points in the body.

“We are also raising money for muscular dystrophy, which is a genetic disease and degeneration of the muscles which control movement. There is no cure for it,” ATC member Danielle May said.

There is a combination of things that you can do to help target stress and tension in the body.

ATC advisor Josh Davis said that they would like to extend the event so that students would have more time to take advantage of getting stress relief during and after finals.

At LA Fitness they offer classes in cardio, mat pilates and yoga to release toxins in the body.

“Exercise builds a stronger defense system in the body from stress and creates more energy, more confidence and creates a natural high that makes you feel good,” LA Fitness sales director, Kevin Altringer said.

Doris Solano, freshman supervisor for disabilities learning enhancement center, was, speaking with students on how they could help reduce the stress levels through a support group in providing tutoring.

“Getting help with tutoring and other advice on how to take tests, taking notes planning for exams and getting advice on good study habits can also reduce stress,” Solano said.

Psi Chi also provided a list of tips in helping deal with stress such as laughing, having pets, being in nature and listening to music.

Cathy Zech, Psi Chi vice president, said the Stress Free Zone Health Fair was a great opportunity for students and staff to destress through massage therapy, talking and learning other ways to help cope with stress.

There was also a large trampoline for students to get in and just roll around and also a place for boxing.

“The large trampoline was set up for anyone to just get in and let out their frustration by boxing or just getting their circulation going,” Zech said.

It is true students could not help but fall around, lose balance, forget everything around them and just laugh out loud when they got on the trampoline.

Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority won for having the best booth during the stress fair and organizing money for the “Neddie Fund.” “The Neddie Fund” is a scholarship for The National Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation which supports scholarships and grants to women as well as to the National Kidney Foundation.

There were also suggestions that the trampoline should just remain on campus to help maintain a stress free environment for students or even staff to just turn to when in need.

Participants of the event said that more students and staff visited the fair last year to relieve stress. This year students were just too stressed out to get away for their local massage or time spent jumping on the trampoline.

Jennifer Kitzmann can be reached at jkitzmann@ulv.edu.

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