There may not be massages to combat Bowdoin back pains, but the numerous new fitness and wellness programs at the Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness, opening this Tuesday, should help take the edge off.
In addition to the new machines, large basement weight room and the prominent rock climbing wall, the Bowdoin Counseling Department has expanded its reach and utilized the new space to provide students with activities such as tai chi, yoga and Pilates.
The Director of Counseling Bernie Hershberger is optimistic about the focus on improving the overall health of the Bowdoin community.
"Wellness programs are classes, workshops, therapies and programs that integrate mind, body and spirit aspects of a person. The focus on all three is key and it is what differentiates wellness programs from fitness programs," Hershberger wrote in an e-mail to the Orient.
"We hope in the future to offer an array of workshops, classes, and services that will allow students, faculty, and staff to explore the benefits of an integrated approach to health and well being."
These new services are not available for free, however, and students must pay individually for each class for which they sign up for. Hershberger is not concerned that this will greatly affect the number of students interested in classes such as meditation and Pilates.
"The Yoga Club classes are financially supported through SAFC and therefore are very affordably priced. The mediation classes on campus are sponsored by the Bowdoin Mediation Club and are also financially supported by SAFC," he wrote.
Grant Easterbrook '11 weighed in on the separate fees that come with the individual classes.
"The prices sound pretty reasonable to me. In my opinion as long as rates aren't unreasonable then it's not a problem," said Easterbrook. "The school has to hire instructors and so it seems like a waste of money to offer all classes for free."
The most anticipated wellness program was the addition of massage therapy and acupuncture to the Buck Center. These programs were delayed in order to cut costs during the school year but may be instituted in the future, depending on the financial status of the College.
"The plans have already been laid for these therapies to come online when the timing is right economically," Hershberger wrote. "In the future, we hope to have a Web site that will allow members of the Bowdoin community to schedule their own appointments for acupuncture and massage,"
Allen Garner '12 is looking forward to the new fitness options for students.
"I think it's great. I'm really happy that it's finally ready. I definitely plan on taking advantage of the great facilities," said Garner. "I am really interesting in the spinning and core classes but I think it's an opportunity to try something new so I might throw in some jazzercising."
Another new fitness addition is the three-story rock climbing and bouldering wall in the center of the building. Some students have said that a course in rock climbing and belaying would be beneficial to the student body.
"Everyone is psyched about the rock wall but many people don't know how to climb or how to belay," said Easterbrook. "It would be great to see a class that taught those kinds of skills."