How to live through winter and final exams

Your life's a mess,

come de-stress!

Friday Nov. 30 is a unique opportunity for students to relax before finals. The Geneseo Healthguards, in conjunction with Late Knight, SA and CAS, are presenting a de-stress program from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. in the College Union. Highlights include free chair massages, free Reiki treatments, t-shirt prizes, a self-hypnosis relaxation program, stress balls, music, food, hot cocoa and lots of other fun and relaxing activities for you and your friends to enjoy. Don't miss out on this stress-free evening!

Last chance for $10 massages!

If you haven't made it over to Health & Counseling for a 20-minute table massage by a licensed massage therapist, you better call now. Dec. 3, 6, and 7 are the last opportunities this semester. Call 245-5747 to make an appointment.

Tip of the Week:

Just BREATHE!

Sounds simple, doesn't it? If you're feeling stressed, anxious, or uptight, someone is bound to tell you, "just relax and breathe," "focus on your breathing," or "take deep breaths." Believe it or not, though, most of us have forgotten exactly how to breathe, or at least how to do it correctly.

Taking deep breaths refers to a specific type of breathing called "diaphragmatic breathing." When you engage in diaphragmatic breathing, you are using your abdomen to breathe all the way down into your diaphragm rather than taking more shallow breaths, which permit the air to enter your lungs only. By breathing into your diaphragm, you access more oxygen, which then enters your blood stream and facilitates relaxation.

Now that you know what diaphragmatic breathing is, here's how to do it correctly:

* Sit or lie in a comfortable position.

* Place one hand on your sternum (just above your chest) and the other just below your rib cage over your abdomen.

* Slowly breathe in through your nose, allowing the lower hand over your abdomen to rise while keeping the upper hand on your chest as still as possible.

* Once your abdomen has filled with air, then breathe additional air into your chest, allowing your upper hand to rise as well.

* Slowly exhale through your mouth, first emptying your abdomen of air and allowing your lower hand to fall, then allowing the upper hand to fall as the air exits your lungs.

For best results, practice this technique daily until diaphragmatic breathing becomes a habit;­ you will likely find yourself feeling calmer and more relaxed, and all you did was BREATHE!

Question: I can't orgasm through sexual intercourse with my boyfriend. Is there a way to do this? I know a lot of women can't.

Answer: Achieving orgasm can be difficult for many young women. Are you able to have an orgasm on your own? If not, it might be helpful to schedule a gynecological appointment to rule out any medical issues. However, many women who are able to attain orgasm through other means still have difficulties doing so during intercourse; the reason for this is that a female orgasm is produced to a large extent from clitoral stimulation, and sometimes intercourse does not provide this. One solution would be ample foreplay in which clitoral stimulation takes place followed by positioning intercourse in such a way as to continue the clitoral contact (usually the female on top position facilitates this). It also might be useful (and fun!) for you and your boyfriend to experiment a bit. Try having a session in which the two of you engage in all types of physical intimacy except intercourse. Feeling comfortable communicating with your boyfriend is essential, including letting him know where and how you prefer to be touched. You might also try going to a bookstore and selecting a book on sexuality together, such as the classic The Joy of Sex. Finally, find other ways to enjoy sexual intimacy, and orgasm during intercourse is likely to be a natural result eventually.

(This column is courtesy of the Lauderdale Center for Student Health and Counseling. YAWA is an anonymous, online Q & A Service on the Health & Counseling Web site. If you have a question for YAWA, log onto go.geneseo.edu/yawa).