York charity using creative technology to help relieve stress and anxiety

York charity Accessible Arts & Media are using creative technology to help people improve their mental wellbeing.

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Their iMUSE (Interactive Multi-Sensory Environment) programme uses interactive technology to help people relax whilst making music and creating visuals. Motion sensors in the iMUSE space detect movements that are transformed into sounds and music. And a microphone picks up sounds and turns them into calming visuals that are projected into the room. These elements are combined with a gently vibrating mattress that relaxes muscle tension, along with deep breathing and other relaxation techniques, making iMUSE a calming, therapeutic experience.

After a successful pilot earlier this year, Accessible Arts & Media are running a series of iMUSE sessions at The Hut this Autumn. The sessions are aimed at people with mental ill health, providing them with a safe space where stress and anxiety are reduced and where they can relax and forget the outside world.

Feedback from people who’ve taken part so far highlights the positive impact iMUSE has on mental wellbeing. 100% of participants have said they feel less anxious after every iMUSE session. They’ve also said:

“After the sessions I felt calm, and more able to cope with daily life. I felt very relaxed as well.” Jo

It helps me to sleep, and it’s helped me feel a lot happier.” Tracey

“It’s improved my mood from tired and stressed to calm. It has helped to change my mindset and makes me feel much better for the rest of the day” Adam

Julie Green, iMUSE Coordinator at Accessible Arts & Media, says: “iMUSE has proven to be really beneficial for people experiencing anxiety and stress. The calming effect often lasts long after the iMUSE session and people tell us that it helps them to feel more grounded and positive. If you enjoy music and sound and you’re interested in trying out a creative, therapeutic activity to help your wellbeing, please get in touch. You can book a free taster session and come and try iMUSE for yourself.”

iMUSE sessions are available to book every Tuesday between 4pm – 8pm until Tuesday 18th December. Sessions take place at The Hut on Wiggington Road, York (opposite the hospital). To find out more and to book a place, contact Julie at imuse@aamedia.org.uk or by calling 01904 626965. For more information on iMUSE, please visit https://aamedia.org.uk/our-projects/imuse/