Natural Remedies

Love at First Spike: Acupressure Mat

Acupressure mat: What is it?

Acupressure mat is a self-applied acupuncture device commonly made of a foam mattress covered with cotton and embedded with hard plastic disks containing protruding spikes that stimulate specific areas in the body to bring pain relief and help with other issues.

Acupressure mats attract the same crowd as acupuncture; however, acupuncture mats do not substitute working with an actual human acupuncturist.

 

What are the benefits of using acupressure mat?

Acupuncture mats are considered to be alternative healing tools. They have not been well studies and there are no conclusive results on the benefits of use. As such, benefits listed below come as a result of small studies and customer feedback:

  • Increase circulation
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Deal with insomnia / Help you sleep
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Relieve chronic neck and back pain
  • Reduce appearance of cellulite
  • Cure muscle aches
  • Help to clear acid from the body

 

How to use acupressure mat?

Upon first use, the spikes might seem extremely sharp making people concerned about puncturing their skin. This is a needless concern since the skin is spread out over the mat and is merely stimulated. That being said, if it is your first time using an acupuncture mat, it is highly recommended to wear a T-shirt, socks or lay a towel over the mat to reduce the intensity of the pinpoints. Overtime your body adjusts its tolerance to the initial pain and you will be able to use mat directly on your bare skin.

Generally speaking, you place mat on flat surface (bed, couch, chair, floor, etc) and make yourself comfortable on it. To increase intensity of the “massage”, use acupressure mat on hard surface.

Daily “massage” session is suggested to last between 10 and 20 minutes. You might choose to start with a smaller period of time and increase it slowly with time. Keep in mind that initial 3 – 5 minutes of being on the mat might be painful so try to handle the pressure and breath deep.

 

Personal challenge:

Your experience with acupuncture mat will probably depend on your tolerance to pain and skin sensitivity (given that you are open to the idea at all). That being said, I find that ability to focus on something other than the immediate pain and continuous deep breathing are the biggest factors for successful experience on the mat.

As long as I follow my own advice, I am able to relax enough to fall asleep on the mat. My feet, however, are very sensitive. I am not able to walk gracefully on the sandy beach or grass in the park. Upon minor touch to my feet I feel ticklish and unable to hold still which landed me in quite a few embarrassing situations during pedicure sessions. Needless to say that standing on acupuncture mat is an extreme challenge for me.

Why did I decide to pursue nail walking hobby? According to TCM, our feet have numerous biologically active pressure points. Upon regular stimulation of those points, TCM doctors strengthen immune system and improve internal organ functioning. With my feet being so responsive to even slightest stimuli, I think I can get a lot of benefit from standing and marching on the nails.

 

Thanks for reading,

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