Acupressure mats appear to have taken the wellness industry by storm, but, are by no means new, right? They have rather been around for hundreds of years and utilized by people to treat stress, cranial tension, back, and sports recovery pain, anxiety, muscle relief, and even insomnia.
Who doesn’t relish sleeping, right?
Acupressure mats are nothing short of a boon for pain relief. Moreover, the tiny needs will have a positive impact on your mental or psychological condition too.
By lying on acupressure mats, you deliver pressure to certain points of the body and have the body’s meridians manipulated that open up the pathways for the vital energy to flow, balancing out a fair bit of energy flow.
By virtue of a number of benefits provided by acupressure mats e.g. not letting you bear heavy expenses, not requiring much time, cranking your energy level up for an entire day, inducing pain and stress relief, etc., the mats are being used by people across the globe.
Hence, delving into it is indispensable to you in case you also intend to make the most of acupressure mats.
What Are Acupressure Mats?
Acupressure mats therapy is also used throughout the world and as for acupressure mats, also widely termed Needle Stimulation Pads (NSP) covered with plenty of plastic rubs, they have emerged as one of the best ways to get over pain by having specific areas of the body, acupressure points, stimulated.
The small bulges on it deliver an adequate amount of pressure to some specific parts of the body, being in contact with the surface.
Nowadays, tons of people across the globe have access to acupressure mats so as to get the benefits that long ago, used to be rendered only by genuine acupressure therapies.
The mats are made up of cotton as well as other material similar, and they consist of plastic spikes, which stimulate some specific areas of the body and skin to induce additional relaxation along with health benefits.
Acupressure mats are used on almost every part of your body, including your hands and feet.
The acupressure points’ density is enormously high. Consequently, they are termed even ‘Bed of Nails Mats” as well.
Notwithstanding that the mats appear to be way straightforward, people unfamiliar with them might be apprehensive about their usages. Note: This therapy is still under scrutiny.
Hence, there is a way of little scientific testing about its effectiveness as far as treating diseases and conditions are concerned. Ensure to consult with a physician or doctor regarding any sort of medical concern as well as treatments you try in the present time.
Top 5 Acupressure Mats
How Do Acupressure Mats Work?
It works the same way ancient Chinese therapy used to lead the pain to dissipate, in the comfort of your home.
The hundreds of needles equally scattered throughout the mat get connected to your skin and begin to deliver pressure to the acupressure points on your neck, feet, or back.
Since your muscles effectively melt all around the needles, the painless and gentle pressure starts to stimulate the muscles while releasing flooding, endorphins as well as tension with circulation.
By virtue of the blood drawn to that specific area, your back leads you to feel tingly and warm and the blood flow brings oxygen to the targeted area, healing the part that causes you pain and releasing your tensed muscles.
The pain relief and the stint on the acupressure mat end up leading you to be ecstatic with some sort of energy from within, which is a perfect antidote for someone who works for hours, sitting at a desk.
Acupressure Mat Positions [Best Ways to Use Acurpressure Mat]
There are certain positions in which acupressure mats tremendously benefit you. So, let’s delve into them meticulously.
1. Back Position
Place a mat down on the surface as you do with a firm couch and position your back so that the mat can deliver pressure to the acupressure points in your back.
In case you have to feel the pressure on the lower back, you can move the mat, bending your knees with flat feet.
Also, you can put a pillow under the knees for comfort in case you find this position difficult. If you feel pain between the shoulder blades, or in the back, it is way common.
The mat will eventually provide you with tremendous relief in these specific areas since the blood flow induces extensive healing.
2. Neck and Shoulder Positioning
Notwithstanding that some mats come with acupressure pillows, some aren’t provided with the pillows.
Given this, you adjust the mat under your shoulders and neck, bearing in mind that the pressure, as well as contact points, has to perfectly align with the neck’s curve. The towel between the floor and the mat has to work exceedingly well.
Chronic neck pain stems from the shoulder, tension, and neck strain. Every time you target these areas, it causes the neck’s blocked areas to open that are induced by tension. Also, it relieves you of tension, headaches.
3. Buttocks and Lower Back
This, to a great extent, is the same position you are in for the lower back. In this, the mat is under your buttocks, but, is high enough to cover the entire lower back.
You place the feet flat down on the floor, bending your knees; you will find this position a tad more comfortable on a firm couch.
Allowing the blood to flow fast and freely between the lower back and buttocks relieves the sciatic area’s pain. To feel increased relief, you lightly shift from one side to the other.
4. Thighs and Buttocks
Place a hard chair or the mat on the floor to lie in this position thoroughly. You may use it, working at your desk.
However, please, ensure you are or have got used to the sensation prior to doing this at work. Lean forward towards your toes to feel the effects on your thigh muscles, sitting on the mat.
5. Feet Positioning
The very first time, you may have to wear socks before attempting to stand the mat’s spikes. As you get used to the pressure, you can even try standing barefoot as well. This sort of pressure on the feet leads to the stimulation of zones on your foot.
Also, this is a kind of healing widely termed reflexology, which can impact the other areas of your body with pressure on the feet’ zones. These are the benefits of acupressure mats in reducing body pain by applying to different positions.
Benefits of Acupressure Mats
Research after research has indicated that from pain management to healthier complexion problems, acupressure mats provide a myriad of benefits, and that’s why the mats are being used across the globe.
These benefits of acupressure mats can be divided into 3 broad categories:
- Physical Benefits
- Psychological Benefits
- Pain Relief
1. Natural Pain Relief
With the rapidly increasing number of people plagued by horrendous pain, anything that can lead this to dissipate is desirable for them.
A major systematic review in the year 2014 meticulously delved into all the research carried out regarding the pain along with acupressure.
In the wake of this, they discovered that findings were positive and indicated that acupressure is highly effective for a myriad of pains.
Also, it concluded that health professionals should give acupressure a go as a complementary therapy so as to manage the kind of pain associated with several conditions.
2. Highly Effective For Chronic Pain
In the above-mentioned research, acupressure has been proved to be particularly effective to help you get on with chronic pain. The research also deduced that chronic pain lasts longer than as many as three months.
As for Pilot studies in 2012, acupressure mats are referred to as mechanical needle stimulation pads and it even deeply delved into the impact these mats have on the lower back and chronic neck pain.
It was believed that a total of 82 patients made effective use of acupressure mats, with plastic points, for a period of 14 weeks.
The result that came out was astounding to many that pain was reducing significantly owing to its use and the researchers were recognizing the effects the mats had on the pain system.
3. Treat Anxiety
In accordance with the research performed in the USA, Anxiety has emerged as the most common mental illness, affecting 40+ million individuals.
The Anxiety as well as Depression Association of American (ADAA), concluded that this condition is no longer that egregious owing to being enormously treatable.
So why don’t you try your hands at acupressure? At some points between 1997 and 2014, 39 studies were conducted to give people an account of how the spiky treatment helps to calm their minds. So why not try acupressure?
Recent studies conducted revealed that spiky treatment can help to calm the mind. Every study reported a positive outcome, highlighting how acupressure can provide immediate relief from anxiety. Other studies stated that it is powerful for treating depression and stress.
4. Enhances Your Sleep Quality
There is a bewildering fact that the number of people across the globe suffering from sleep disorders is rising at a threatening rate.
But there are a handful of things, including acupressure, that can relieve you of it. A study in 2015 deduced that the sleep of menopausal women is affected by the consistent use of acupressure treatments.
Recently, scientists also studied the use of self-administered acupressure for better treatments of insomnia symptoms. Respondents over there learned how to use acupressure, monitored, and were asked to write the quality of the sleep in a diary.
The study concluded that in case each individual learned how to apply the acupressure treatments correctly, this could be an amazing tool to treat the symptoms of insomnia.
5. Endorphins Production
Acupressure is recommended by many health professionals since its process releases a fair bit of endorphins. Endorphins are equivalent to opioids, which are most often referred to as ‘the natural painkillers of bodies’ because they help reduce your pain.
Findings published in the health science, as well as the IOSR journal of nursing, clearly indicated that acupressure stimulates endorphins’ production to have the pain signals, reaching the brain, blocked.
6. Physical Fitness and Weight Loss
Acupressure mats also are known to improve physical fitness with proper usage. They are also extensively used in weight loss programs.
Some of the above-listed acupressure positions not only help in relieving the pain but also improve the physical condition of respective body parts.
Side Effects of Acupressure Mats
It is advised not to use this in case you are pregnant, have blood pressure and a heart problem, are nursing, suffering from a skin infection, or have open wounds.
The side effects of pressure mats therapies are quite minor since they don’t have several harmful issues.
Having said that, you should have to be aware even of them in case you are going to use the mats, irrespective of how less detrimental they are to your health.
1. Allergic Sensations In Specific Areas
Generally, acupressure mats are made from non-ecological, synthetic, and allergenic materials. Thus, there would always be a chance of feeling allergic sensations.
2. Skin Inflammation
In case you are going to use the mats with burned areas, infected areas, the areas with different skin irritations, it leads to skin infections.
Hence, avoiding such areas, carrying out the therapy is highly advisable Note: in case you are suffering horrendous diseases e.g. skin cancer, tumors, refrain from the mats.
Even if you are suffering from a history of seizures, you can carry out the therapy with the mat. But remember that it should be performed with help of your partner, or friend and shun the mat completely if you are alone at home.
4. Circulatory & Heart Issues.
The mat is risky for patients suffering from circulatory issues, bleeding disorders, and high blood pressure. This therapy affects your circulatory system. Also, Avoid the mats if you are on blood-related medications.
5. Lightheaded & Soreness
After the session, you might feel bruise or soreness at the acupressure point and even be lightheaded for a few seconds.
So, if you are one of the people who are overstimulated and looking for ways to relax and reduce your stress levels then an acupressure mat is the way to go.
They come in a variety of sizes and applications. Acupressure mats are products of great benefits and are recommended in many countries to treat common ailments like chronic pain and others.