In this post, we reveal the top 8 acupressure mat positions, how to best use your mat in those positions, and the positive health effects of each respective position.
Top Ways to Use Your Acupressure Mat
Acupressure mats permit excellent self-treatment which can be easily performed in the comfort of your own home. Although laying down on an acupressure mat may be the most popular way to use it, did you know that an acupressure mat can be used to target many other areas of the body?
Place your mat on a flat surface, preferably on the floor. Lie down on it, and make sure that the entire surface of your back is well-rested on the mat. If you want to feel more pressure against your lower back, simply bend your knees (i.e. tent them) or place a pillow under your knees. Using the acupressure mat in this position for at least 20 minutes will relieve pain between your shoulder blades and even in the small of your back. When done prior to sleeping, this position will also help improve the quality of your sleep.
Place your stomach flat on the mat, with your arms crossed under your head or on your side if you are resting on a pillow. You may wear thin clothing if the sensation is too much for you. Staying in this position for at least 20 minutes will relax your body as well as boost your digestion.
Neck & Shoulders
To improve the mat’s contact with your neck and shoulders, roll up a towel and place it under the mat in the area where your neck and shoulders are intended to make contact with the mat. The mat’s contact points need to align with the curve of your neck, and its pressure should be evenly distributed along your neck and shoulders. Relaxing in this position for at least 20 minutes will provide relief against neck and shoulder pain.
Hips & Thighs
Place your mat on a flat surface, preferably the floor. Lie down on your side, making sure that the mat is perfectly positioned under your hip and thigh. Do this for approximately 10 minutes on each side, and adjust your body to achieve the desired pressure. Not only will this position relax your hips, but it will also help reduce the appearance of cellulite if done on a regular basis.
Lower Back & Buttocks
Position your mat under your body in such a way that it covers both your lower back and buttocks. For increased pressure against your lower back, place a rolled towel under your knees, or bend them up (i.e. tent them) with your feet resting flat on the surface. Holding this position for at least 20 minutes will provide relief against symptoms of pain or tightening in the sciatic area.
Buttocks & Thighs
You can get into this position by either sitting on the floor or on a hard chair. If done on a chair, you can increase the pressure of the mat against the back of your thighs by reaching for your toes. If you have used your mat for a while and have grown accustomed to the sensation, you may also consider bringing your mat to your workplace. This position is great for providing relaxation during long hours at work.
Acupressure mat treatments for the face can be done in two ways. The first approach is to rest the side of your face on the mat. The second approach is to gently press the mat against the side of your face, jaw and jaw-bones using your hand. Treat each side for only 1 to 2 minutes. Although direct contact is more beneficial, you may also place a thin cloth between your face and the surface if the sensation is too intense for you. This position has many benefits, including removing tension in the jaw and neck area, reducing lymph stagnation, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and giving your face a more radiant look.
Place your mat on the floor and stand on it, preferably with bare feet. You may also put a thin cloth on top of the mat, or wear socks if the sensation is too strong for you. After a while, gently lift one foot up while maintaining your stance; this will increase the beneficial effect of the mat on the various pressure points of your foot. Do this for a total of 10 minutes. This position provides a type of healing called reflexology and is perfect for pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
By now, you are likely aware of the wonders of acupressure mats and the incredible healing effects they can have on various parts of your body. Using an acupressure mat means far fewer visits to a massage or physical therapist, but more importantly, regularly using an acupressure mat will provide you with a general sense of well-being. If you are a firm believer of holistic medicine, you should make an acupressure mat a staple in your wellness routine. For more information on this subject, read our ultimate guide to acupressure mats.