If you are using an acupressure mat for the first time, it is understandable if you find the concept somewhat intimidating. Lying on spikes may not sound very comfortable, and you may be faced with some initial discomfort when you first use your acupressure mat. However, that initial unease and discomfort quickly fades for most people as the incredible benefits of acupressure therapy set it.
In this post, we discuss how to effectively use an acupressure mat depending on your level of experience. We also discuss symptoms that can be treated using an acupressure mat, including back and neck pain as well as anxiety and stress.
Using Your Acupressure Mat
Ideally, you should lie down on an acupressure mat with just bare skin; but this is for more advanced users. For beginners, we recommend placing a sheet of cloth (e.g. towel or any clothing) between the mat and your skin. You may wear an actual piece of clothing too, if you prefer. This practice will help lessen the pressure of the sharp points against your skin, and eventually get you accustomed to the sensation.
Acupressure mats are generally placed on a flat surface like beds, couches, or on the floor. If you are using your acupressure mat on the floor, feel free to use additional pieces of cloth in order to provide cushion, so long as you feel comfortable with the sensation. You may also use other personal effects such as pillows if you need some cushioning for your head, neck or legs. Once you lie down, make sure to comfortably position your back (or any part of the body you are targeting) evenly on the spikes.
The length of each acupressure session can also be scaled as well. For beginners, we recommend using it daily for at least 5 minutes; for intermediate users, we recommend using it daily for at least 15 minutes; and for advanced users, we recommend using daily it for at least 30 minutes. Using it multiple times a day for shorter durations is also a great approach.
The sensation produced by using an acupressure mat is known to produce a flood of endorphins. Just like exercise, the stimulation caused by the tiny spikes causes equally tiny reflexes in your skin, which in turn encourages your body to release endorphins. Endorphins are the hormones primarily responsible for making you feel healthy and happy.
As a bonus tip, you may wish to elevate the overall experience of using an acupressure mat by listening to a soothing melody, your favorite audio book, or anything that can help ease you into stillness and relaxation.
Symptoms that Can be Treated with an Acupressure Mat
One of the best things about acupressure mats is that pretty much anyone can use them with ease. If used on a regular basis, acupressure mats are sure to bring about many health benefits. Additionally, they are a great alternative to relieving various issues, as described below.
Acupressure mats are perfect for alleviating back pain. The tiny spikes of the mat will encourage proper blood flow, which in turn helps relax your sore muscles and relieve pain and tension. Simply place your mat on a flat surface and gently lie down until you are comfortably positioned. If your lower back is what ails you, put a towel under the mat; the mat should then gently press against your lower back. Do this for at least 20 minutes and you should notice a significant improvement in your back pain.
Acupressure mats are also a great tool for relieving chronic neck pain. Place the mat on a flat surface and put a rolled cloth under the mat beneath your head. As you lie down on the mat, gently adjust your body by moving your back down until the back of your neck is firmly supported by the bump created by the rolled cloth. Keep yourself relaxed in this position for at least 20 minutes. You may also re-adjust as needed to target specific areas of your neck.
Anxiety and Stress
Acupressure mats are great for reducing anxiety and stress and helping your mind relax. In order to achieve this, take long, deep breaths while lying down on the mat. It is also helpful to keep your eyes closed, free your mind from thoughts and try to stay in the moment. Listening to a guided meditation can be a great way to ease yourself into the right mental state. It is most beneficial to use your mat for this purpose just before going to bed and this will help ensure that you get a great night’s sleep.
Acupressure mats can also provide the boost you need whenever you feel low on energy, which is common during the morning or in the afternoon. To achieve this, lie down on your acupressure mat for no more than 20 minutes. Keep in mind that anything more than that will induce relaxation and may defeat the purpose of raising your energy levels.
Feet and Hands
Acupressure mats are also a great reflexology tool. Our feet and hands have many points on them that correspond to various parts of the body. For foot reflexology, place one foot at a time on the mat for three minutes. Feel free to move your foot around, or to adjust your positioning to increase pressure during this process. Once done with both feet, place them together on the mat for an additional minute. For hand reflexology, simply place one hand on the mat for one minute; once done, repeat the process with the other hand. You may also move your hand and increase the pressure as you feel necessary.
Acupressure mat treatments are a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, avoid pain, and relax the body and mind. By using an acupressure mat, you can effectively and efficiently address various issues at any time of the day, whether low energy level, difficulty relaxing, or back pain.