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A Complete Guide to Using Acupressure Mats

A Complete Guide to Using Acupressure Mats

Introduction

If your body has been feeling tense and rigid, you may need acupressure. It is an ancient art of healing originating from China that combines both acupuncture and reflexology. During an acupressure session, pressure is applied to certain places on your body, called acupoints. These acupoints, when pressed, release the stress buildup, causing muscle tension. It also helps with improving your blood circulation.

When doing acupressure at home, it is important to buy an acupressure mat. These acupressure mats have thousands of spikes on them which apply pressure on your body, causing the blood to flow more freely.

While acupressure follows a similar concept to acupuncture, it is not invasive to the human body as the pressure is applied only externally. 

What Is an Acupressure Mat?

An acupressure mat is basically a tool to have acupressure therapy at your home without going to a professional acupressure therapist. The mat follows the same concepts of acupressure and reflexology. Acupressure mats are covered with tiny spikes that press on various points on your body, stimulating nerve centers. 

Benefits of Acupressure Mats

There are several benefits of using acupressure mats, some of which are given below.

Natural Pain Relief

Many people experience pain in their daily lives. Acupressure mats are highly effective in providing relief for many types of pain without taking any medications.

Helps with Chronic Pain

According to the definition, any pain which has exceeded its normal healing time is chronic pain. It is extremely disturbing to deal with chronic pain as there is typically no relief for the patients. Acupressure mats were found to greatly reduce the severity of chronic pain, especially in the back and neck area.

Produces Endorphins

Endorphins are the body’s natural pain-relieving hormones. When using an acupressure mat, the body lies on spikes that trigger the release of endorphins. These endorphins prevent the pain signals from reaching the brain, thus reducing the effect and making the person feel relaxed. This is a critical part of improving overall health and well-being.

How to Use an Acupressure Mat?

For a first-timer, using an acupressure mat can be a disconcerting experience. The body isn’t used to the sharp spikes, and it may feel pain for several minutes before it gets acclimated.

  • You should generally use acupressure mats for 10 to 20 minutes every day for the best results. During the session, you need to remember to breathe continuously and make sure you are relaxing your body throughout.
  • You need to first select the surface you want to put your acupressure mat on. If you are a novice in acupressure mats, you might feel more comfortable spreading the mat out on a sofa or bed. Experienced users would prefer having the mat on the floor.
  • For the lower back and hips, you can either sit on the mat directly or put it against a chair and sit on it.
  • Avoid going for bare skin in the beginning. While this is the best approach for getting maximum results, beginners would feel uncomfortable with the spikes pressing against their skin. It is recommended to either wear a light shirt or put a thin fabric on the spikes to help your body adjust quickly and easily.
  • Avoid lying on the acupressure mat at once. When you lie down slowly, you distribute your weight evenly on the mat, which prevents you from getting hurt.
  • Make sure you are positioned correctly. If you need to adjust your position, do it in a gentle manner. Sudden movements will cause the spikes to scratch or pierce your skin.

Use acupressure mat routinely. If the first few sessions do not feel fruitful, you need to give it time. Once you get over the uncomfortable feeling of the spikes, you will begin to enjoy the warmth the mat provides to your body.

Acupressure Mat Positions and Benefits

Depending on which area of your body needs it the most, acupressure mats can be used in a variety of positions.

Back

Lying on the back is the most common way of using acupressure mats. For this position, you need to first put the mat on a flat surface, ideally the floor. When lying down, you need to ensure that your whole back is on the mat. In case you want to add more pressure from the spikes, you can either bend your knees or place a pillow under them.

This position is particularly beneficial for those who are experiencing regular pain in their back or shoulders. Due to the increased blood flow, the acupressure mat treats your back pain quickly.

Neck and Shoulder

Many people use acupressure mats with an acupressure pillow to help themselves get into a better position. This is useful if you want to apply acupressure therapy for neck and shoulder pain. You may have to adjust the pillow to get the maximum coverage for the pressure and contact points.

Chronic neck pain is often the result of neck strain and the buildup of tension. By aligning the curve of your neck with the acupressure pillow, the contact points will increase the blood flow, forcing open the tightly knotted areas in your neck.

Feet

To stimulate various points on your feet, stand on the acupressure spikes barefoot. You might initially feel some discomfort and pain if you aren’t used to it. To avoid this, you can wear socks, but once you get used to it, you should take them off.

Healing various points in your body by applying pressure on your feet is also called reflexology.  

Related: The best TENS Units To Help Speed Muscle Recovery

Acupressure Mat Side Effects

While the benefits of acupressure mats are many, there are some potential side effects of using them, which can be detrimental to your health.

Allergic Sensations

Generally speaking, acupressure mats are made from synthetic materials, which can cause allergic reactions to some areas of your body.

Seizures

If you have been known to suffer from seizures, you may want to use acupressure mats with a partner. It is unwise to use them alone.

Medical Conditions

There are certain medical conditions that need to be taken care of before using acupressure mats. If you are pregnant or if you are nursing, you should avoid using these mats.

Furthermore, if you have a skin infection or any open wounds, you should get them treated as soon as possible before using the mat.

Our Favorite Acupressure Mats

DoSense Pro Acupressure Mat and Pillow Massage Set

The DoSense Pro Acupressure Mat and Pillow Massage Set is excellent for slowing down the blood flow to an injured spot as it will reduce the swelling. It is also useful to induce sleep in people suffering from insomnia.

Shakti Premium Acupressure Mat

Shakti Premium Acupressure Mats have 6,000 spikes on them, further enhancing the effectiveness of acupressure treatment. These acupressure mats are also one of the longer-lasting ones.

Prosourcefit Acupressure Mat

The Prosourcefit Acupressure Mat is unique in its composition. It is made from a 100% pure linen cover and coconut fiber filling which makes for an extremely comfortable acupressure session.

Nayoya Acupressure Mat

Nayoya Acupressure Mats are used mainly for providing stress relief to your body. The 8,000 acupressure points may feel a little uncomfortable for some people in the beginning; they can quickly produce their best results in a very short time after a 10–20-minute acupressure session.

How to Use an Acupressure Mat     

Here is a review on acupressure mats and how to use them.

Acupressure Mats – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to use acupressure mats?

Acupressure mats are used depending on the position you want to be in for a particular area of your body. You can lie down flat on your back or your stomach, or you can stand on it. The acupressure points will then apply pressure to all the areas and stimulate the blood flow.

How to use acupressure mats for weight loss?

If you want to use acupressure mats for losing weight, you need to sit on a chair and place your feet on the acupressure mat. This position helps decrease stress and increase digestion in your body.

How long should you lay on an acupressure mat?

If you are a beginner at using acupressure mats, you may feel uncomfortable using them for too long. Start with 2–5-minute sessions in the beginning, to get used to the feeling. Once your body has adjusted to the feeling, you should ideally go for 10–20-minute acupressure sessions.

Summary

Acupressure mats are a great way to naturally relieve physical pain. They stimulate blood flow and release all the anxiety and stress that has given you aching muscles and joints. Since they are quite durable and long-lasting, acupressure mats are a great investment, especially if you regularly need to release stress. 

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