What is an Acupressure Mat?
Most of us have heard about acupressure treatments, but when confronted with the term are left wondering what is an acupressure mat? Acupressure mats are made to create results likened to those of an acupressure massage. Also referred to as a “bed of nails,” acupressure mats are foam mats with several hundred short, hard, plastic needles inside that apply pressure to many acupressure points located in the back.
Besides acupressure mats, there are also acupressure pillows for the head, neck, hands, or feet.
To explain this better, let’s take a brief look at acupressure. Taken from the annals of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupressure is a method used to free blocked chi (Qi), or energy, to flow uninterrupted throughout the body. Once this is able to occur, the pain may be eased or completely eradicated.
There are many people out there who are presently using acupressure mats to ease back pain and headaches. The question is do they really work? Well, the answer depends on who you ask.
To be honest, there hasn’t been a large amount of research done on acupressure mats, but there are, however, some small studies which show them to be helpful for easing pain. Furthermore, many users swear by the excellent results they get.
So let’s take a look at acupressure mat benefits.
Acupressure mats work like acupressure and acupuncture — they trigger pressure points along the pathways of the body where vital energy flows — thus they can give the same or similar benefits.
The essential distinction is that acupressure mats trigger many acupressure points randomly, in contrast to target acupressure or simple acupuncture treatments which are given by a professional.
Acupressure Mat Benefits
Those who use acupressure mats have claimed to have found easing of or reduction in pain for the following issues:
- Headache — Believed to be eased by standing on the mat with both placed evenly.
- Neck Pain — Muscle tautness and back strain are frequently associated with neck pain.
- Backache — Pain caused by strained muscles.
- Sciatica Pain — Located in the leg and back.
- Muscle Pain — Tight or stiff muscles in the back.
- Stress and Tension
- Fibromyalgia Pain
Best Acupressure Mats
Most acupressure mats are nearly alike in design and usually cost between $20–$60. The variations in cost can sometimes be attributed to extras, such as storage bags. Also, the fabric from which the mat is made can be a factor.
Just keep in mind that more expensive does not always mean the same as more effective. This is definitely one of the cases where quality must come first, and paying a lot doesn’t necessarily ensure that. Do your research.
Usually, the mats you compare will have the same or close to the same amount of acupressure spikes, which makes for the most essential criteria you need to think about when buying an acupressure mat. If you’re comparing two mats and the number of spikes radically differs between the two of them, then something is seriously wrong.
While acupressure mats have yet been thoroughly studied, users do claim to have experienced astonishing results as far as easing of pain and other symptoms they had while using them.
If you are suffering from general body pain, back pain, stress, or headaches, an acupressure mat might be a good idea. Just remember that you will have to acclimate your body to the mat. Give it some time and don’t quit using the mat right away in frustration. With a little time and determination, you should be just fine.