Did you know…that laying on a “bed of nails” for just 10 minutes a day can increase circulation and relieve pain, stress, and insomnia?
Acupressure is an ancient Chinese therapy that’s been used to promote relaxation, relieve pain, release blocked energy, and increase circulation for over 5,000 years.
Acupressure is praised for its ability to prevent nausea and vomiting and soothe symptoms of pregnancy, menopause, and chemotherapy.
Studies show that acupressure effectively heals joint, muscle, tissue and bone disorders such as arthritic spasms, osteoarthritis, spondylitis and slipped discs.
Recent studies even attest to acupressure’s ability to help treat paralysis of the face…migraines…peripheral neurological disorders…epilepsy…vertigo…and multiple sclerosis.
Now, you can enjoy the myriad health benefits of acupressure in the comfort of your own home thanks to a new innovation in holistic therapy known as acupressure mats.
Acupressure mats are made up of small, evenly distributed discs of plastic “nail-like” spikes. Mats typically come in two versions: the more comfortable mat with 8000 spikes, and the more challenging but effective mat with 6000 spikes.
Apparently, the fewer the spikes, the more the benefit (but also the greater initial discomfort you may feel from the spikes).
Traditional acupressure works with more than 100 acupressure points on the back in order to increase blood flow and trigger the release of endorphins. Patients typically report feeling more relaxed, peaceful, and free of troubling, chronic pain.
Because the spikes are evenly distributed, acupressure mats stimulate the same points. Laying on an acupressure mat for just 10 minutes a day floods your body with natural pain relief hormones and relaxation-promoting endorphins.
Experts Say Acupressure Mats Do Provide Benefits
Steven Given, associate dean of Bastyr University’s School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Kenmore, Washington, gives these devices big thumbs up, saying that “the mat is likely to provide some benefits.”
Dr. Oz agrees, and has promoted acupressure mats as a great tool for natural pain and stress relief. Some experts claim that the mats can help cure chronic insomnia. London neurophysiologist Nerina Ramlakhan prescribes acupressure mats to patients suffering from insomnia. “It very quickly helps the body to come into a state of rest,” she says.
What Research Says About Do-It-Yourself Acupressure with Mats
Research is preliminary but promising. Shakti AB, a manufacturer of acupressure mats, funded a study that tested physical reactions such as heart rate and body temperature.
Thirty-two healthy volunteers lay on an acupressure mat for 20 minutes and a soft bed for 20 minutes.
The results, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, showed that acupressure mats generated higher back temperature…a marker of increased circulation…and slowed heart rate (a sign that the parasympathetic nervous system—responsible for relaxation—was energized).
A recent study published in the online journal Alternative Medicine Studies found that when chronic neck and back sufferers laid on the mats for 15 minutes a day for three weeks their peak levels of pain significantly reduced.
More studies need to be conducted in order to determine if acupressure mats release endorphins and do indeed help cure insomnia.
How to Try an Acupressure Mat
If you’re curious about acupressure mats and would like to see if the therapy could treat your chronic condition, experts advise you to opt for a mat made of 100% cotton and naturally-dyed linen.
Mats made of synthetic fabric haven’t shown the same positive results. Acupressure mats typically cost between $30-$70, a reasonable investment for those suffering from chronic pain or anxiety.
The mats take some getting used to, so start off with a five minute session and gradually increase to 15 minutes a day. Evening and afternoon sessions are particularly effective.
Experts also suggest that you consider lying on the mat with no clothes or other fabric between your skin and the mat, in order to experience the deepest treatment and most soothing benefit.