Going through your daily grind can leave you worn out and tired at the end of the day. You could be sitting at your desk for many hours and your muscles are begging for a break. Going for a massage regularly may not be an option for you as it can be expensive, and so you go on to the next day bearing yesterday’s muscle pains. Before you know it, the feeling of fatigue and stress is making you unproductive.
Don’t you wish that you could have some sort of pick-me-up for your muscles that can help make you feel relieved and relaxed? Lo and behold, an acupressure mat may just be the answer to your problems!
Acupressure mats are foam or fibre mats with thousands of acupoint needles generally grouped in discs. They are derived from the ancient Ayurvedic treatment which is similar to massage, acupuncture, and reflexology and by massaging and stimulating key points on the body to promote deep relaxation and healing.
Here are 6 ways an acupressure mat can help you feel awesome:
Relaxes your muscles
Acupressure mats benefit the body by relieving tension, soreness and pain in the back, head, neck, shoulders, hips, feet, and other parts of the body. The mat’s plastic acupoint discs are specially designed and positioned to stimulate various points on the body. These acupressure points which press and massage special points on your body known as “meridians”. Meridians are energy pathways that connect various points in your body. In the same way that our blood vessels circulate blood throughout the body, our meridians energetically connect different points in our body. This sends healing energy to your organs and other parts of your body and creates incredible health benefits. This process also brings your body and mind into harmony and helps you enter deep states of relaxation.
Helps with insomnia
There are several acupoints which, when massaged, can help to fight insomnia and improve sleep . They work by addressing the physical and mental aspects which affect sleep. The Vital Diaphragm (BL-38) are some of these points and are located at the heart level on the back, between the spine and the shoulder blade on each side. Lying down on an acupressure mat for a few minutes before bed provides a great way to trigger multiple acupressure points on your body simultaneously.
A study by Barker et al . explored how acupressure affected the anxiety levels of patients who were transported to the hospital in an ambulance. The research involved 38 patients, some of whom received acupressure treatment. Their anxiety and pain levels, blood pressure, and heart rate were measured before the treatment. The participants who received acupressure therapy experienced lesser pain, anxiety, and had a lower heart rate. In addition to these results, the patients reported higher satisfaction with the care they received during the ambulance transport. The researchers encourage health practitioners to consider performing acupressure to help decrease patients’ anxiety and pain during emergency transport.
Helps with dysmenorrhoea
Other research has investigated the effects of acupressure on dysmenorrhoea, which is painful menstruation involving abdominal cramps. The study involved 69 women divided into two groups, one of which received acupressure therapy targeting the sanyinjiao point (which is a point above the ankles). The other group only rested and did not receive acupressure treatment. Results from the test showed that the participants who received sanyinjiao acupressure during the initial session reported reduced levels of pain and anxiety. In addition, a self-treatment follow-up session showed a significant decrease in menstrual pain.
Relieve migraines and headaches
There are several acupoints you can stimulate to relieve the pain caused by headaches and migraines . The Spleen Shu (BL-20) is an acupoint located on the 11th thoracic spine on the middle of the back. Stimulating it helps with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, bloating, and other conditions.
Acupressure mats can be great for the neck and shoulder regions. All you need to do is lie down and let them do their work. Doing so can provide migraine relief by triggering relevant pressure points.
Reduce stomach and abdominal issues
Sea of Vitality (B-23, B-47) are some of the points that can be stimulated to aid in addressing stomach and abdominal issues . These are located near the spine at the waist level. By applying acupressure to these points, you can help to calm abdominal pains and stomach aches, while reducing indigestion.
Other health benefits
Acupressure mats can also help you enjoy the following health benefits:
- Reduction of pain and soreness
- Increased circulation
- Rejuvenation of the skin
- Improved digestion
- Increased energy levels
- Reduction of cellulite
- Alleviates arthritis
- Alleviates fibromyalgia
- Aids myofascial pain syndrome
- Alleviates sciatica pain
- Faster recovery after workouts
- Lower cortisol levels
How to Use an Acupressure Mat
Using an acupressure mat is very easy . All that needs to be done is to lay it on a flat surface, such as the floor or a bed. You then simply lie down on the mat. To get the best results, it is recommended that you remove your clothing so that there is direct contact between the acupressure needles and your skin. If this feels too painful, thin clothing can be worn or the mat can be covered with a towel or sheet to serve as a buffer between the points and you skin.
A pillow or rolled blanket can be placed under the mat so that the acupressure points can target the neck and shoulders. Some acupressure mats come with a pillow that also have pointed discs. You can simply lay your head on the pillow to target the acupoints in that region.
Acupressure mats also help to release tension in the muscles. Lying sideways targets the iliotibial band (known as the IT band). To experience relief from back pain, bend the knees, or place a pillow under the mat and position it in the middle to give it a curved shape which mirrors the natural shape of the spine.
Another way to use the acupressure mat is to stand on it . This allows for body weight to push down on your feet and therefore make the pressure and contact more effective. Targeting the acupoints on the feet is beneficial because it contains various acupoints connected to the different systems and organs of the body.
The Dosha Mat acupressure mat is 100% eco-friendly and features more than 4,500 high-quality acupressure points in the beautiful shape of lotus flowers. Each mat is carefully handmade using the highest-quality, hypoallergenic natural linen. Each mat also contains a removable cushion made of 100% natural coconut fibre. Learn more about Dosha Mat at doshamat.com
(Story contributed by Jessica Rose of Dosha Mat)