The Acupressure mat, also known as the Shakti mat, initially designed to be used during meditation also has a number of benefits for general wellbeing. The acupressure mat is covered with over 6000 points disguised as little lotus flowers, offering an even greater number of acupressure points than the traditional Indian bed of nails. It is the sheer number of these stimulating acupressure points that make the mat so effective in deepening the meditative experience and in relieving a variety of common ailments.
The Acupressure mat can help alleviate the symptoms of many ailments that people often resign themselves to living with including backache, sciatica, muscular tension, joint pain, difficulty sleeping, migraine, high stress levels, lethargy and depression. So, how does it work?
Quite simply, the Acupressure mat uses the long recognised benefits of acupressure to help the body to heal itself.
When you lie on the mat, the points of the lotus flowers stimulate energies within your body, triggering a sense of wellbeing whilst simultaneously relieving a plethora of symptoms. How, though, does a session on the acupressure mat relieve pain?
Acupressure is based on the idea that the body has a meridian system, probably best likened to the nervous system, which has pathways running throughout the body in a circuit starting and ending in either the hands or the feet. When you lie on the acupressure mat, points within these meridians are stimulated causing a rush of energy throughout the pathways.
Acupressure causes the release of endorphins within the body. Endorphins are our feel-good hormones which trigger a calming and uplifting response in the body. They reduce the sensation of pain and have a positive effect on the emotions. As a result of endorphins releasing, blood pressure decreases and blood circulation improves. Endorphins also rid the body of acid which is of great benefit in relieving joint pain and digestive disorders.
When you consider that endorphins are widely believed to have similar pain relieving qualities to morphine, it’s easy to see how a session on the Acupressure mat can benefit someone suffering from persistent pain.
To use the mat for overall wellbeing, lie on it daily for around 20 minutes. For targeted pain relief, the affected area should be in contact with the mat for however long is comfortable. Start with five minute sessions and build up to 20 minutes or more. For example, if you have a pain in your hip that stops you from getting off to sleep at night, go to bed and lie on the affected side ensuring the entire hip area is in contact with the acupressure mat.
You may feel tingling sensations, pins and needles or a rush of warmth as stagnant energy begins to flow through the congested area, in this case the hip. Gradually you will feel the warmth spreading down your leg and across your back until a warm, pulsing sensation is felt from your fingers to your toes.
These sensations indicate that the painful area is decongesting, relaxing the surrounding muscles and ultimately relieving the pain. Regular use can prevent the pain from occurring enabling you to maintain a pain free state throughout the day. The possibilities here are endless, simply substitute the hip for the areas where you experience pain to achieve the same benefits.
Insomnia is greatly relieved by sleeping on the mat, lying flat on your back. You may wish to place a pillow beneath your knees to allow yourself to comfortably drift off into a deep sleep.
Regular use of the mat will reduce a variety of painful conditions including migraine as the elevated endorphin levels in your body work to block the pain impulses in the brain. Depression is alleviated by the same process as endorphins naturally lift the mood leaving you feeling calmer, happier and more relaxed.
Perhaps you like to use yoga as a form of relaxation and stress control. Believe it or not, you can perform yoga poses on the Acupressure mat, the effect of the acupressure boosting the natural effects of the poses. Place a thin cloth over the mat at first until you get used to the sensation of performing poses on the acupressure points, and start with poses where your weight is evenly balanced, such as a seated forward bend or a standing forward bend.
As you become more confident, try Tree pose where your weight is on one foot at a time, advancing perhaps to Bow pose where your lower abdomen is supported by the mat. This pose would benefit digestive and menstrual problems when performed on the Acupressure mat as the points of the lotus flowers stimulate energies in the abdominal areas.
For meditation and general relaxation, take ten minutes or more whenever possible to lie on your back on the Acupressure mat, with relaxing music or a guided meditation playing in the background. Your overall wellbeing, mood and energy levels will benefit greatly from a time out like this.
As you can see, the Acupressure mat is not simply a meditation aid. It has multiple uses in everyday life. It is a powerful health promoting tool that can help to increase productivity, reduce reliance on painkillers and improve quality of life by gradually reducing and ultimately eliminating lethargy, depression, anxiety, erratic sleep patterns and more through the widely documented benefits of acupressure. Just as every household has a hot water bottle for winter colds, each one might also consider an Acupressure mat for ongoing health maintenance and wellbeing for the whole family.