Acupressure Mat: What is It, and How Do I Use It?

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While you’ve probably heard of acupressure before and perhaps have even tried different mats like yoga mats or posture mats, have you ever used the two methods combined? If not, you’re in for a real treat! 

Acupressure mats are readily available, and so many people have opted to try this fantastic method already to help target pressure points! Acupressure mats are powerful tools, and now you’ll be able to finally reap all the health benefits they have to offer.

Today, we’ll provide a deeper understanding of what these mats are, how to use them and their many benefits.

Let’s see what they’re all about!


What Are Acupressure Mats

Acupressure mats are widely accessible and provide the exact same acupressure therapy benefits at home as when you use the acupressure massage services of a specialist. 

These special mats are made from cotton or similar materials, and normally consist of plastic spikes that stimulate certain areas of the body, especially acupressure points. They also stimulate your skin for additional relaxation and health benefits

Since your weight is evenly distributed , there’s no way for the needles to actually puncture the skin, so you don’t have to worry about any pain or injury in this holistic method of healing and energy promotion.

However, if you are among the following groups of people or have any of these conditions, using an acupressure massage mat is not advised:

  • Pregnant 
  • Nursing 
  • Have a heart condition 
  • Using blood pressure medication 
  • Have a skin infection 
  • Have open wounds 

How to Best Use an Acupressure Mat

  1. First, relax and lay down on the mat. Try to evenly position your back across the mat. Always feel free to shift or move your body as needed to find a comfortable position that best suits you.

Have lower back pain? No problem! Simply bend your knees or use a pillow to prop up your knees to add elevation and pinpoint muscle tension in this problem area. 

  1. Initially, the acupressure spikes may not seem super comfortable. However, simply relax, breathe and give your body time to adjust.
  2. Once you begin to feel comfortable, lay on your mat for 20-40 minutes in order to obtain ultimate results, and get up feeling calm, rejuvenated and relaxed. 

Don’t spend your time eyeing the clock. The point of this session is to relax. Set a timer in the kitchen or on your phone to track your time, and listen to meditation music if possible. 

When performing acupressure on the body, it’s super important that your body is evenly distributed across the mat. The pinpoints are known to be unforgiving if not used correctly, so if one area of your body is taking on greater pressure, it could cause harm or bruising to the skin.


What Are the Benefits of Acupressure?

There are quite a few benefits to having an acupressure mat. From helping to alleviate occasional pain to helping you find your zen, here are all the wonderful ways that an acupressure mat can help you daily:

  • Helps with temporary neck pain relief and back pain relief
  • Helps alleviate shoulder pain and occasional soreness in the shoulder blades
  • Relieves stiff and sore muscles caused by overexertion 
  • Provides feelings of stress relief and tension after a long day
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Relieves nausea caused by bodily tightness and tension
  • Supports healthy blood flow/blood circulation 
  • Supports healthy respiration
  • Increases feelings of energy

Is there a benefit you’re looking forward to most? With so many different ways this tool provides aid and relief, it’s such a great addition to your daily routine.

While acupressure is known to provide a plethora of benefits, it should not be substituted for a needed medication or therapy prescribed by a doctor or chiropractor. Make sure to always partner with a medical professional, so they can properly treat and diagnose any of the issues you might be experiencing. 


Different Needs Call for Diverse Positions 

Back Pain

Does your back occasionally cause you some pain from your busy day-to-day movements? 

Simply place the mat on a solid, flat surface. Sit down slowly and lay all the way down on the mat. You will begin to feel warmth creep over your upper back and entire body as the small needles start working their magic. 

Experiencing back pain a little lower? Simply roll up a towel or blanket, or grab a pillow to place under your knees for added elevation to better support that area. 

If there’s unwanted pain or tension in your shoulders, you can take that same towel or blanket and place it under the upper part of your back to pinpoint a different area.

Give it about 20 minutes, and you’ll really start to feel some relief!

 

Neck Pain

A lot of times with neck pain, people will reach for a pillow rather than a mat for extra pain relief. However, an acupressure mat can provide amazing benefits you’ll never get with just a pillow. 

If you choose to use a pillow, first, lay down on a flat surface or find a tall chair or couch to sit on. Place your neck on the pillow and then adjust as you feel comfortable. You can also use the pillow for about 20 minutes until you feel a reduction in pain or discomfort. 

If you use an acupressure mat, lower your body down slowly and tuck a rolled blanket or towel under your head. You can move it as necessary and keep pressure on it for the same amount of time as the pillow. For maximum rejuvenation, you can do this for up to 40 minutes. Remember, do what makes you feel comfortable.

 

Feelings of Restlessness or Stress

The mat not only relaxes the body, it also brings comfort and peace to your mind. You can use the mat in a similar way for back pain. Make sure to lay in a comfortable position that evenly distributes your weight for optimal results.

For added comfort, you can use this mat on both your bed and couch since it will be a little softer than the normal floor. 

Breathe deeply and relax. You can close your eyes to bring focus to your breathing. It also helps to play music and take part in a guided meditation. 25 to 40 minutes is the ideal amount of time to reap all the healing benefits. 

 

Energy Boost

For an energy boost, do the opposite of the above in terms of time usage. The less time spent on the mat, the more rejuvenated (rather than relaxed) you’ll feel in the long run. 

Lay on your mat where you feel comfortable, and set a timer for no more than 20 to 25 minutes. Try to keep your mat on the floor instead of your bed, especially if you’re feeling sleepy. The moment you get up, you’ll feel that instant rejuvenation you’ve been craving. 

Best of all? It’s all-natural energy! Now, there’s no need to go and grab a coffee or shot of espresso! Try this method  during your “midday slump” and experience the energy-boosting difference! 

 

Deeper Sleep

Need sleep? Make sure to stay on the mat for longer than 20 minutes. If more time is needed, stay on the mat until it starts to truly induce those desired sleepy feelings. 

Just make sure the mat is removed and you don’t sleep on it all night. Too much of a good thing has a habit of bringing harm. Plus, if you move in the middle of the night and put too much pressure on one area, it could cause unnecessary bruising or puncturing of the skin. 

Make this a relaxing part of your nighttime routine to help improve your sleep through the night. 

 

Feet and Reflexology

Work on your feet all day? Then this method is definitely for you! These mats are meant to help alleviate pain in your feet, especially if you’ve been wearing uncomfortable shoes or walking all day. 

Feel free to use the mat or pillow, too! Either will work. When standing on the mat, it might even feel similar to having a foot massage. And who doesn’t love a good foot massage?  

Similar Methods are Available

If you truly feel an acupressure mat is not for you, no worries! There are plenty of other ways to enjoy similar benefits. 

These are the four other holistic methods that can be utilized similarly and drive closely related results. 


Our Final Thoughts 

 So, what’s the consensus? Is an acupressure mat a good fit for you? 

With the ease of use of this holistic tool and all its health benefits, there are plenty of exciting reasons why you could add some “mat time” into your busy schedule. 

It’s a holistic healing method that aids in your journey toward a healthier lifestyle. Plus, there’s little to no side effects to affect your daily routine in a negative way. So, give it a try! 

Just lay down, relax and soak up those proven benefits the best acupressure mats offer!



Sources: 

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/acupressure-mat#do-they-work
  2. https://awakeandmindful.com/how-to-use-an-acupressure-mat/
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/acupressure-mat