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Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and I was not asked to review the mat. I am simply reviewing and recommending the product as I have had a good experience with it.
Last December, I purchased a High Pulse Acupressure Mat. I first learned about acupressure mats from an advert on Facebook, and I had been interested in buying one for a while. They are supposed to have many benefits for physical and mental health. I had been experiencing anxiety so I hoped it would be a useful tool to help me relax and ease my anxious feelings.
What is an acupressure mat?
First, I will give a brief explanation of what acupressure is. Acupressure is a form of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves applying pressure to certain points on the body that coincide with the energy meridians. This can help to clear ‘blockages’ in the meridians which in turn can help to relieve pain, nausea and many other physical symptoms and illnesses.
There is a similar practice called acupuncture which involves inserting thin needles into these points. Acupressure doesn’t involve needles which makes it more appealing to the squeamish among us!
An acupressure mat is a soft, spongey mat with many plastic spiky fixtures attached. In total there are hundreds of spikes, and when you lie on the mat, the spikes will stimulate the acupressure points on your back. The spikes are sharp, but your weight is evenly distributed over the spikes so they won’t break the skin. Most mats also come with a pillow which allows for stimulation of the acupressure points on the back of your neck and head.
What are the benefits of using an acupressure mat?
By laying on an acupressure mat, you will get many of the benefits that acupressure claims to provide. This is because there are a lot of acupressure points on your back. The high concentration of spikes means that all the points will be stimulated at once, affecting many meridians in your body. Because the spikes are close together, I don’t think it matters if they don’t hit the acupressure points exactly, because there is some leeway in the exact location of the points.
These are some of the benefits that the acupressure mat claims to provide:
- Stimulates the production of Oxytocin and Endorphins which are hormones that can help you relax.
- Relieves pain.
- Helps you to sleep better.
- Improves circulation.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Can relieve constipation.
- Relieves headaches.
- Reduces muscle tension.
It is recommended to lie on the mat for at least 20 minutes, but any amount of time is beneficial.
My experience using an acupressure mat
I first started using my mat on a regular basis in March, when I was challenging myself to meditate every day. I would lie on the mat for around 30 minutes or sometimes longer, while listening to a guided meditation. When meditating in the past, I usually found it difficult to keep my body still without fidgeting. I hoped that by using the mat, I would be able to relax my body enough to have a more successful meditation.
The mat really does help me to relax! When I first lie down on the mat, it feels very spiky on my back, and it can be uncomfortable. I find myself fidgeting as I try to get comfortable and make sure none of the spikes are pulling on my skin. Once I get past this fidgety stage, the discomfort fades and a warm, pleasant feeling starts to spread through my body. I think the warmth is from increased blood flow to the skin. All my muscles relax and I find myself able to lie completely still. Once I am in this state, I would quite happily lay on the mat for hours and not want to move!
The mat is long enough to cover my entire back, but not my legs. However, the warm feeling spreads down my legs even though they are not on the mat. I would guess that this is because the meridians are being stimulated along their whole length, starting from my back.
At the moment I am not meditating as regularly, but I still use my mat on an occasional basis when I want to relax my body and mind. While laying on the mat, I sometimes read a book or magazine, use my phone, or listen to nature sounds.
Did I notice any of the benefits mentioned above?
I am lucky enough not to have any physical pains or health problems so I can’t comment on the effectiveness of the mat in relieving the physical symptoms mentioned above. However, it definitely helps me to feel very relaxed, mentally as well as physically, which has helped me when I have been experiencing anxiety.
I usually find it easy to get to sleep, but I imagine this mat would help if you are struggling to sleep because of the relaxing effect it has.
Tips and warnings
- The spikes are really sharp! So be careful when handling the mat, and keep it away from small children or pets.
- After you get up off the mat, your back will be covered in red dots! But don’t worry, they soon fade away!
- Sometimes my back feels itchy after I get off the mat, but this soon fades too.
- If I am finding it hard to get comfortable on the mat, breathing deeply sometimes helps me to relax into it.
- I usually lie with my legs spread out flat, but you could also have your legs bent if it is more comfortable for you.
- I find the mat most effective when I lay on it with a bare back. However, when you are first adjusting to the sensation of the spikes, you can wear a t-shirt. I usually cover myself with a blanket so that I keep warm and feel secure.
- Sometimes I get so relaxed on the mat that I feel sleepy. However, it’s probably best not to fall asleep on the mat because it might not be so good to be on the spikes for hours on end. Also, you might roll over in your sleep and hurt yourself on the spikes.
- You can also stand on the mat to stimulate the acupressure points in your feet. However, it is painful to stand on it with bare feet, so I recommend wearing socks, or partly supporting your weight by leaning your hands on your bed or other furniture.
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is important to me, so I like to be aware of the sustainability of the products I use, and comment on this in my reviews. Admittedly, when I ordered this particular mat, I didn’t think much about sustainability because I was just thinking about the benefits of the mat.
The surface covers of the mat and pillow are made of cotton which is a natural material, but the inner foam and the spike fixtures are made of plastic. By doing a bit of research, I’ve found that it’s possible to buy acupressure mats that use plant-based eco foam, so this would be a more sustainable option.
This is a product that I intend to keep for a long time and get a lot of use out of, so at least I will be using the materials to their fullest potential.
Would I recommend getting an acupressure mat?
I would absolutely recommend getting an acupressure mat. Even if you don’t have any health problems, it is simply a wonderful tool to help you relax at the end of a busy day.
If you often feel anxious or nervous, it is highly effective for calming you down, so I would especially recommend giving it a try.
So many health and wellbeing products out there are gimmicks, or you just can’t tell whether they are working or not. From my experience, acupressure mats are the real deal and not a gimmick, because I got real, tangible results from laying on mine.
Saying that, I did let my friend have a go on my mat, and they didn’t like it, so it may not be for everyone!
They are not expensive, and I imagine the cheapest brands would work just as well as the more expensive ones. Therefore it is well worth investing in a mat and giving it a try. If it doesn’t work for you then you can return it or pass it on to someone else!
I bought my High Pulse acupressure mat and pillow from Amazon UK. I chose the colour green, but it also comes in purple and blue. It comes in a carry bag, which is convenient for storage and keeping the sharp spikes safely tucked away! The mat cost me £26.99 at the time, but they are now priced at around £20. I chose this brand because it had a good price and good reviews. However, there are many other very similar mats available from Amazon and I imagine that they would all work just as effectively.
Have you ever tried using an acupressure mat?
Did you get any benefits from it? And if you haven’t used one, is it something you would like to try? Let me know in the comments!