Insomnia, stress, headaches, neck and back pain. These conditions are practically synonymous with modern life and all too familiar to many people.
Pain relievers or tranquilizers might bring relief, but what if there was a way to reduce those unpleasant symptoms without taking medication?
One method you may not have tried but that just might be your ticket to feeling better is an acupressure mat.
This do-it-yourself acupressure treatment is said to offer a variety of health benefits, mostly in the form of pain and stress relief.
If you’re intrigued but wondering how to choose and use an acupressure mat, we’re here to help.
Acupressure vs. acupuncture
Acupressure has been used for thousands of years in Asia to relieve pain, promote healing, and induce relaxation. The therapy involves deep, focused pressure to specific points along the body’s energy pathways, called meridians. In traditional acupressure treatments, the pressure is delivered by the therapist’s fingertips, knuckles, or elbows.
According to Eastern medicine, stimulating the meridians helps balance energy flow – called chi – throughout the body to restore and maintain the proper function of all body systems.
Western medicine tends to explain the benefits of acupressure as coming from the release of endorphins and the boost in circulation through the treated areas.
Acupuncture follows similar beliefs and guidelines, but the treatment involves piercing the skin with very thin needles carefully placed in acupoints along the meridians. When done correctly by a trained practitioner, acupuncture is not painful. In fact, many studies have shown that acupuncture is quite effective at relieving various painful conditions, such as migraine, chronic back pain, and arthritis.
What is an acupressure mat?
Basically, an acupressure mat is a device that allows you to reap the benefits of acupressure on your own, without a therapist. The mats are made of foam, fabric, or most often, a layer of both, and studded with hard, round, plastic “rosettes” liberally covered with short spikes.
You’ll find acupressure mats in a range of sizes and many different colors.
When the user lies, stands, or sits on the mat, the sharp spikes stimulate the acupoints, thereby helping relieve any energy blockages along the body’s meridians. Because acupressure mats have so many spikes, you don’t need to know acupressure or acupuncture methodology to use them.
You’re pretty much guaranteed to stimulate several important acupoints just by lying on the mat.
Acupressure mat prices
You’ll find acupressure mats that cost anywhere between $15 and $60.
Small mats for the feet generally cost between $15 and $25.
You can find acupressure mats for as little as $20. However, these mats are likely to have glued-on spikes and lower-quality foam and fabric.
- Higher Quality
For a quality mat, expect to pay between $20 and $50. A very large mat might be as much as $60.