Sweet Pain: Learning to Love Acupressure Mats

a pink acupressure mat

If you’re a certain type of person, you should keep an acupressure mat on hand to use along one with more traditional forms of pain relief, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Acupressure mats are not for most people despite the glowing consumer testimonials. Pain, even just a touch of it, even if it’s energizing and somehow makes your energy flow more fluidly, isn’t compelling to most people. The truth is that most people like to be comfortable and are averse to even a little pain and inconvenience.

That is not the only strike against acupressure mats that will prevent them from ever entering the Western health care mainstream.

You’re going to need to put the mat on the floor. Not everyone is going to want to lie on the floor for a lot of different reasons.

Using the mat is going to involve little prickers going into your skin.

Look at the picture above. No, they won’t draw blood, nothing at all like that, but it’ll be a sensation you’re not used to. The thought of it isn’t going to appeal to many people.

The benefit?

It’s an easy way to benefit from acupressure.

You don’t have to think about where to put your fingers and how hard to press. Just lay on the mat and wait. It’s that simple.

Some people hate taking medicine. This can be a good way to avoid medicine.

If it works, you can save thousands of dollars, unfortunately. I say, unfortunately, not because of the savings, but because health care bills can rape your finances. Having a bag of tricks is smart, though no bag of tricks is a substitute for a workup to see if something serious is wrong. You have to use your own judgment.

What is an acupressure mat good for?

There are a lot of possible conditions that it could help with. Some, like back pain and sciatica, that you’d expect, and others, like anxiety, you might not.

Simply put, the mat stimulates feel-good endorphins and promotes blood circulation. It reduces pain and muscle tension, helps with stress, increases energy, and can improve sleep.

That’s a lot of potential conditions.

How to use an acupressure mat

All you have to do is lie down on it. You can lie on your back with your legs bent. You can lie on your stomach, and you can lie on either side.

You can put the mat in a chair and sit and lean against it that way.

You can sit at a desk and put the acupressure mat on your feet while wearing socks or barefoot. Your feet have meridians too.

An illustration of various acupuncture/acupressure meridians.

You’ll want to wear either no clothes or light clothes like those made of t-shirt fabric. This is key. For example, if you’re wearing a jacket, you’ll get little to no benefit. The indentations on the mat aren’t going to be next to the skin to activate the meridians.

When starting out with acupressure mats, you’ll want to use them for no longer than 10 minutes, but maybe for at least five. If you have a pain condition that’s taking a few days to resolve, you’ll want to aim for daily use, not an extended period of one day.

You can lie on the mat, listen to music and relax. You can throw the ball with your dog. You can read. The time on the mat can be more enjoyable than you’d expect it would be.

How does an acupressure mat work?

Acupressure mats make activating the meridians that everyone has on their body easy.

There’s no need to study diagrams and try to place your fingers and apply pressure on a certain point of your body to get pain relief. Instead, all you have to do is lay on the mat. It’s not as precise as a session with a trained acupuncturist, but it could, and very often does help.

Doing yoga or stretches on the mat isn’t advisable because you’re using the mat to activate the meridians, and you’ll move around while stretching. For that, it’s still best to use a yoga mat.

Acupressure mat side effects

A lot of the side effects from acupressure mats really aren’t from the mat themself. Rather, they’re from the remission of symptoms.

For example, some people report feeling exhausted after using the mat. If they’ve been bothered by a headache for a while and haven’t slept and the headache gets relieved, it’s natural to feel tired. Don’t blame the mat. If you went to an emergency department for your headache and they didn’t CT your head, the medication they’d give you would snow you for a while anyway.

Another possible side effect is muscle twitching and burning. That’s caused by the manipulation of the muscles.

Finally, the mat might make some people feel emotional. That goes hand-in-hand with pain relief.

If one has a bleeding disorder, it’s possible that using the mat may cause bruising. In that case, use it with caution.

If you’re a certain type of person, acupressure mats are an important pain relief tool to keep in your arsenal.

For further reading:

Acupressure for sleep

Cuddling is a type of energy healing

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