Everything You Should Know Before You Use an Acupressure Mat - Women's Health

Everything You Should Know Before You Use an Acupressure Mat

Are they legit? We investigate.

If a warm bath or yummy candle just isn’t enough to soothe your stress these days (I can relate), why not try something new and a little more unconventional…like an acupuncture mat.

“Wait,” you say. “I’m not about to lie on a bunch of needles am I?”

Well not exactly: these cushioned acupuncture mat and accompanying pillow have a bunch of tiny spikes that are designed to target different massage points. When you lie down on the mat and pillow, these little points will feel like they’re gently digging into your skin.

Uncomfortable at first (you can put something like a thin blanket or hoodie between you and the blanket if it’s too much), users have claimed it can do everything from help their anxiety to relieve stress. But is it legit? Well, it depends on who you ask.

There isn’t a large body of research on acupressure mats specifically, although some small studies show them to be beneficial for reducing pain.

To find out more, we spoke to owner of Bend, Courtney Love, who swears by the technique.

How does an acupressure mat work?

Acupressure is a technique used to apply pressure to specific points on the body to stimulate blood flow and release stagnant energy.

Although the entire body can benefit from the Bend Acupressure Mat, the most common areas to treat are the back, neck, shoulders and feet.

You simply lay/stand on the mat and let the small needles get to work, applying deep pressure where it is needed most.

Why would you use one?

People use acupressure mats for a range of reasons. From easing muscle tension and back pain, to calming anxiety and finding an overall sense of wellbeing. Combined with an active lifestyle and a nutritious diet, acupressure mats are a fantastic addition to your self-care routine.

What are the benefits?

Acupressure has an incredible range of benefits including anxiety and stress relief, easing of muscle tension, a more deep and restful sleep, reduced back and neck pain, period pain relief, a general sense of wellbeing and a whole lot more.

What is lying on the mat supposed to feel like?

Everyone is different but most begin feeling quite uncomfortable for the first couple of minutes while the body adjusts to the pressure. Within a couple of minutes you will notice the area being treated starting to feel hot, followed by a tingling sensation. Within 5 minutes you begin to truly feel a deep sense of relaxation as the blood increases in the body and the muscle tension begins to ease.

For most people, the first few minutes are usually quite uncomfortable, but bearable. Within a couple of minutes the initial sensation eases and you are left with a feeling of deep relaxation.

How long should you lie on one?

Twenty minutes everyday.

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she spends most of the time in the gym or with her husband and daughter. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

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