Although lying down on a bed of sharp needles does not sound like a fun way to spend time, an increasing number of individuals are doing so to enhance their health. Acupressure is the current health and aesthetic craze, and it involves the usage of needle-covered mats. Acupressure supporters claim it is just as effective as Acupuncture but doesn’t require particular training or skin punctures.
Is it safe and effective to use acupressure mats to improve your physical and mental health? Here’s all you need to know about the potential health advantages and risks of utilizing an acupressure mat.
A Quick Overview of Acupressure
Acupressure is a technique that is comparable to Acupuncture. Instead of piercing the skin with needles, acupressure needles press against it without piercing it. The meridians of your body are the focus of both acupressure and Acupuncture.
Meridians are a concept that most likely originated in China thousands of years ago. The basic concept is that your body has 12 primary pathways known as meridians. These meridians connect key organ networks.
These channels have no direct relation to any physiological systems studied in Western medicine, such as the circulatory or neurological systems. Instead, the meridians form an intricate system of pressure points that run throughout your body. The meridians carry an energy force known as chi.
When meridians get obstructed, the chi cannot flow as freely as it should. As a result, injuries and illnesses occur. The chi flow can be unblocked by adjusting pressure spots on the body, allowing the body to heal.
Is Acupressure Considered Beneficial in Western Medicine?
Acupuncture and acupressure are usually thought to have several health benefits in Western medicine. On the other hand, Western medicine dismisses the principles of meridians and chi. They believe that activating pressure points enables the body to generate pain-killing dopamine while boosting circulation.
Pain, nausea, and exhaustion have all been demonstrated to be efficiently treated with Western Acupuncture and acupressure. In general, Western applications are less concerned with precisely targeting pressure points than Eastern applications. Acupuncture and acupressure treatments are often covered by insurance for physical rehabilitation and other therapies.
Health Issues That Can Be Resolved
Western medicine may be unduly cautious about Acupuncture and acupressure’s potential advantages. Acupoint therapies are used in Eastern medicine to address a far broader spectrum of diseases than Western medicine.
The most common reason patients seek these treatments is to alleviate pain. Acupoint therapy has shown a lot of promise in the treatment of chronic pain, including:
- Arthritis \sSciatica
- Migraines and other comparable problems
Acupressure can also treat gastrointestinal problems such as chronic stomach distress, diarrhea, and nausea. Acupressure is very popular among travelers who want to avoid getting seasick. Special acupressure bracelets that target pressure points on the underside of the wrist can help with travel sickness symptoms.
According to Eastern and Western medicine, regular acupressure helps enhance blood circulation throughout the body. Circulation enhances skin tone, heart rate, and organ function, among other things. Even 20 minutes of acupressure every day can enhance blood flow throughout your entire body.
Sleeping on a “bed of nails” can be rather comfy, believe it or not. Acupressure regularly can improve the quality of your sleep. Many people utilize acupressure treatments before going to bed to help them relax and reduce tension. While you certainly won’t want to sleep on an acupressure mat all night, you can transition from the mat to your bed as soon as you begin to feel sleepy.
Pregnancy and Acupressure Techniques
Although acupressure can be used during pregnancy, it should be done with caution. Many acupressure techniques can help you get pregnant. As a result, you should only employ those approaches if it is safe for you to go into labor. Pressure points connected to labor induction can be found on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Acupressure in the lower torso should be avoided in general. Too much pressure can harm the fetus unintentionally. While this is a rare occurrence, it is also not a risk worth considering.
Before initiating any acupuncture therapy during pregnancy, always with your doctor, as with any other medical or health treatment; acupressure can benefit pregnancy in many circumstances, such as lowering headaches and stomach problems. However, you must first ensure that the treatments are safe.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Acupressure vs. Acupuncture in Terms of Health?
Acupuncture and acupressure both target the same pressure points. Is one technique superior to the other? Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Acupuncture can activate pressure points more directly since the needles go beneath the skin. Acupuncture produces significant outcomes faster than acupressure in many circumstances. On the other hand, Acupuncture is a specialist practice that requires the assistance of a skilled professional. You must employ a qualified acupuncturist for a session, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Acupuncture is also intrusive. Although a trained acupuncturist would use FDA-approved acupuncture needles to assure complete safety, some people prefer a less pokey option. Acupressure is a more gentle option. An acupressure treatment administered by a competent practitioner frequently yields the best results. Accurate knowledge of pressure points and meridians and how they work are essential for an experienced acupressurist. Unlike Acupuncture, however, many acupressure procedures can be performed at home.
How to Use Acupressure Techniques on Your Own
As long as you’re not pregnant and have no major medical conditions, applying basic acupressure to yourself is generally considered safe. You can use your fingers to massage pressure points.
Apply hard, deep pressure. Make a rotational or up-and-down movement with your fingers. For three or four minutes, massage the pressure point area.
Sit in a comfortable position during the massage. Concentrate on taking calm, deep breaths. Many people find it more relaxing to close their eyes and enter a meditative state.
Self-applied acupressure is simple to use and does not require any extra equipment. Its effectiveness, however, may be restricted. Many people who want to benefit from acupressure, in the long run, prefer to use an acupressure mat instead of simply their fingers.
Acupressure Mats: A Quick Overview
Thin foam mats with thousands of short, sharp nails are used as acupressure mats. The mats are frequently referred to as a “bed of nails,” however that term is used jokingly. The nails on an acupressure mat are composed of a hard plastic that is only sharp enough to press into, not through, skin, rather than metal nails that can pierce the skin.
Typically, about a dozen needles are grouped in a tiny circle. After that, each mat is coated in little circles. The average mat contains 6,000 or more needles.
Many mats also come with a headrest that features therapeutic needle circles. You can rest your head, neck, or even parts of your face against the rest to get varied benefits.
How to Use an Acupressure Mat in a Healthy Way
There are three stages to using an acupressure mat safely. Start carefully and progressively increase your time spent on the mat. This gives your skin time to acclimatize and become accustomed to the sometimes unpleasant sensations.
To begin, lay the yoga mat over the inner back and seat of a chair, preferably padded. Then take a seat in the chair. Lightly press the needles into your buttocks, thighs, back, and shoulders. For 10 to 15 minutes, stay sitting. You’ll repeat this process for a few days until you’re at ease.
The mat will be placed across the seating of a couch in the next stage. After that, you’ll lie down. Your entire back will be put under more pressure due to this. Simultaneously, the couch has a deep cushion layer to keep your back comfortable.
Finally, the mat can be securely used on a tougher surface, such as a hardwood floor. The least amount of padding is provided by this option. The acupressure needles will undoubtedly pierce your flesh. However, because you took the time to acclimate to the mat properly, the sensation should be a lot more pleasant than painful.
You’ll probably notice some discomfort and redness during the first few uses. After using the mat, this normally only lasts a short time. If any adverse effects last longer than a day or two, you should see a doctor. However, anyone new to using an acupressure mat is likely to experience some slight discomfort at first.
When Purchasing an Acupressure Mat, There Are a Few Things to Keep in Mind
The acupressure mat’s quality will significantly impact its effectiveness, comfort, and durability. Always think about the materials you’re using.
An absorbent material, such as linen or natural cotton, should make the mat. Synthetic textiles aren’t as breathable as natural fabrics; they might get heated against the skin. The needles should be constructed of ABS plastic, a commercial-grade plastic that is extremely durable.
Any mats that employ harmful glue to attach the needles should be avoided. The glue is prone to loosen with time. Furthermore, when utilizing a mat, the smell of glue can be excessive.
Finally, ensure that your mat comes with a long guarantee. Because utilizing the mat is a multi-stage procedure, you won’t always tell whether something is wrong with it straight away. Avoid 30-day and even 60-day warranties in favor of longer warranties with more comprehensive coverage.
A Quick Guide to Common Pressure Points
Years of study are required to master acupressure, but the fundamentals can be learned quickly. Knowing where typical pressure points are placed will help you get the most out of your acupressure mat. You may want to stand, lie down, or otherwise arrange yourself. That the acupressure needles target various areas of your body, depending on the problem you’re trying to solve:
Acupressure mats are commonly used to relieve back pain. If you have chronic back discomfort, concentrate on the pressure spots listed below:
- Stomach Point – Approximately two fingers below your navel. Lower back discomfort is treated with this drug.
- Lower Back Points – Located between the second and third vertebrae, at waist level. Used to alleviate pain and muscle weakness.
Try standing on the mat to treat an illness or a general injury. Between your first and second toes lies a pressure point. Pressing this point aids in the healing process. Additionally, rubbing the length of your foot helps relieve back discomfort and improve sensations of relaxation by targeting pressure points.
Frequently Asked Questions About Health Benefits of Using an Acupressure Mat
Does the Acupressure Mat Really Work?
Acupressure mats aren’t backed up by a lot of scientific research. The existing studies are small, and most claims about acupressure mats are based on anecdotal evidence. Even though there is not much research on the benefits of acupressure mats, they are an affordable, safe, and easy-
How Long Should You Stand on an Acupressure Mat?
An acupressure mat is a foam mat with many sharp needles. You are supposed to sit, lie, or stand on the mat for 20 to 40 minutes.
What Happens When You Use an Acupuncture Mat?
The mat helps your muscles relax. It can help reduce sore muscles and also relieve muscle tension. Many people find relief in back and neck pain from acupressure mats, but they can also help with soreness in other body parts.
Is It OK to Sleep on an Acupressure Mat?
Do not sleep on the acupressure mat all night. If you are lying on the mat in bed, remove it after 15-20 minutes or less. Do not use the mat on the same day that you have an acupuncture treatment. Do not use the mat on various body parts during one session.
Can You Lay on Your Stomach on an Acupressure Mat?
She also recommends using the mat at the end of the day: Lie down on your stomach and deep breathing into the belly to wind down. “This is great for organs and the digestive system.”
How Often Should You Use an Acupressure Mat?
Acupressure mats can be a bit uncomfortable at first. The spikes are sharp and can cause discomfort or pain for several minutes before they warm up the body and feel good. To get maximum results, use the mat each day for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Remember to breathe and relax your body while you use
Can Acupressure Mats Help With Weight Loss?
Some research suggests that acupressure may help lose weight. Acupuncture is also thought to be helpful in weight loss. However, there is not a lot of research on this yet.
Are Acupressure Mats Good for Anxiety?
Some potential benefits of using an acupressure mat include reduced anxiety, pain, better sleep, and relief from migraines.
Do Acupressure Mats Help Cellulite?
Cupping and acupressure massage may help reduce cellulite in three ways:
- They help stretch and relax the hardened connective tissue beneath the skin,
- increase elasticity, and help reduce the dimpled appearance of cellulite.
- This helps dissipate fluid retention that emphasizes the appearance of cellulite.
Does Acupressure Mat Help Sciatica?
The acupressure mat can be helpful for people with sciatica. It relaxes pressure on the nerves, activates the central nervous system, and facilitates blood circulation.
What Is the Science Behind Acupressure?
Acupressure is a type of Acupuncture. In acupressure, you use your hands to push on certain points on the body. This can help release tension and restore balance in the flow of energy.
How Is Long Too Long on an Acupressure Mat?
Don’t use the acupressure mat for too long. If you do, it might cause some damage to your skin. 30 minutes is the maximum amount of time you should use it.
Can You Spend Too Long on an Acupressure Mat?
You can lie on an acupressure mat for between 15 and 40 minutes. Some people prefer to stay on it for a longer time, while others find that 10 minutes is long enough for them. It’s important to stay on the mat for at least 10 minutes so you can feel the benefits.
Why Do Acupressure Mats Make You Sleepy?
The practice of applying pressure to specific places on the body is known as acupressure. This can help promote relaxation and increase energy. Acupressure mats like the Sleep Induction Mat help stimulate your nervous system, releasing feel-good hormones and increasing blood circulation.