When you’re looking to improve your overall life, you’ll need to become intentional about the way you treat your body. If you don’t already have a handle on your physical health, it’s best to start right now. When you prioritize your health, you’ll extend your life. Plus, you’ll increase your overall quality of life. You can prioritize your health through routines that include healthy eating, daily exercise and decreasing your stress levels. However, there are even more interesting ways to work on your health. Acupressure is growing in popularity as it’s now included within the practices at major health centers like the Mayo Clinic. Whether you’ve heard of acupressure or not, consider some of the ways you can learn and incorporate it into your lifestyle.
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is a healing method based in traditional Eastern medicinal rituals. Many studies suggest that this method specifically came from China. Within Eastern medicine, there is a belief in qi. Qi is considered the life energy. It has to flow efficiently throughout the body for a person to get the proper support to live a vibrant life. According to Chinese beliefs, there are fourteen channels within the body where qi flows. Acupressure is an incredibly impactful method because it supports the consistent flow of qi. When your body feels sluggish and tired, this can also lead to other health issues. This is why acupressure is an awesome method to consider. It serves as a proactive barrier to health issues like headaches, stomach aches, and other ailments.
If you look closely, the term ‘acupressure’ looks a lot like ‘acupuncture’. They are similar methods. However, there is a key difference. Acupuncture utilizes tons of needles in order to get the life energy flowing. Just like the name suggests, acupressure involves a person applying pressure to key acupressure points. While it depends on a person’s tolerance level, both methods include a noticeable amount of pain. While the pain lessens as a person continues a particular method, many clients admit that it hurts or feels like an unusual sensation at first.
The body is more resilient than most give it credit for. Think about whenever you get the cold. While you can purchase medicine from the grocery store and eat lots of broth, rest is one of the most effective ways to get over a cold. When you’re well-rested and hydrated, your body can beat anything. There is an internal need for the body to reset when it’s not well. Acupressure is a method that’s reliant on the body’s ability to heal itself because it uses the pressure to wake up the various channels. Think of acupressure as the equivalent to someone pressing a doorbell to get the occupants to open the door. The pressure that’s applied during a session is serving as a “doorbell” to the channels inside of the body. The signal encourages the life energy to get moving and flowing.
In the Western world, more practitioners and institutions are adopting the methods of acupressure. There are acupuncturists who offer services in small clinics across North America. Major health institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine are embracing the study or practice of methods like acupressure. Currently, my brother-in-law is an acupuncturist at the Mayo Clinic, so I’m able to see major educational institutions embrace Eastern healing methods. It’s an inspiring and amazing experience to witness.
What are the pressure points?
The pressure points are the areas of the body that a practitioner will target during an acupressure session. Each pressure point targets a specific ailment the body is suffering from. Take a look at your hand, and spread your fingers apart. When you take a look at the skin between your thumb and your pointer finger, that’s a pressure point. If you’re dealing with loads of stress or pain in your face or neck, this is an excellent point to focus on. An interesting fact about this point is that it’s never used on women who are pregnant. It has the powerful potential to induce labor. This pressure point is known as the Large Intestine 4 (LI4).
After taking off your socks and shoes, you’ll see that there is a space between your big toe and the next toe. That area is known as the Liver 3 (LV3) pressure point. There are plenty of people who suffer from high blood pressure, pain in their lower back and pain in the limbs. This pressure point can help the energy flow to those areas to provide relief. If you’re stressed out or can’t sleep well at night, targeting this pressure point will be effective as well.
If you’ve been incorrectly operating at a keyboard, it’s not uncommon for the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome to show up. Thankfully, the Pericardium 6 (P6) pressure point is efficient in offering relief for carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. If you deal with lots of anxiety, the P6 point helps. If you’ve been on a cruise and are experiencing symptoms of motion sickness and an upset stomach, you can use this point to experience some relief. The P6 point is also known as the self-medicating point because you can apply pressure on your own to feel the benefits. It’s located a few centimeters above the wrist. It’s also in between tendons. If people suffer from nausea, they have the option to wear a nausea band. A nausea band is typically worn in the area where the P6 point is located.
Acupressure tends to have a running theme that’s connected to nausea. When many cancer patients go through chemotherapy and other treatments, it’s not uncommon for them to experience the woes of nausea. Acupressure has served as a saving grace for patients who are healing their bodies after cancer treatments. This is also true when a person is recovering from surgery. The body tends to be stiff and tense. A person needs to rebuild their body after a surgical procedure. When you have a process like acupressure that works to bring circulation and life energy throughout the body, this can directly impact the body’s ability to reset and heal itself.
There are many other points like the Gallbladder 20 (GB29), the Triple Energizer 3, the Spleen 6 (SP6) and the Stomach36 (ST36). As you work through the various pressure points of acupressure, you’ll be able to target a variety of issues. From back pain and neck tension to heart palpitations and insomnia, acupressure points will cover a wide range of issues. To make matters better, you don’t need to take pharmaceutical drugs to feel relief.
What are the benefits of an acupressure mat?
One of the major benefits of using an acupressure mat is that it allows you to save money. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who don’t get the help they need to heal their bodies because they don’t have the financial margin. As a result, a minor health concern spirals out of control into a major health crisis. When you have resources like an acupressure mat, you don’t need to spend money to consistently visit the acupuncturist. Keep in mind that the mat doesn’t eliminate the impact that a good session of acupuncture can have. It’s just a great way to stay on top of your body’s flow of energy from the comfort of your home. If you’ve experienced a long day and are suffering from specific health issues, you can’t call in for an acupressure session when office hours are closed. However, you can pull out your acupressure mat to provide relief at your convenience.
One of the reasons why people love to work out is because of that magnificent rush of endorphins. There’s a certain euphoria that comes with a great workout. You can experience a similar sense of euphoria by using an acupressure mat. Acupressure mats are powerful enough to encourage the release of endorphins. This is primarily because the mat supports and promotes blood circulation. As your blood circulates throughout your body, your body responds by releasing endorphins. Think of a workout. It’s a prime time when blood is circulating throughout your body at a rapid pace.
Whether you’re a night owl who desperately wants to experience better sleep or someone who wants to fall asleep deeper and faster, an acupressure mat can be really helpful. The pressure points are considered the meridians. As you experience the stimulation from the mat, the small grooves can promote a different type of relaxation that helps you fall asleep. In many cases, people don’t know how to let go and relax. When they experience the unusual sensation from the acupressure mat, they can experience relaxation in a different way that promotes deep sleep. It’s especially wise to work on meditating while you’re on your acupressure mat. This can enhance the experience even more so that you can experience peaceful rest.
Oftentimes, people are moving at fast paces. There’s always an email to answer, an event to attend and a commitment to follow-through with. It can all become overwhelming. This is why being still to meditate is such a positive concept. One of the most impactful benefits of acupressure is that it allows a person to be still. There are studies that suggest that people would rather face jail time than sit still with their thoughts. There’s something really sobering about the act of meditating. However, meditation comes with great clarity and peace. Once you’re able to tap into the heart, know what you want and examine how you feel, you’ll be able to experience life in a whole new way. With an acupressure mat, you have no choice but to be still and meditate. As you get older, be intentional about practicing stillness and meditation. If you can do it with the help of an acupressure mat, that’s even better.
Do acupressure mats work?
If you take a look at the myriad of reviews on major websites, it’s clear that acupressure mats are very effective. There are plenty of people who were plagued by chronic pain. Once they started incorporating the mat into their consistent routine, they were able to experience relief, pleasure and a new way of living. Though you will probably feel an initial pang of pain, the pain is a good type because it leads to the removal of chronic pain. If you’ve ever dealt with back pain, persistent headaches or neck pain, there’s not much you won’t do to get rid of the pain. Thankfully, this is a completely natural way to attack the issue. It doesn’t involve any pain medication, tinctures or expensive treatments. It also serves as an excellent motivator to be still, relax and lie down with your thoughts. Meditation is a practice more people can benefit from if they’d actually take the time to be still with their breath.
How to use an acupressure mat?
It’s rather easy to use an acupressure mat. You can either use it in the bed or on the floor. Once you unroll the mat and pillow down, you can lie down with your shirt on or off. If you’re just getting started, it might be best to wear a thin t-shirt. As your tolerance level builds, you can remove your top. You can use it to lie down for twenty minutes while it works on your body. You can also roll your body from side to side to encourage blood circulation. It’s completely up to you. There are plenty of people who use the mat in bed so that they can increase the quality of their sleep. Others prefer to use it in the morning to circulate the blood and remove any potential stiffness from the night before.
When you’re first getting started, remember to take lots of deep breaths. When you’re not used to the initial discomfort, it’s easy to tense up and hold your breath. When you’re actively releasing your breath, it’ll help your body to relax, adjust and fully appreciate all of the healing properties that an acupressure mat can offer.
Once you’ve purchased a mat, you can customize the way you use it. Many people use the acupressure mat when they’re standing up. Once you’ve removed your shoes and socks, stand on top of the mat to directly target the pressure points in the foot. You can also choose to wear socks until your tolerance level increases. Don’t feel bad if it’s painful at first. After all, it is considered a bed of nails mat. It’s not comfortable to lie down on a bed of nails mat so this is totally normal. You don’t need to stay on the mat for longer than twenty minutes in order to see results. Many people are able to see results in certain areas of their body with just three to five minutes of daily usage.
When you’re dealing with tension in your neck or back, it can be really helpful to use a blanket. Roll up a blanket or towel. Place it underneath the acupressure mat. This will give you some cushioning to support you as you work on relaxing.
After a long day in high heels, you might feel some discomfort in your calf muscles or hamstrings. Position the rolled towel or blanket along with the mat underneath your legs to experience relief from the discomfort.
If you’re experiencing issues with digestion, you can roll the mat out and lie down on your stomach. When your chest and abdomen are on the mat, it’s also great for recovering from a workout. If you’d like to sit with your glutes directly on the mat, this will help you to improve posture. Once you’ve placed your quads directly on the mat and prop yourself up with your hands, this position can help you with muscle recovery after a workout. Another great position to sit in for better posture involves placing your outer thighs directly on the mat. Switch from the left to the right so both sides can reap the benefits.
After using the mat, you might look at your back, neck or feet and become terrified at the way they look because you’ll have thousands of tiny imprints from the mat. This is simply the mat doing its work. You’re not breaking out in hives or rashes.
Whichever mat you choose to purchase, make sure you stay on top of cleaning it. You don’t want the mat to become a breeding ground for bacteria. Depending on the mat, you can clean it with an anti-bacterial wipe or throw the cover in the washing machine. It all depends.
What are the best acupressure mats?
As more people continue to spread the word about the benefits of acupressure mats, more companies are catering to the needs of this growing community. This is one of the reasons why it’s so easy to find amazing acupressure mats throughout the marketplace. If you’re looking to find the best option for your needs, consider the following mats.
In order to use the Spoonk Acupressure Mat, it’s wise to use direct skin contact for anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes. You’ll feel pain initially, but it does go away. The pain is a good indicator that you’ll be able to experience the impact of deep circulation and relaxation within minutes. If you take the time to stand on the mat for five minutes (please wear socks), you can experience rejuvenation when you’re plagued with fatigue. If you’re having trouble with digestion or low energy, it’s a wise idea to place the mat underneath your abdomen area for a few minutes. This incredible mat has been recommended by best-selling author Dr. Mark Hyman. It’s also been clinically tested and is proven to improve sleep and decrease muscle pain.
You can find it here.
Even though acupressure is considered a medicinal practice from the Western world, the Pranamat acupressure mat is certified by the US FDA as a medical device. It’s the first massage mat to get this certification. It’s also European-certified. When you purchase this massage mat, you’ll be able to enjoy a five-year warranty. If you don’t like the mat, you can get take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s also really wise to be mindful of your carbon footprint. Thankfully, this massage mat is 100% eco-friendly.
You can find it here.
If you’ve ever suffered from sciatic pain or stress in your neck and back, the Nayoya set promises to provide the relief you need. If you work on this mat for a mere 20 minutes every single day, this mat offers immediate relief. If you’ve ever been to the chiropractor, you understand the impact of their services. However, the services can be pricey. The Nayoya mat allows you to get the benefits of pain relief without the hefty price tag involved with a chiropractor. If you tend to suffer from low energy levels, chronic headaches or tension in your body, use the Nayoya set. If you’re someone who travels often, this set also comes with a carry case that can be used for easy storage when it’s time to travel. I’ve personally tried the Nayoya Acupressure mat, and it’s amazing. It helps with my neck pain and back pain. It also helps my shoulders where I carry all the tension.
You can find it here.
The Zenguru U-shaped mat is a unique neck mat that’s made of the finest materials. Think of the neck pillows that you wear when you’re about to board an airplane. This u-shaped mat is built in the same way. It also utilizes the power of magnet therapy with magnets inserted in various regions of the neck mat. This product directly targets shoulder and back pain. ZenGuru is so confident in the effectiveness of this mat that they’ve provided a lifetime guarantee. If you don’t like it, you can send an email and receive a 100% money-back refund.
You can find it here.
This mat comes with over 5,000 spikes that are ergonomically created to encourage healing. If you have energy pathways in your body that are seemingly blocked, this mat promises to clear them. If you lie down on your mat, it’ll give you a great massage as you prepare to fall asleep. It’s also able to help you relieve endorphins. It also strategically incorporates the use of a person’s body weight to encourage efficient and effective blood circulation. Whether you’re dealing with fibromyalgia, sciatica or terrible stiffness, this mat will help you deal with those issues.
You can find it here.
If you’re a person who is committed to a plant-based lifestyle, you’ll definitely love this mat at it is created out of plant-based eco-foam and other non-toxic materials. Upon looking at the mat, you’ll see that it includes finely-crafted customized pieces. All of the spikes on the mat are created in the shape of a lotus. If you’re looking to recover from a terrible day, you can get on the mat, reenergize your body and get rid of negative feelings like anxiety or depression. If you decide you don’t like the product, you’re covered under a three-year warranty.
You can find it here.
This is an interesting mat because although the inspiration to create the mat came from ancient Indian healing traditions, the makers admit this is a Swedish acupressure mat. It’s been reinvented to provide effective healing properties with thousands of stimulation points. It’s excellent for those who have experienced debilitating back pain. If someone carries a lot of stress within their body, the mat can be effective. Also, it can improve sleep and ease tension. This mat is very easy to clean as it has a removable cover you can wash by hand. If you’d like to take it on the road with you, it is created in an extremely convenient manner to fit within any suitcase.
You can find it here.
Many people who wanted to experience better sleep quality purchased the iconic memory foam mattress when it was made available to the public. There’s nothing quite like the comforting and enveloping nature of a memory foam mattress. Now, you can enjoy memory foam in the form of an acupressure mat. The high-density memory foam is a total of 3.5 pounds. Memory foam is especially nice because it completely adjusts to the fit of the body. This means you’ll be able to experience a customized mat. This mat comes with stimulators that are BPA-free. There’s also a great carry bag to make your traveling experience more convenient. Because you don’t want to ruin the memory foam, it’s best to spot wipe the cover when it’s time to clean the mat.
You can find it here.
As you work toward embracing the nuances and facets of an acupressure mat, consider the fact that you have nothing to lose. By incorporating acupressure practices into your routine, you’ll be able to decrease stress, deal with chronic pain and improve your quality of rest. When you’re able to get a handle on three major health issues like those three, you’ll set yourself up for decades of optimal physical health.