I just got an acupressure mat to test out its pain-relieving properties. When my dad had cancer, his doctor recommended he get acupuncture treatment for pain management. I knew that acupuncture was a form of ancient Chinese medicine where very thin needles are used on very specific areas of the skin. So when I was looking at a website that sells acupressure mats as an exercise recovery tool, I wanted to learn more about it.
Acupressure is different from acupuncture in that there are thankfully no needles. Typically, a practitioner uses hands or even elbows to apply pressure to different areas of the body. Pressure in specific areas yield results in other areas. For example, pressure on the space between your index finger and thumb can relief a tension headache. I’ve even applied pressure there on my own hand to help stifle a sneeze!
Reasons to Try Acupressure
Headaches seem to be the main reason people seek acupressure treatment from a trainer provider. Migraines, sinus headaches, and tension headaches can all find relief from this treatment. It can also help with premenstrual cramps, neck and shoulder pain, and muscle pain from strained muscles after exercise.
This last point was interesting to me. I’ve been doing more stretching and toning exercise, and the next day my legs and back are sore and achy. I tested an acupressure mat and neck pillow sent to me for the purpose of review by ProSource. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. Please note that links may be affiliate links.
I’ve had back problems since I delivered my first baby. That kid hung ten on my tailbone on the way out, and it’s never been the same since. If I exercise and strain my, ahem, gluteas maximus, it pulls my coccyx out of joint.
Also, when I had a blessed, blessed massage last year, the massage lady told me I had unusually tight gluteas minimus muscles. I’d take that as a compliment, but I think she meant I just hold a lot of tension around the top of my butt.
How to Choose an Acupressure Mat
I’ve been laying on my acupressure mat and pillow for ten minutes during the day, and I try for a few more minutes right before I get ready for bed.
Here are the features I like about my mat from ProSource. First of all, it’s bright blue, which just cheers me up. The mat comes in a variety of colors, from even-more-cheerful orange to I-don’t-care grey.
It’s easy to clean. The cover slips of and can be washed. That’s really a must for any fabric that might come into contact with my post-workout body. I think if I was routinely using it right after a sweaty workout, I might cover it with a sheet. That way the fabric would be protected, but I’d still get the benefit of all the pressure points.
My mat is covered in small plastic discs, and each disc has many raised points. The points aren’t sharp enough to ever break skin, but I suspect stepping on one would be even worse than stepping on LEGOs. They are about as pointy as plastic can be without being cutting-sharp.
The mat and pillow have 6,210 acupressure points that help relieve stress, stimulate endorphins, reduce pain, and increase energy.
The neck pillow is separate from the mat itself, so I can roll it or move it higher or lower on my neck and the bottom of my skull. It’s easy to adjust once I’m already on the mat.
What You Need to Know about an Acupressure Mat
It’s intense, man! My husband can’t even handle it. I had to work myself up the first time I used the mat. I recommend not using it the first time with any bare skin.
After I relaxed into it, the pressure was very relaxing and even pleasant. You don’t feel each little point. since your weight is distributed across all the little points, it’s not uncomfortable. It’s almost like a little massage in the way it makes my skin feel stimulated.
Other products from Pro Source that would be great for Mother’s Day. For the fit mom (you), or the mom trying to get fit (me).
Acupressure Mat FAQ
This mat and pillow from Pro Source is two separate pieces. The mat has 6,210 acupressure points and the pillow has 1,782 acupressure points!
Acupressure treatment claims to relieve stress, stimulate endorphins, reduce pain, and increase energy.
Acupressure from a mat and pillow like this could be a drug-free at-home remedy for soreness, stiffness, pain, and insomnia.
Treatment might help to relieve stress, headaches, insomnia, tension, back pain, and muscle aches.
Acupressure could increase blood circulation and ease neck pain.
This set is made out of 100% high quality thick cotton and flexible foam. To clean, remove foam core and gently hand wash the cotton cover. You may also turn the cotton cover inside-out to clean.
This set is currently priced at $19.99.
Other exercise products you might like
Extra Thick Yoga and Pilates Mat 1/2 inch
2-in-1 HEXA Massage Roller 24″x5″/ 12″x 5″
Tree of Life Yoga Mat 3/16″ (5mm)
Carol A Cassara
Thursday 27th of April 2017
It looks scary but I am taking your input seriously. Ready for acupuncture, myself, but maybe this would work. The price is right.
Tuesday 2nd of May 2017
I am all puffy from being on an airplane, so I was just using it.
Sunday 9th of April 2017
You and I have similar tailbone histories, Anne! The same thing happened to me during labor and it was years of chiropractor visits to get relief. Two weeks ago I sipped on a very steep hill and landed splat-flat on my tailbone again. I feel like I just gave birth again--surely that's where the newest stretch marks and cellulite have come from--and was researching ways to get relief. I'm going to try this! Might help my migraines too. thanks for the info!
Sunday 9th of April 2017
Lee, I just nipped a headache in the bud today with this thing. I was skeptical, but it's helping me. I'm allergic to most OTC pain relievers besides Tylenol, so I'm having to look elsewhere for pain relief.