Are acupuncture mats any good?

You’ve probably seen these acupuncture mats online or perhaps you’ve even bought one and it’s currently lying under your bed gathering dust!

I’ve been asked by many of my patients if they’re worth buying, so I thought I’d share my experiences here so you can decide if it’s something that might be right for you….

There are lots on the market – ranging from £14.99 from Aldi to the more expensive Bed of Nails at £70.  I bought one called Base Yoga which was £27.99 and has worked well for me. It came with a spiky acupuncture pillow as well, which is great for relieving neck tension.

Acupuncture mats, also called acupressure mats or “bed of nails,” are padded sheets about the length of your torso covered with small plastic spikes. The idea is that you lie (face up!) on the mat and the plastic spikes provide an acupressure massage. This helps stimulate blood circulation and reduce muscle tension. Like acupuncture itself, this can help align your qi (energy) pathways within the body’s meridian system and reduce stress levels.

Acupuncture mats were designed as pain-relief devices.

The needles on an acupuncture mat do not penetrate your skin; rather your body sits on top of the spikes to stimulate pressure points. The idea is to relieve back pain by applying pressure on specific parts of the spine. You can also use it for other parts of the body but if you’re looking to pin your feet make sure you stay sat down as it’s way too uncomfortable to stand up!

The first couple of minutes felt a little uncomfortable but after that, the discomfort changed to warmth and then a deep feeling of relaxation.

These pins stimulate your body and release good things like serotonin and endorphins. They’re not sharp so don’t worry about getting hurt.

If you’re very sensitive, you might find the sensation too much to start with. I had a patient who had this exact experience, so she started off by lying on the mat fully clothed. As you become more accustomed to it you might want to expose your skin to the mat as you get a much more intense sensation overall.

And to be honest once you get used to it, they’re just not painful at all. After a few minutes I forgot about the pins completely. My muscles were relaxed, and I felt incredibly calm. In fact, it’s a great thing to do just before bed as you feel super sleepy afterwards.

Are they an alternative to acupuncture?

This depends on your pain levels and what you need out of a treatment. If you’re experiencing physical pain or need help to relax and rebalance and can’t access acupuncture with a practitioner, the mats could be a good option for you.

But acupuncture is not just about alleviating physical pain. It has incredible emotional benefits as well and there’s much more to getting well and staying than stimulating pressure points.

Acupuncture mats are a great self-care option, although they are not as effective as traditional acupuncture treatments.

I really think acupuncture mats are a great thing to get and happily recommend them to my clients as part of a self-care routine. They are especially good at relieving back pain and for general well-being and relaxation. However, if you are suffering with poor health – either physical or mental I would always recommend seeing an acupuncturist for a full and complete diagnosis and treatment plan. An acupuncture mat is just a great addition to have on the side.

Want to know more about acupuncture and how it could help you? Then why not book in for a free-30 minute consultation to find out more.

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