Considering the benefits of both meditation and acupressure, many companies now offer acupressure mats that impact pressure points while you meditate. Glean the benefits of acupuncture in the comfort of your home. Read on for more about acupressure and meditation and the best acupressure mat for your meditation needs.
What is An Acupressure Meditation Mat?
An acupressure meditation mat is a portable acupressure solution that lets you access pain relief anywhere. Acupressure can also relax you, and using an acupressure mat while you meditate can enhance the experience.
Acupressure originates in Asian medicine, and it involves putting pressure on targeted points of the body. The method uses the same channels as acupuncture without puncturing the skin.
Today’s acupressure mats distribute pressure across multiple points of your body while allowing you to pick the spot that’s most comfortable for you. These mats are washable and portable, and many come with carrying cases or neck pillows.
You can lie on the floor on an acupressure mat or step on it barefoot, and if your mat doesn’t come with a neck pillow, you can roll a towel underneath it for proper positioning.
What Are the Advantages of Acupressure?
Acupressure mat benefits range from temporary pain relief to long-term escape from prolonged conditions. A review of fifteen studies concluded that acupressure is effective for relieving a variety of pains. People with labor pain, low back pain, chronic headaches, and other ailments all benefited from undergoing acupressure treatment.
If you experience pain or muscle fatigue from daily living, health conditions, or strenuous exercise, regularly using an acupressure mat may help you recuperate. News outlets have even reported on increased blood circulation and lowered hear rates achieved with trial use of acupressure mats.
What Are the Advantages of Meditation?
Combining your meditation practice with the mat method of acupressure covers two holistic health treatments in one sitting. Meditation achieves a range of neurological benefits, as Forbes recently reported.
Notable on the list of benefits are the preservation of aging brains, increased focus, antidepressant effects, improved memory, and reduced anxiety. If meditation helps kids in school to focus, it’s easy to imagine what positive outcomes meditation has on the mature brain.
How to Choose the Best Acupressure Mat
Not all acupressure mats are equal, especially concerning functionality, comfort, portability, and price. Here’s what to consider when shopping for acupressure mats.
Thousands of plastic points make up the bed of each acupressure mat, but the total number of “nails” varies based on the manufacturer and the size of the mat. Today’s acupressure mats use circular plastic discs with multiple points across their surface.
The total number of points usually falls between five and eight thousand. The more points, the better, so that your weight can evenly distribute across the surface of the mat.
Typical features of acupressure mats are washable fabric, an inner foam layer, and plastic pressure points. If you have allergies, look for a 100 percent cotton cover and hypoallergenic foam core.
Regardless of the material, washing your mat regularly will also help prevent allergy responses to build up of dust and other allergens.
If you plan to take your mat on the go, or store it when not in use, look for a mat that includes a carrying case or bag. Some mats come in “travel size” measurements, too, so that is another option that increases your mat’s portability.
A small acupressure mat for feet only is the least expensive option, starting well under 20 dollars. For a full-back mat, you can expect to pay anywhere from 20 to 60 dollars. Prices also vary depending on whether a pillow or other extras come with it.
Do Acupressure Mats Really Work?
If their popularity isn’t telling enough, most acupressure mats earn exceptional reviews from people who suffer from back pain and conditions like fibromyalgia and muscle spasms.
Because so many of us sit at desks or in vehicle seats for much of the day, taking time to stretch out and support blood circulation is a crucial part of daily living.
However, the science on acupressure mats is somewhat limited, likely because they have only recently become popular in the realm of holistic health. At the same time, much of the research that relates to acupressure in general also translates to use of acupressure mats.
Acupressure Mat Studies
One study tracked 32 participants who used acupressure mats while listening to music. All the participants reported increased relaxation on independent surveys. Acupressure mat use also led to higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures, slower heart rates, and increased circulation.
Other bodies of research suggest that using acupressure mats spikes the body’s natural release of endorphins. Regardless of the science behind them, users often report feeling relaxed and drowsy following short acupressure mat sessions. Incorporating this daily ritual into your life doesn’t seem to have any drawbacks if you’re reasonably healthy.
Acupressure Mat Concerns
Still, manufacturers recommend that people avoid using the mats if they have preexisting conditions like heart disease, blood pressure conditions, diabetes, or other medical concerns. For example, people who have neuropathy should not use these mats, nor should people who are pregnant.
Those with epilepsy or anyone who is undergoing treatment with anticoagulants should avoid acupressure. Also, you should not use an acupressure mat if you have any open wounds. If you have any serious health concerns, it’s best to consult your physician before using an acupressure mat.