The Shakti Acupressure Mat.
A question I get a lot is ‘are the Shakti mats any good?’
Firstly, for people who haven’t heard of the now pretty popular Shakti Mat. It as an acupressure mat that simulates lying on a bed of nails. A method used in eastern medicine for over 2000 years. These mats are comprised mostly of foam with little round plastic discs with spikes glued on them. The idea is you lie on one of these mats for 20 or so minutes and you perceive a variety of better health outcomes. There are claims acupressure mats will help with things like stress relief, pain management to even weight loss. But are some of these health benefits over sold and what research exists that confirm/deny their efficacy.
Here is a list of some of the studied benefits:
The spikes when pushed into your skin create micro trauma in the area. This increases blood flow to the local and surrounding tissues, hence why you’re a redder and warmer after you lay on the mat. This blood carries with it nutrients that help to boost healing and recovery. Particularly useful post-exercise!
Anxiety and Stress
It has been shown that acupressure releases serotonin. A neurotransmitter that is often associated with uplifting mood and happiness, although its actual function is a lot more textured and multifaceted and contributes with a wide array of physiological processes. Anyway, it is widely accepted that natural increases of serotonin levels is a positive thing and definitely aids in relieving stress and anxiety.
Yes, it seems to improve quality of sleep. Although the pathway and mode of action of how acupressure effects sleep is largely unknown there are numerous studies which highlight a positive outcome through self-reported measures. One such study describes that after 2 weeks of regular use 94% of participants reported improved sleep.
Pain relief is one of the most widely reported benefits of using an acupressure mat. This occurs through the release of natural opioid painkillers and serotonin. In one study, 98% of participants who used a Shakti mat reported pain relief.
So there you go, there is some of the research on acupressure mats. I can also give you one bit of anecdotal evidence. I have a Shakti Mat and I absolutely love it! Check out my workstation set-up in the photo left.
Jacquelyn has had hers for over 10 years and sleeps on hers the whole night!
I stand on mine at home when doing computer work or listening to podcasts at my ‘very sophisticated standing desk’.