The best acupressure mats and all the fab benefits they offer

Acupressure mats... Should you buy one?

best acupressure mats picture of two acupressure mats

by Jade Moscrop |

If you've been suffering from pain and inflammation, you might have been pointed in the direction of acupressure mats by your super trendy wellness friends.

Similar to acupuncture (but not the same), acupressure aims to restore health and balance to the body without using needles. While it might be a hot topic, reviews from sufferers of all sorts of ailments will tell you that it isn't a gimmick, but has actually helped lots of people.

Sometimes called a bed of nails, it's all based on a thousand-year-old practice used in China. It involves applying pressure to areas of the body which are believed to connect to other parts of the body. For example, if you're a sufferer of IBS, there are points in the stomach that can be massaged to relieve symptoms, but there are also points under the knee and on the foot which could help.

A question you may be asking is, do acupressure mats work? The short answer is yes. This treatment is said to create stability within the body. It works on balancing out the positive and negative energy which flows through energy channels within the body (known as meridians). This is some seriously scientific self-care.

Here are our top picks of acupressure mats in 2022

What does an acupressure mat do?

An acupressure mat is a soft foam mat, covered in hundreds of little spikes, usually in a circle or lotus flower shape. These mats make it possible to receive some form of acupressure in the home and when you're out and about. Remember to always speak to your doctor before undertaking any form of treatment.

Acupressure mat UK, women holding her back
©Photo: Getty Images

How to use an acupressure mat

A non-invasive therapy, you simply lie on your mat, clothed or with bare skin (depending on your preference), and wait for the mat to work its magic.

While it can be uncomfortable at first, many users report a feeling of relief once their session is up. In western medicine, specialists believe these treatments are beneficial because they reduce muscle tension, improve blood circulation, and influence pain signals.

Acupressure mat benefits

An acupressure mat can help with a whole host of things, but here are the most common uses:

• For stress

• Anxiety

• Muscle tension

• Back and neck pain

• Chronic pain

• Cellulite reduction

• Menstrual pain

• Headaches

If you're suffering from stress, anxiety, muscle tension, or chronic pain, many people have found that an acupressure mat does provide some relief. Some people even report benefits for cellulite reduction and pain relief for things like menstruation and headaches.

There hasn't been any clinical evidence of acupressure mats making significant health benefits, but lots of anecdotal comments.

It's important to note that using an acupressure mat is NOT the same as getting acupuncture.

Who can't use an acupressure mat?

There are a few people who should take extreme care before using an acupressure mat. Those with high blood pressure and circulatory issues as well as people taking blood-thinning medication are at high risk of injury. People with broken, irritated skin or infection would also be wise to steer clear of an acupressure mat.

If you're pregnant, using a mat can present a variety of risks so it's always best to seek medical advice before you jump straight in. Furthermore, anyone with a history of seizures should never use an acupressure mat without supervision.

The best course of action is to speak to your doctor before going ahead with anything that could affect your health. Don't put yourself at risk!

Potential acupressure mat side effects

After a session using an acupressure mat, some people may feel some bruising or soreness and temporary lightheadedness. However, the pressure should be gentle over sensitive areas of the body such as the face.

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