Modern life has us caught up in a constant whirlwind of work and responsibilities; often we overlook ways in which to de-stress, or, ironically, we can't find time to relax.
Stress causes tension in the body and mind, affecting our physical and mental health, sleep, productivity, and general quality of life. There are many tools to help us manage stress, and one such tool that is gaining popularity is acupressure.
Acupressure is an Eastern practice and a facet of traditional Chinese medicine designed to stimulate the meridian system to balance qi or ch'i (our life energy). Acupressure mats have also existed in India for thousands of years for relaxation exercises, meditation, and yoga.
Regular acupressure is a wonderful antidote to a busy life, an energetic yoga practice, strenuous gym workout, or a day spent sitting at your computer. Modern acupressure mats and pillows are an easy way to bring this transformative therapy into your home.
How do acupressure mats and pillows work?
Consider these ingenious inventions like a friendlier version of a bed of nails.
The tiny spikes on the mat/pillow deliver controlled pain and discomfort that triggers endorphin release (our natural feel-good pain relief chemicals), boosts blood flow, promotes relaxation and quality sleep, reduces stress, and can relieve aches and pains and aid in muscle recovery.
How do I use an acupressure mat or pillow?Start with a short session - five to ten minutes. The back is a great area to start with. Aim to use your mat or pillow with bare skin, but you can wear a thin layer of clothing between your skin and the mat while your body adjusts.
Find a comfortable spot, and lie down gently on your mat. If you're starting, a bed or a couch will give a little extra cushioning (graduate to the floor if you desire once you're an expert).
The first time on a new area will often feel sensitive and prickly, but it is bearable and will subside once you settle onto the mat. Over time your body will adjust to the sensation. Gradually build up your time on the mat; some people like to meditate or even nap on them.
With a whopping 6,534 spikes, the TRIBE Acupressure Mat is a dream for a tired, sore back or a wind-down session before bed. The mat itself is 17mm thick foam encased in organic canvas cotton, washable, transportable (hello, handles), and comes in at a lightweight 700g.
You can lie on it, stand on it, rest your legs on it - even doze off on it once you're a pro!
With 1,566 spikes, and encased in the same organic canvas cotton, the TRIBE Acupressure Pillow is brilliant to relieve tension and stress in the neck and shoulders, bringing about a feeling of deep relaxation.
It can also be placed underneath tired or sore hamstrings, calves, and thighs to assist with healthy recovery post-exercise, and as a lumbar support tool behind your back on the couch or at your desk.
Even the busiest among us can find ten or twenty minutes at the end of the day for an Acupressure Mat session. The sensation is strangely addictive - as are the incredible results - and with the time spent on your mat or pillow, you can read, meditate, or listen to relaxing music.
Ancient practices like yoga, meditation, and acupressure lend themselves so well to the busy lives we all lead and are excellent tools to have in your wellness arsenal.