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Acupressure mats are designed to produce similar results as acupressure massage.
Acupressure comes from traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It’s a technique that releases blocked qi, or energy, throughout the body. Once these blockages are removed, pain may be reduced or completely alleviated.
Acupressure mats are generally very similar in design. The differences in cost between them are often associated with extra bells and whistles, such as storage bags. The type of fabric used to make the mat may also increase the cost.
In general, more expensive is not necessarily the same as more effective, so we tried to include a range of options with a variety of prices.
All the mats chosen were picked based on high customer reviews and the quality of the mats. Each manufacturer went through our vetting process. We reviewed the company’s claims and industry best practices and any potential lawsuits to make sure the product is high quality from all angles.
If you’re ready to try an acupressure mat, check out the mats below.
Acupressure mats contain several hundred plastic points that apply pressure to many acupressure points in the back. Acupressure pillows can be used on the neck, head, hands, or feet.
Many users swear by the positive results, but there’s not a large body of research on acupressure mats specifically. However,
Acupressure mats can take some getting used to. The spikes are sharp and can cause discomfort or pain for several minutes before they start to warm up to the body and feel good.
To get maximum results, use the mat each day for 10–20 minutes at a time. Remember to breathe and practice consciously relaxing your body.
Here are some more tips:
- Choose the surface to put it on: Beginners often use the mat spread out on a bed or sofa. Intermediate and experienced users may move their mats onto the floor.
- Try sitting on it: You can also sit on or against the mat in a chair so your buttocks and lower back have direct contact.
- Start with a layer between yourself and the mat: Wearing a light shirt or placing a piece of thin fabric over the spikes may help acclimate you to the feeling of the mat. Users report getting the best results when the mat is in contact with their bare skin, but don’t feel the need to go shirt-off right away.
- Lie down slowly: Lie down with your weight evenly distributed on the mat. This will help you avoid injury from the points.
- Reposition yourself carefully: Don’t fidget or move around on the mat. You may more readily pierce or scratch your skin that way.
- Use consistently: Mats take getting used to, but they do seem to work for many people. If this product appeals to you, stick with it and give it time to work.
When choosing an acupuncture mat, you’ll want to consider:
- Materials: Acupressure mats are made from a range of highly synthetic and eco-friendly materials. The materials used to make the mat are usually one of the biggest factors in the price. You’ll want to look for a mat within your budget made of durable materials you’re comfortable using.
- Number of spikes and style: Mats differ in their number of spikes and even the shape/style of their spikes. You’ll want to note how the spikes are attached to the mat since this can affect how long they last without breaking off.
- Size: Acupressure mats come in a variety of sizes and shapes. You’ll want to find one that’s a good fit for your body length or the part of your body you want to target.
- Any “bonus” items: Acupressure pillows, balls, and even mini acupressure mats may be included with your purchase. These can be especially helpful if you plan to use acupressure on your arms, legs, hands, and feet. If you plan to travel with your mat, you may want to look for one with a carrying case.
Acupressure mats themselves haven’t been studied extensively for their potential benefits.
Since these mats work similarly to acupressure and acupuncture by stimulating pressure points along the meridians of the body, they may provide the same or similar types of benefits.
The main difference is that acupressure mats stimulate many acupressure points indiscriminately as opposed to targeted acupressure treatments provided by a professional.
What are the benefits of lying on an acupressure mat?
People who use acupressure mats have reported finding relief for the following conditions:
Acupuncture mats are not safe for everyone. You’ll want to keep some considerations in mind before buying or using one:
- Mat spikes can pierce the skin, especially when used incorrectly. To avoid wounds or infection, don’t use an acupressure mat if you have thin skin, diabetes, or poor circulation.
- Most acupressure mat manufacturers don’t recommend using them while pregnant.
- Don’t use an acupressure mat to induce labor. Acupressure for labor should only be done under a medical professional’s supervision.
- Babies, toddlers, and small children should not use acupressure mats.
- If you have high or low blood pressure, talk with your doctor before using it.
- Acupressure mats shouldn’t be used instead of medical treatments or prescribed medications.
It’s important to discuss any medical concerns with your doctor. Never use an acupressure mat as a replacement for medical care.
An acupressure mat is not a replacement for prescribed medications or medical treatments.
If you have pain that does not go away, it’s important to talk with a doctor. Notify your doctor right away if pain, numbness, or weakness spreads or becomes worse.
How long does it take for an acupressure mat to work?
Using an acupressure mat for approximately 20 minutes is generally believed to be sufficient. You may have to build up to this or wear clothing in the beginning. It’s a good idea to follow guidance from the manufacturer and your doctor.
Who shouldn’t use an acupressure mat?
Children or babies should not use acupressure mats. They are also not appropriate for people with unmanaged high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, or skin inflammation or infection.
If you could be pregnant or are pregnant, discuss using an acupressure mat with your doctor first. Additionally, if you have sensitive skin, heart issues, or any other serious medical condition, consult your doctor before using an acupressure mat.
What’s the difference between acupressure and acupuncture?
Acupressure uses manual pressure from fingers, elbows, etc., to apply pressure to acupoints. In acupuncture, this pressure is applied with extremely thin needles that puncture the body.
Can you lie on an acupressure mat for too long?
While there’s not a specific time limit for lying on an acupressure mat (under 30 minutes is frequently recommended), lying on spikes for too long can cause bruising or damage to the skin’s surface.
It’s not generally advised to lie on an acupressure mat overnight.
Acupressure mats haven’t been studied extensively, but many people rave about their ability to reduce pain and stress.
If you have back or body pain, stress, or headaches, acupressure mats and pillows may be worth a try. They do, however, take some getting used to.
You can also consider trying acupressure massage or acupuncture. Sometimes working directly with a professional can be more effective.