Why Acupressure Mats and Pillows are the Best Pain Relieving
When there is no movement, there is pain. When there is movement, there is no pain – Traditional Chinese Saying
Since the obnoxious COVID-19 has engulfed the whole world into its death trap, everything has gone down in the lockdown – either partial or complete. With quarantine mode on, the movement got restricted which means no going out to our happy places. No doubt, this will be remembered as the most stressful time in recent history because it also became risky to avail services like massage, acupuncture, and other health or body extravagances that help us wind down and relax. Now that we are all a little hesitant to go out to our favorite spa and massage centers, why not go the DIY way to treat ourselves at home?
If you are someone completely naïve to the concept of acupuncture, then let us brief you on this famous traditional Chinese alternative of medicine. It is an ancient Chinese practice in which thin needles are inserted into the body to relieve pain, alleviate stress, and deliver other health benefits. But wait, if the needles make your blood run cold, and you want to try a less disturbing method, acupressure is the answer. Acupressure is no different from acupuncture because only pressure replaces the needles in this technique. To get similar benefits, you put on pressure on the desired area instead of poking needles.
In traditional Chinese therapy for pain, acupuncture is a medicinal practice for balancing the flow of energy, known as qi, which is believed to flow through pathways in our body.
Let’s face it, before convincing ourselves to buy a certain product, we all research the benefits to know everything in detail. Speaking of which, we have researched some of the top benefits of having an acupressure mat and pillow, to save you time and efforts.
- If you are looking for some of the potential health benefits of using an acupressure mat or pillow, then know that they aid in reducing anxiety and migraine episodes, relieves pain, and improves sleep quality.
- A meta-analysis of the research performed in 2019 found out that the subjects showed a positive response when acupuncture and acupressure were used for managing pain in cancer patients. The systematic review of this study suggests that more research is needed in this area to understand if and how these techniques work.
- Acupuncture uses a selective and targeted area to treat pain or other ailments, but acupressure mats apply pressure, not on a specific but large area. The mats have an overall effect of releasing myofascial and muscles tension by increasing blood flow.
- The acupressure mat puts enough pressure on muscle fibers that they release tension, but at the same time also relaxes the nervous system. It is believed that the pressure of mat releases happy hormones like serotonin and helps galvanize the body's parasympathetic response.
- It frees you from depending on someone else for inserting needles like in acupuncture. You just grab an acupressure mat or pillow, relax your tense muscles, and at the same time maintain social distancing by staying by at home.
- They are low-cost and are easily available at the online stores.
One thing we want our readers to know is that most of the evidence on these statements is subjective because no research on a large scale has been conducted to verify these benefits. But that does not invalidate the productive uses of these acupressure mats and pillows. Although there is ample research available on the benefits of acupuncture, not detailed scientific information is available on the usefulness of the mat; but the thing to remember is that both works in the same way. If you are still with us, then keep reading to know how to use a mat and pillow, and what best practices can you follow with them.
How to Use an Acupressure Mat and Pillow?
There is no rocket science involved in using a simple acupressure mat. Simply place it on your bed, couch, or floor, and lie on it. While some include an acupressure mat in their meditation session, others use it when they experience pain. Let’s see how you can make this amazing equipment part of your daily routine.
To Supplement Your Yoga Session
Take your yoga practice one step up by adding an acupressure mat to the session. Just place it on your couch, bed, or floor and lie on it. Double up the benefits by putting an acupressure pillow below your feet while sitting on your comfy chair with a mat.
To Increase your Energy
After a long working day, our feet yell for some attention because let’s admit, we feel more tired if our feet or legs are sore. Now kick off the soreness by radiating the energy with the sensation of the mat on your feet to trigger the nerve endings and massage points. Triggering certain massage points is also known as reflexology, which is similar to acupressure except that in the former, you trigger specific points in the hands or feet. Acupressure mat helps in stimulating reflexology points that help relax your feet so you can sleep better. Speaking of which, our next point especially covers that how acupressure mats and pillows aid in dozing you off.
To Sleep Better
Spread out the mat, lie on it, position the pillow beneath your neck, and let the magic begin. Allow your body to relax and meltdown the stiffness your body experiences by the end of the day. Enjoy the feelings of your muscles stimulated and relaxed. This resultantly improves the sleeping quality and lets your body unwind.
In the last ten years, the number of people suffering from insomnia has increased quickly, with as much as 35% of Americans don't get the recommended seven hours of sleep.
Best Practices to Use Acupressure Mats and Pillows
If you have just started using the acupressure mat and pillow, then keep reading to know how to use them in a comfortable and restorative way.
Avoid lying on the mat with bare skin: As a beginner, you should try to make yourself familiar with the spikes on the mat and not scare yourself off. So avoid touching the mat with bare skin because you might feel prickly to the touch. While in the beginning, the sensation might feel weird, but once you'll get used to it, you will be more confident with no room for an unusual tickle.
Breathe Slowly: This one is a pro-tip for our newbies. As in any other yoga form, you must take deep breaths to magnify the effects of the mat. This will help you relax your tensed muscles and make your body-conscious of the spikes. As your body will be more relaxed, the blood circulation will be improved with the sensational effect of the spikes, thus your body will be at ease.
Start slowly and take baby steps: Combining the diaphragmatic breathing with the use of the mat might leave you a little dizzy. As soon as you start getting lightheaded, it's time to pause and get back to normal breathing or roll back to your side. As it is suggested in any workout, start your routine with few minutes initially, and once you feel comfortable, increase the time.
Do not sleep on them: While you may think about sleeping on them, let us tell you that it is not recommended. Not only this, please be mindful not to use the mat for more than thirty minutes. The spikes on the mat and pillow leave impressions on the skin, therefore, lying on them for a longer time period may cause bruises on your skin.
Heads up for who should not use them: It is advisable not to use them if you have an open wound or injury because then, the chance of getting an infection will be high. Also, those with poor blood circulation won't be able to reap as many benefits as others that's why it is better to avoid using them.
Acupressure mats and pillows are an easy way to give yourself a much-needed massage at home by increasing the blood flow through your body. These products are definitely handy considering the situation of the coronavirus all around the globe. While there is not enough research on their effectiveness, anecdotal evidence suggests that these acupressure mats and pillows are a reliable source of releasing pain and stiffness throughout the body. Most importantly, using them promote relaxation so get yourself comfortable with using them, and make them a part of your daily routine.