A bit over a month ago, I bought my first acupressure mat. It was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made, and I’m going to tell you why that is.
There are so many great articles about the benefits, so I won’t go into that (scroll down to the bottom of the page for reading tips). Instead, I will share what the acupressure mat is doing to me, and how it can help you the same way.
First, a bit of background:
I’m a woman of 25 years old woman who is suffering from occasional migraines (used to be twice-ish a month, but now it’s less), lower back pain when standing up for over an hour, tension headaches, and mood swings (including depression, anxiety…), etc. — needless to say, I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve my life.
I’ve tried yoga, stretching, exercise, ashwagandha, spirulina, essential oils, and more, and while those things are certainly effective, they aren’t perfect.
You can’t do yoga or stretch all day long; ashwagandha messes with the digestion; if you use essential oils too much you get sort of immune, etc.
But the acupressure mat is different!
How the acupressure mat helps me 💜
It’s just amazing, because the more I use it, the stronger the effect.
Before, if I felt a migraine coming up, there was little I could do to stop it. Now, all I need to do is to stand on the acupressure mat for a few minutes — which hurts like hell, but who wouldn’t trade 2-3 days of pain for 15 minutes?
So yes, it hurts. But it’s worth it. And the more it hurts, the better it will make you feel later.
I’m a bit of a junkie, so there are days when I use it almost constantly — even right now, I’m squatting on it to stretch my back, while writing and eating a mandarin.
Before I got the mat, it was hard to stay energized the whole day, or even at all.
Now, if I feel tired it often helps to just get on the mat for a while.
Or if my muscles are tight — which they are a lot, even with the mat (I have abnormally rock hard muscles and spend all day writing), the mat helps the blood get flowing like a yoga session would, and I don’t have to move at all (lazy alert?).
The mat is not a cure for chronically tight muscles that result from working on a computer all day, but it is the best tool of all the ones that I’ve tried.
Lying on the mat at the end of the day has really changed my sleep quality, as I get to release the tension from the day, and feel rejuvenated even before I fall asleep.
I need less sleep than before, but that’s not the best thing that has happened.
It has made me so productive!
I’ve always been able to write thousands of words a day, but not sustainably. Because without the mat, all the tension from each day of writing piled up and burned me out eventually, but now, I get to recharge every day, so that doesn’t happen anymore to the same extent.
Some of my favourite ways to use it
- At the end of the day, lying on it in my bed for a couple of hours.
- All of the fatigue from the day washes away and I feel happy.
- On my hamstrings, that always get tight from sitting
- I get sore after, as if I’ve had a workout, so I can tell that is has effect!
- Standing on it
- Not my favourite sensation-wise, but it does have the greatest effect, especially for headaches.
Details about My Experience
Let me give you a quick and somewhat silly example from my recent life.
In August, I had a mouse is my room. It was the first time it happened and it was in the middle of the night, for several days straight.
I would wake up startled by hearing the sounds of it chewing on something, and couldn’t fall asleep because of the fear of it coming again. During the day I would be miserable.
Same thing with spiders — yes, you can hear spiders, something I recently learned.
Whenever I saw a mid-big sized spider, I would get all hot and shaky.
My point is, the level of my anxiety was so high at the time that such relatively small things affected me to that degree.
That was in the end of August.
In the beginner of September I got the mat, and almost immediately my anxiety levels lowered. However, the first few days were tough — it was the transition phase, which I will talk more about below.
I can now feel calm during the night, and the amount of fear in my system is almost zero — I feel super brave!
Before the mat, I always worried about the future; What if I don’t have enough money? What if I become homeless? What if Canada doesn’t accept me as a Permanent Resident?
So many what-ifs!
Now, my mindset is completely different. Instead of what if, I think I will and I can.
“I will succeed.”
“I will have enough money.”
“I can succeed with blogging.”
It’s a 180 degree change, and I can’t even explain how happy I am about it.
With more emotional resilience, I don’t need to feel depressed over my failure at coping with life — because now I can cope.
The increased energy level prevented me from feeling depressed about constant fatigue and lack of productivity.
I’m human, so I still have bad days, but it has gotten a lot better, because even on the worst days, I’m now still motivated enough to do something productive, like working on this blog (for up to 12 hours a day).
I’m an insomniac, so sleep is always a bit of an issue.
Having the mat is definitely helping, but it’s not a complete cure.
The mat allows me to wind down, which can be hard after a productive and exciting day.
It helps with decreasing my heart rate and deepening my breath, without me having to consciously focus on it.
It also helps me sleep more restfully, which means that I need less sleep to feel rested, and that’s amazing.
This is probably my favourite benefit, that I don’t see a lot of people talk about.
All of the above has resulted in a much greater capability to get things done, without feeling exhausted.
I write at least 3000 words per working day, but up to about 6000. Although I don’t count, I do know that it’s not below that, as I’m familiar with my writing pace.
There are days when I don’t write at all, but when I do write, this is the general range. It can get lower on some days, if I have something important at uni — yes, I do this while studying for a Master’s Degree at university, without burning myself out. Mostly thanks to the mat.
This is not the main benefit for me, because I’m at a fairly low weight to begin with, but I did lose 1 kg in about a month after starting to use the mat.
Aside from using the mat, I also exercised, but not necessarily more than I did before.
The reason that the mat helped me with this is, I think, that it made me more relaxed, and because of that I was less likely to overeat.
A lot of people eat more than necessary because of stress, so if that’s you, it’s worth buying it just for this reason — if you are serious about losing weight with as little effort as possible.
Thank you, mat (I always refer to it as mat — everyone knows what I mean, because I’m so obsessed with it)!
The Transition Phase
For me, this lasted for a few days.
It is known that when you start using the mat, or any type of healing process, it gets worse first, then it gets better.
My emotions were so intense and I felt extremely vulnerable, to the point where I thought that it was unsafe to use it without support in the form of another person, but after a few days, I started feeling amazing!
I felt so relaxed, energized, and joyful.
A Newfound Joy
The joy that I felt, and still feel, is one that reminds me of my younger days.
Back when I was in my teens I always had different projects I felt excited about, and just purely enjoyed, but that sort of waned as I reached young adulthood, like it does for many people.
Now, however, I have that same emotional stamina and excited feeling again, and it’s wonderful — it’s what drives this blog.
The acupressure mat is one of the best things that I’ve ever bought. I use it every day, and recommend everyone to do the same.
A list of the benefits I experience:
- Better sleep.
- Lower depression.
- Less anxiety.
- Calm and relaxation.
- More relaxed muscles.
- Quicker headache relief.
- Higher productivity.
- More energy.
- Appetite control.
- And so much more, just enjoying life!
If you are interested in buying an acupressure mat, I have compiled a list of what I consider to be the best mats for beginners, as well as intermediate and more advanced users (or beginners up for a challenge). You can read it here.