By Joanna Mechlinski
Like most people living with chronic pain, I’m always on a mission to find new products that can make my life easier. They can range from items to help with accessibility (I LOVE my claw grabber tool!) to items that actually aid in pain relief.
Reading a health article online, I stumbled upon the idea of an acupressure mat and decided to give it a try.
For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, an acupressure mat – dubbed “bed of nails” by many – is a foam pad covered with over 6,000 tiny plastic spikes. These are designed to hit your pressure points , much like acupuncture but non-invasive. Circulation and oxygen levels increase, muscle tension and pain decrease. You can feel benefits after laying on one for 5-10 minutes, although some will lay for 20 minutes or more. As it tends to take a while to build up your tolerance to the mat (Remember those scratchy plastic doormats from the ‘70s and ‘80s that looked like fake grass? Imagine laying down on one) most users opt to lay on the mat clothed, although some believe it’s more beneficial against bare skin.
(No, it isn’t possible to actually puncture the skin. As your body weight is spread across the mat, there is no danger, so don’t worry!)
Obviously, like any other product, there are a myriad of acupressure mats to choose from. The mat I ended up purchasing is made by ProSource, and cost $19.99 on Amazon. I decided upon it both because of largely positive reviews and the price; when you’re not sure if something will actually work, you don’t want to go too expensive. At the same time, you don’t want something so cheap it will fall apart within a few uses.
Here’s a link to the mat and pillow set I bought: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I1QCPCG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
(No, neither I nor this site receive anything if you visit the link or make a purchase. I just wanted to give everyone the full details of the product which ended up working well for me personally.)
My mat also came with a log-shaped pillow, similarly adorned with plastic spikes. It can be used under your head or neck, the small of your back, your feet or wherever else the need arises.
I ended up purchasing a second mat, which I attached to the back of my desk chair at work. No, it’s not quite the same effect as lying down on it, but I do feel a definite difference in my lower back by the end of the day.
Is this going to solve my chronic pain issues? I doubt it. But like most patients, I’m willing to work with whatever relief I can get, and I do believe this has potential.