My Story: Tried an Acupressure Mat

My Story: Tried an Acupressure Mat

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.

Joanna Mechlinski

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:

(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.

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Authored by: Joanna Mechlinski

Joanna Mechlinski is a former newspaper reporter who now works in education. She is a chronic pain sufferer who lives in Connecticut and is a frequent contributor to the National Pain Report. You can follow her on twitter @castlesburning.

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I have used a few acupressure mats, and the best has been the Ajnamat. You’re quite right, the cheap ones fall apart, but this mat is far superior in terms of quality, and in my opinion, worth the extra money. I got mine on Amazon too.

I mainly use the Ajnamat for lower back pain with a towel rolled up underneath, and also just to relax. I find it very effective for relaxing tense muscles and bringing blood flow to the effected area.


I have a mat. I feel benefits and like to use it in the evening. I had to build a tolerance to it. At first, I couldn’t imagine continuing to use It! Overstimulation.

I noticed that my back becomes red and warm after laying on it. My theory is that it stimulates blood flow which I think may be healing.

I think it does work to physically break up muscle spasms to a degree. Not deep, deep spasms… but I do get some kind of relief. I think I sleep better after using it but I would start by short, frequent daytime sessions. It is overstimulating at first. Try It on a bed first… then consider a harder, solid surface with less give like the floor.

Not a miracle cure but helpful. I think blood flow increase may be the mechanism of benefit. This is not true acupuncture. I had an acupuncture treatment and actually reacted negatively with mild nausea and what felt like a fibromyalgia flare… mild, flu-like aching, increased fatigue and mild nausea. It lasted just shy of a week. The practitioner was a doctor who also practices Western medication. She thought she used too many needles for someone who must be sensitive to treatment.


What a strange report. The author describes the physical appearance of the product; she tells us how much it cost and where we too can buy one; she even tells us that she bought a second one for work, leading us to assume that maybe she was pleased with it (or hopeful that perhaps that it might start working if she used it around the clock). But she never really tells us whether or not it gave her any noteworthy pain relief or if so to what extent!

Sorry, but saying “I’m willing to work with whatever relief I can get, and I do believe this has potential.” does not tell us anything about the extent of any pain relief she received from this product, what part of her body if any achieved relief, the degree of any pain relief, or how long any such pain relief lasted.

I’m not knocking the product, but the author’s grossly inadequate report. The only thing I learned from this “report” is contained in the title: “My Story: Tried an Acupressure Mat.” Yeah, that’s interesting. Maybe next time you will tell us how that worked out for you.

Kelli Davidson

I think I will give it a try !


The mat may or may not be an effective tool for relieving pain BUT it’s been proven ad nauseum that acupressure and acupuncture work no better than a placebo. The concept is that placing needles or pressure along specific “meridians” somehow has healing or pain reducing properties but the latest study I’ve seen concludes that needle or pressure placement makes no difference. The results are the same and the equal the results of a placebo. Some alternative solutions for healing and pain reduction can do more than steal your money. Some of it is dangerous. Just be careful. Some of us are desperate for pain relief and there are plenty of people happy to promise you anything and all they relieve of is your money.


Acumed plasters are good. You place one over the painful trigger point and a small metal pad on the inside of the plaster sets up a mini electric current with the skin and after about twenty minutes I get pain relief. They fall off after about five days, and work until they do. You,can swim and shower as normal. They are quite expensive unless you buy the multi pack from Amazon which costs £49 for 56 otherwise they are £11 for 8.


Thank you! I got one years ago & haven’t used it since I moved. I’m going to pull it back out & get going again!
Thanks for the reminder!

Drew P.

Very interesting. I wish we had more posts like this about the things that work, or dont work for CCP’s Everyone is different … sure, but my life has improved by the things that I have learned on this site. They may seem like little things, but sometimes the little things make all the difference