Acupressure is growing in popularity as a new way to stimulate pressure points in the body. These mats are believed to aid in relaxation, pain relief, and overall well-being by applying pressure to specific points on the body. However, there are many possible benefits and risks associated with acupressure mats, and it’s important to know what you’re getting into before trying one. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about acupressure mats, including how they work, potential benefits and risks, and how to use them safely and effectively.

Whether you’re curious about this new trend in wellness or are considering purchasing a spike mat for back, read on to learn more.

What is acupressure?

Acupressure is a type of alternative medicine that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body, known as acupoints. This practice is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, which suggests that energy, or qi, flows through the body along specific pathways, called meridians. By applying pressure to these acupoints, acupressure practitioners aim to balance the body’s energy flow and promote healing.

Acupressure can be performed using the fingers, palms, elbows, or various tools such as balls or rollers. It is a non-invasive form of therapy that can be used to improve a variety of conditions, such as pain, stress, anxiety, and digestive issues.

While research on acupressure’s effectiveness is still limited, many people find it to be a helpful complementary therapy.

What is an acupressure mat?

An acupressure mat is a special mat that has lots of spikes on it. Acupressure mats in various incarnations have been used to relieve pain for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, by stimulating acupressure points on the body. To use acupressure, you simply lie on it on the floor, couch or in your bed and let the acupressure points press against the skin to trigger a process of mental and physical relief.

Spike mats come in various sizes, with larger mats being preferred and maximum results being achieved with the use of a pillow for the neck area.

What are the benefits of using spike mats?

Acupressure mats are innovative therapeutic tools that can have numerous benefits for those who use them. The benefits of acupressure are numerous, with the most well-known being its ability to help reduce pain, notably back pain. The mat may help decrease muscle tension, increase blood flow, and enhance relaxation, making it easier to manage pain levels. Acupressure may also improve circulation and mental clarity for some individuals. Additionally, traditional acupressure uses tiny pins to stimulate specific pressure points on the body, while acupressure mats have a similar effect by using acupressure points on the back, neck, and feet. Overall, the benefits of using acupressure mats range from pain relief to relaxation, making it an excellent choice for those who seek natural, non-invasive forms of therapy.

How do acupressure mats work?

Acupressure mats are a type of mat designed to stimulate the body’s acupressure points. These mats are covered with thousands of spikes or points that help to apply pressure to the acupressure points on the body when lying on the mat. The mat works by stimulating the points, which can help to alleviate pain, increase blood flow, and promote relaxation.

People can use spike mats on bare skin or over clothing, and they can also use a pillow that has spikes for added comfort. It is safe to use acupressure mats, and people can use them for as little as 10-15 minutes a day to achieve the best results.

Overall, acupressure mats provide gentle pressure to the body’s acupressure points, which triggers the release of neurotransmitters that block pain, induce calm, and help improve overall well-being and promote a sense of peace and energy.

What is the best acupressure mat?

Choosing the best acupressure device can be overwhelming due to the many mats available in the market. A good mat should be made from high-quality materials, breathable and clinically-proven.

The most effective acupressure mats come with rounded points, and should be dermatologist approved.

It is essential to consider the size of the mat, as it determines the coverage area and ease of use. Some of the best acupressure mats on the market come with additional features such as a carrying bag or extra acupressure tools, such as pillows and mini foot mats.

The best acupressure mats include popular and proven brands such as Shakti and Pranamat ECO.

These are trusted names, and typically you get what you pay for. 

Do acupressure mats actually work?

Yes, acupressure mats are a popular wellness product that claims to have multiple benefits, including relief from pain, tension, and stress. These mats have a surface covered with small spikes that stimulate the pressure points in the body, similar to acupuncture.

While there is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of acupressure mats, some people report feeling immediate relief and relaxation after using them.

Others claim to have experienced long-term benefits, such as improved sleep, reduced muscle stiffness, and heightened energy levels. T

he only brand that have clinically proven results for back pain, lower back pain and stress, anxiety and tension headaches, is the leading brand, Pranamat ECO.

Who should use an acupressure mat?

The use of acupressure is recommended for anyone looking to reduce pain and stress naturally without medication. Acupressure is a non-invasive technique that can be used by anyone, regardless of age or background. It can be beneficial for people who suffer from chronic pain, muscle tightness, low mood, low energy levels or anxiety.

Therefore, anyone who would like to relieve pain in a natural way could benefit from using an acupressure mat. However, it is important to note that acupressure is not recommended for people with certain medical conditions or for pregnant women.

Therefore, if you are unsure if you should use an acupressure mat, it is always best to consult with your doctor first.

How long should you lay on acupressure mat?

It is recommended to start with short sessions, around 10-15 minutes per session, and gradually increase the time as your body adapts to the pressure. For beginners, the spikes can cause discomfort, so it’s imperative to give your body time to adjust.

Beginners can wear light clothing during the innitial sessions, and incorporate an acupressure pillow into their sessions.

A 20 minute session per day is adequate to reap all the benefits of acupressure with Pranamat ECO as their clinical study was based on a single twenty minute session per day, over 30 days.  

Can you overdo acupressure mat?

It is important to read the instructions carefully and follow the recommended time frames to ensure a comfortable and safe acupressure practice.

It’s not unusual for people to fall asleep while using the mat and pillow, and this is no cause for alarm. If you choose to stand on the mat, you will know when it’s time to get off!

Is acupressure scientifically proven?

The only brand with solid clinical data behind it is the Pranamat ECO mat set although the Shakti mat also has a lot of positive reviews. When choosing an acupressure mat and pillow set, we found that acupressure results are better if you invest more upfront. If you want to try an acupressure mat from a low-cost online marketplace, you may be disappointed.

What are the side effects of using an acupressure mat?

Our research on acupressure mats and acupressure therapy in general show that there are no notable negative side effects. For example, you might find that your mat is a great help to reduce stress and anxiety, but you also note that your time on the mat results in fewer headaches with regular use. 

How long should you lay on an acupressure mat?

Acupressure mats may vary in their guidance, but the gold standard comes from the clinical data from the Pranamat ECO brand, who suggest that acupressure is used for twenty minutes daily.

You can maximise your massage and stimulate additional acupressure points by using an acupressure mat set; for example comprising of an acupressure pillow and mini mat for feet as add-ons. 

When is the best time to use acupressure mat?

The benefits of an acupressure mat can also vary depending on when and how you use it. For example, using an acupressure mat to relieve sleeplessness, is most effective at bedtime. Whereas a morning acupressure treatment can reduce anxiety and boost your mood. Mats should not be used while driving or travelling in a vehicle. 

Does using an acupressure mat before bed make you more rested?

Yes! Those spikey mats can take some getting used to, but regular users report a marked improvement in their sleep and maximum benefits when used before bed. It’s a great way to settle into bed and ease pain at the same time. 

Acupressure Mats FAQ

do acupressure mats help cellulite?

There is limited evidence that acupressure helps with cellulite, however users from around the world say it does! Cellulite is caused by poor blood flow to the skin and acupressure mats stimulate blood flow. So take before and after pics from your acupressure session! Read full article about it here: Acupressure Mat For Cellulite Reduction – Here’s How

do acupressure mats raise blood pressure?

Acupressure mats can take blood flow from one part of the body to another, but using your mat daily will not increase your blood pressure.

who should not use acupressure mats?

Contemporary acupressure therapy is considered safe for most people. But acupressure mats really do have an effect on the body, so please don’t use while pregnant and check the contraindications list.

are acupressure mats safe during pregnancy?

Although acupressure is generally considered safe, all types of massage should be avoided during pregnancy, except by a licensed perinatal practitioner. 

are acupressure mats good for arthritis?

Acupressure massage can help with inflammation and pain, but will not cure arthritis. 

do acupressure mats release toxins?

Acupressure mats can help support a healthy lifestyle and using a pillow and mat regularly will aid lymphatic drainage.

are acupressure mats good for back pain?

Yes! There’s overwhelming evidence of acupressure mat benefits. For example, a clinical study has shown that the Pranamat ECO massage set is 93% effective against back pain and 97% effective for releasing muscle tension. The shakti acupressure mat also has some good reviews. 

do acupressure mats work for feet?

For foot massage, place the mat on the floor. Acupressure is applying even pressure to the feet. So you can simply sit and press your feet into the mat or stand for a more intensive foot massage. Pranamat ECO make smaller mats, “the Mini” specifically for this purpose – giving you the option of  a full body massage. Other acupressure mats to try might be kanjo acupressure or the prosourcefit acupressure mat and pillow. 

what does standing on acupressure mat do?

Standing with your feet across the mat allows the plastic acupressure points to activate key meridians on the feet. Alternatively, make the mat into a footrest while reading for a less intense massage. Read more: The Science Behind Standing on an Acupressure Mat. Best Positions, Practices, and Tips

Generally, mats made from natural materials will be more resistant to odor and allow air to circulate. Good quality acupressure mats are designed for long-term usage and some come with a 5-year warranty, such as Pranamat ECO and Shakti

are acupressure mats good for cellulite?

The health benefits of acupressure mats are evidenced both by science and rave reviews. Many people say “acupressure mats help with my orange peel skin”. Read more: Acupressure Mat For Cellulite Reduction – Here’s How

does acupressure mat help sciatica?

Yes! Acupressure is likely to relieve the discomfort of sciatica. You may also find an acupressure strap helpful. Read more: Acupressure Points For Sciatica

are acupressure mats good for fibromyalgia?

Pranamat ECO conducted one small study and found that sufferers found they had more energy, less pain and felt generally better while using this massage set. Beware of cheaper imitations as some mats use sharp pyramid spikes that may damage the skin.

are all acupressure mats the same?

First of all, don’t get confused between acupressure and acupuncture. There is no such thing as an acupuncture mat – this is an invasive procedure that must be conducted by a professional. And no, not all mats are made equal. An article comparing the 8 best acupressure mats found that the more you pay; the better your experience will be. Two stand-out brands were Pranamat ECO and Shakti. Read more: Shakti Mat Vs Pranamat. Which Acupressure Mat is Best? 

can acupressure mats be dangerous?

Acupressure devices can be dangerous and should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. Choosing a “skin-safe” brand such as Pranamat ECO and using in accordance with the manufacturers instructions ensures a safe and pleasant experience. 

how to stand on acupressure mat?

Try wearing socks the first time you try! Or simply press your feet into the spikes from a seated position. Read more: The Science Behind Standing on an Acupressure Mat. Best Positions, Practices, and Tips

Wrap-Up: Acupressure Mats

An acupressure mat is a device with small plastic spikes that apply pressure to different points on the body to help reduce pain, relieve stress, and promote relaxation, similar to acupuncture.

While more research is needed, many people report feeling better after using it regularly. It is important to use it safely and effectively by starting slowly and gradually increasing the time and intensity of use.

Choose wisely, invest in a clinically -proven and established brand: Best Acupressure Mats of 2023 (Ranked & Detailed Review)

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Best Acupressure Mats (Ranked & Reviewed)


Are All Acupressure Mats the Same? Click here to check my Top Best Acupressure Mats based on my daily use.

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