Recently, I was able to try something truly new to me – a Spoonk Acupressure Mat. If you’ve never tried it, acupressure has been used for centuries to promote self-healing by rejuvenating and rebalancing the whole body. By pressing the stimulation points on the skin, the Spoonk Acupressure Mat increases circulation and aids relaxation in the inflamed and painful area, relieving muscle, nerve, and back pain. Spoonk provides the benefits of a deep tissue massage that lowers the “stress hormone” cortisol while releasing endorphins (or “feel good hormones”), which help create an overall more positive and relaxed state of mind.
What the heck is an acupressure mat, you ask? Good question, because I wasn’t totally sure when I agreed to review the product. Basically, it’s a padded mat with pointy discs. The Spoonk Acupressure Mat works on the simple principle of acupressure – the healing art known as the Shiatsu massage. By stimulating increased circulation with 6210 acupressure points on problematic areas, you relieve muscle tension and pain, while at the same time rejuvenating and rebalancing the whole body. It can help improve your sleep quality, relieve muscle tension, and lead to a deeper relaxation.
What do you do with it? A number of things.
You can lay on it – it’s roughly the size of my back. You can wear a shirt, but if you really want to get all up in the acupressure goodness, you can lay on it with bare skin. That is … interesting. Definitely a new sensation. I’m starting to get an idea of how it feels to do a bed of nails act – I have a couple of burlesque friends who include that in their repertoire. It didn’t hurt, although you can definitely feel what’s happening. It can be intense, but I actually enjoyed the sensation and found it did help with relaxation. Spoonk recommends laying on it before bed for 20-40 minutes to achieve a deeper relaxation, then removing it and going to sleep. Additionally, instead of hitting the snooze button, you can try laying on it for 10 minutes in the morning to help you wake up.
You can also use the mat to release tension in your feet – in that case, it is recommended that you wear socks, and then stand on the mat for 3-5 minutes at a time. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, our feet have specific reflex areas that correspond to the body’s organs. Reflexology foot massage has a rejuvenating effect on the whole body. This can help relieve tired feed, Plantar Fasciitis, and other foot ailments. I’ve been standing on the mat when I’m getting ready in the morning (brushing my teeth, blow drying my hair, etc), usually after running the day before, and my feet definitely feel a lot better afterward.
You can also wrap the mat around sore muscles to relieve tension, and there are a variety of other suggestions on their website.
Photos above via Spoonk Space on Facebook
Overall, I’m really glad I had a chance to try out this product. It’s not something I would have sought out on my own, but I really like it! It also rolls up nicely like a yoga mat (just take care while rolling it, because … pointy) and fits in its own bag. They also have a smaller size mat that is ideal for travel.
Have you tried an acupressure mat? How did you use it? Or, how would you use it if you had one?