As someone who deals with chronic back pain, I am always looking for innovative ways to help reduce pain levels and avoid medication. I mean, the medication works, but all pharmaceuticals have potential side effects, and if I can avoid them, all the better.
I was recently contacted about reviewing the Shakti Mat, which is a Swedish acupressure device. I see a chiropractor as needed, and have had acupuncture before, and it helped. In fact, had it not been for my chiropractor/acupuncturist during my pregnancy, I probably wouldn’t have been able to walk! So, the idea of an acupressure mat intrigued me, and I agreed to the review.
Shakti Mat Swedish Acupressure Device (courtesy of shaktimat.com/)
The Shakti Mat’s 6000 acupressure points make it a very effective tool for releasing tension and inducing a state of deep relaxation. Shakti helps stimulate the release of large quantities of endorphins, the body’s own hormones responsible for inducing an overall sense of calmness and well-being. These “feel-good” hormones help make us feel happy, relaxed and energized, and are often referred to as the body’s own “natural pain relievers.” Regular use of the Shakti Mat may help increase your feelings of well-being and renewal, both physically and mentally.
I received the green Shakti Mat for review.
I was initially intimidated by the little spikes on the disks (it looked about as comfortable as a bed of nails), but after watching the Shakti Mat video, I decided to give it a try.
Each Shakti Mat has 230 plastic discs and each disc has 27 points, which result in the 6000 acupressure points. Depending on how you lay on it, your skin may or may not come into contact with all of the points.
The first time I laid down on the Shakti Mat, I thought– “There is NO way I am staying here for fifteen minutes.” But, I did. It was extremely uncomfortable (i.e. OUCH- that hurts). After about ten minutes, the pain subsided and was replaced by a warm sensation and then I began to relax. I have used it several times when I have had a headache, and the headache seemed to improve. Whether or not the improvement was from the darkened room, the Shakti Mat, or a combination thereof, I do not know. I haven’t gotten beyond the point of it being painful when you first lie on it. I have sensitive skin, so I have to use it with my clothes on. Apparently, this reduces the effectiveness.
I would recommend using the Shakti Mat on a flat surface. I tried to lay on it in my bed (which has a pillow top mattress plus has an egg crate and pillow top cover), and it just isn’t ideal.
The Shakti Mat is 17″ x 27″ x 1″ and is portable. The fabric is 100% Indian cotton and the plastic points are made from a surgical grade non-toxic ABS plastic. The foam cushion is made out of a non-toxic material.
If you see an acupuncturist regularly and with success, the Shakti Mat may be a great alternative for you.