Understanding Shakti Mats
Shakti mats are acupressure mats intended for therapeutic use on the body. They take their cues from the traditional Indian therapeutic method known as "bed of nails" that has been practiced for millennia. Generally, modern shakti mats have a foam or cloth base that is covered in plastic spikes or points.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) gave rise to the idea of acupressure, which is the foundation of these mats. Acupressure is the practice of applying manual pressure to particular body spots in order to enhance energy flow and advance healing. These points are thought to be linked to a number of the body's systems, muscles, and organs.
These bodily acupressure points are the focus of the plastic spikes or points that cover Shakti mats. The spikes gently press these places when you're sitting, standing, or laying on the mat, resulting in a healing process. The spikes are made to be sufficiently sharp to stimulate the body appropriately without harming or irritating you.
As mentioned earlier, these modern mats are inspired by the "bed of nails" idea, which is a surface covered in a lot of spikes or nails. In the past, practitioners would lie on these beds for long stretches of time in the hope that the pressure from the nails would enhance circulation, reduce stress, and hasten recovery.
By combining the concepts of acupressure into a more practical and user-friendly design, Shakti mats update the "bed of nails" idea. The plastic spikes on the mat replicate the impact of the prehistoric nails and offer a similar acupressure feeling in a simpler, safer format.
It's important to understand that while though shakti mats resemble the old "bed of nails," they are not designed to pierce or hurt the skin. The acupressure spots are stimulated by the plastic spikes without causing pain or harm.
The Science Behind Shakti Mats
Shakti mats and acupressure are based on the idea that stimulating particular body spots can trigger a variety of physiological reactions. Acupressure is based on the same theories as acupuncture, but uses pressure rather than scary-looking needles.
It is possible to stimulate the body's natural healing processes and produce a variety of positive effects, including pain alleviation, relaxation, and general well-being, by gently applying pressure to particular acupressure spots on the body. This is how it goes:
Acupressure points are situated along meridians, which are believed to be routes through which energy flows in the body. This stimulates the nervous system. Acupressure works by applying pressure to specific spots, which activates the nerve system and results in a series of beneficial physiological reactions.
Let’s look at the benefits of shakti mats and understand how these benefits arise.
The endorphin release is one of the primary mechanisms underlying the pain-relieving effects of acupressure. The body naturally produces endorphins, which aid in reducing pain and promoting feelings of well-being. Endorphins are released when acupressure is applied, and they are effective at reducing a variety of pains, including headaches, muscle tension, and chronic pain disorders.
Better Blood Circulation
Applying pressure to acupressure points encourages better blood circulation in the immediate vicinity. The tissues receive more oxygen and nutrients thanks to the increased blood flow, which also helps to remove toxins and metabolic waste. Increased circulation can promote the body's natural healing processes and help to reduce inflammation, ease muscle tension, and ease pain.
Activation of the Parasympathetic Nervous System
Acupressure causes the parasympathetic nervous system to become active, which has a calming and relaxing effect on the body. This portion of the autonomic nervous system is in charge of encouraging a state of relaxation, rest, and recovery. Heart rate and blood pressure fall when the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged, while digestion and general relaxation increase.
Improved Energy and Vitality
The energizing effects of Shakti mats are palpable. By stimulating acupressure points, you can enhance blood flow, release blocked energy, and promote an overall sense of vitality and well-being. It’s a great pick-me-up after a long and exhausting day.
Shakti mats improve all-around health and well-being, making them great to use whenever, wherever! They provide benefits beyond pain relief and stress reduction, such as improved digestion, increased mental clarity, and enhanced mood.
Controlling Energy Flow
Meridians are said to be the pathways through which the body's life force, or Qi/Prana/Energy, travels. A blockage or imbalance in this energy can cause discomfort on the physical and emotional levels. Acupressure works to promote overall health and vitality by restoring the balance and free flow of energy.
Shakti mats can promote these physiological reactions by gently applying pressure to the right acupressure sites, which can relieve pain, promote relaxation, and enhance well-being. It's vital to keep in mind that each person's experiences will be unique, and the effectiveness of acupressure techniques will rely on a number of variables, including the particular ailment being treated and the patient's reaction to the therapy.
Note: If you have any underlying health ailments or worries, never use Shakti mats or practice acupressure without first consulting a medical professional.
How to Use a Shakti Mat
Proper placement and progressively building up your tolerance to the acupressure points are important things to consider when you’re starting out using a Shakti mat. To make the most of your therapeutic acupressure experience, you can follow our handy step-by-step guide:
- Locate a Comfortable and Quiet Space: Opt for a peaceful and quiet setting where you can unwind by lying down.
- Lay the Mat Flat: Place the mat flat on a surface like a bed, a yoga mat, or a carpeted floor. Make sure the spikes are pointing up.
- Take Off Extra Clothes: To ensure optimal contact with the spikes, take off any extra or bulky clothes that can interfere with the acupressure action. Wearing light, comfortable clothing is an option, as is applying the mat directly to your skin without wearing any clothes.
- Lie Down Gradually: Begin by taking a seat at the edge of the mat. Allowing your body to get used to the spikes, slowly recline back into the mat. Maintain careful, steady movement.
- Spread Your Weight Out: Once you're lying down, spread your weight out evenly on the mat to make sure the spikes are in contact with the acupressure points on your back.
- Find Your Comfort Zone: At first, the spikes could feel intense or just a little unsettling. Spend a few seconds unwinding and breathing deeply. You'll eventually settle into a comfortable position. You have the option of lying flat, dozing on your side, or supporting yourself with cushions.
- Begin with Short Sessions: Start with shorter sessions if you've never used a Shakti mat before to give your body time to adjust. Start with 10-15 minutes, then as you feel more at ease, progressively extend the time. You can gradually go to longer sessions of at least 30 minutes.
- Concentrate on Deep Breathing and Relaxation: Practice deep breathing while lying on the mat to encourage relaxation. Put your attention on taking calm, deep breaths and exhalations to relax your body and mind.
- Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how the acupressure points affect your body. Some tingling or discomfort is acceptable, but if it becomes excruciatingly painful or unbearable, change your posture or shorten your session. Consider your body's signals because everyone has a different threshold for pain.
- Gradually Increase Frequency: Aim for frequent use to reap the full rewards of a Shakti mat. Depending on your comfort level and personal preferences, start with a few sessions each week and progressively increase the frequency.
Advice for Beginners
Here are some tips if you’re new to using a Shakti mat:
- Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase their length as your body gets used to them.
- To add extra padding under delicate areas, such as the head or neck, use a folded towel or blanket.
- Experiment with various positions and angles to determine your body's most comfortable position.
- To improve the entire experience, incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or moderate stretching while on the mat.
- To aid your body's natural healing processes, drink plenty of water both before and after using the mat.
Keep in mind that every person's experiences are unique, and it's important to respect your body's boundaries and comfort zone. Before using a Shakti mat, speak with a medical expert if you have any current medical ailments or concerns like a skin condition.
Shakti mats are a modern spin on the ancient Indian “bed of nails” concept that provides acupressure benefits to the body. These unique mats can enhance physical and mental well-being. We encourage you to explore the benefits of incorporating a Shakti mat into you daily routine as a natural and drug-free approach to pain relief, relaxation, and overall wellness.
You can select from our collection of shakti mats and pick one that like to get started on reading the rewards of having one of these therapeutic mats.
About the Author
Paul Lenda is an author, writer, speaker, conscious evolution guide, decentralized & regenerative systems advisor, and ambassador for a new conscious paradigm. Paul's work has a strong focus on conscious evolution, reclaiming sovereignty, and the transformation into a supramentalized society. Learn more about Paul's work at Evolving Mandala.