In Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupressure is a method, where pressure points throughout your body are triggered to promote a more open flow of energy. This can be done by a practitioner, who would use their hands, or via an acupressure mat, which is a sort of thin mat or pillow covered in spikes. "Acupressure mats are designed to produce similar results as acupressure from a practitioner, and the plastic spike discs on the mat are used to promote relaxation and healing by clearing meridian blockages in the body," says Juhi Singh, integrative health specialist and founder of the Juhi-Ash Center in New York City.
- Juhi Singh, MA, LAc, founder and chief practitioner of The Juhi Ash Center in New York City
The idea is that you lie down with your back on the acupressure mat, and the little spikes press against your muscles and stimulate circulation. "Some find that five to ten minutes of use in the morning promotes a wake-up tingle to their day, and some may find that a half-hour use before bedtime promotes pre-sleep bliss," says Singh. Personally, I've found the most relief in my lower back, which has been extra-tight from hunching over a computer all day. I use the acupressure pillow (which often comes with the mat) in my desk chair as lumbar support, so it's working double duty as a posture helper and a tension melter.
When you're starting out with your own mat, Singh suggests starting slow. "Please do not just drop your bare derrière onto it and flop back," she says. Begin by lying down onto the mat while wearing light clothing before you let the spikes touch your bare skin. "Ease in with a soft roll, and, once positioned, do not wiggle—that can cause a sharp piercing of the skin," she says. The most important thing to do? Breathe. "Consciously relax your body and mind." Keep scrolling to shop for your own acupressure mat so that you can start reaping these dreamy benefits.
1. WTHN Acupressure Mat Set, $65
Created by wellness center WTHN, this acupressure mat set gives you a soft, gray mat and matching pillow that fits right behind your neck (or back) for muscle tension relief.
Shop now: WTHN Acupressure Mat Set, $65
2. Yogi Bare Acupressure Mat, $31
With 210 pressure points, this roll-up mat works to manipulate your body's pressure points, and it's all made with eco-friendly materials. The brand also makes a mat and pillow set if you're looking for the whole shebang.
Shop now: Yogi Bare Acupressure Mat, $31
Unwind on this 100 percent cotton set, which gives you a nice, chunky pillow for a more cozy neck tension-relief sesh.
Shop now: Ajna Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set, $50
To cover more surface area, snag this lengthy acupressure mat, which also comes with a pillow, carrying bag, and a hot/cold gel pack to enhance your sessions.
Shop now: DoSensePro Extra-Long Acupressure Mat and Pillow Massage Set, $35
This is a best-seller on Amazon and comes with a lifetime money-back guarantee, so you really can't lose if you want to try it out.
Shop now: Nayoya Acupressure Mat and Neck Pillow Set, $30
You might not care about the color scheme of your acupressure tools, but if you do, this brand has fun color combos. And it comes with the added bonus of two spiky massage balls so that you can truly hit every nook and cranny of your body.
Shop now: Lixada Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set, $26
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