What it is?
The Spike Acupressure mat, also called as the Nail Mat, Shakti Mat or then, just a Spike Mat – refer to the same kind of mat.
These mats are NOT Yoga Mats but more of relaxation mats or mats to just “be upon” for a few minutes daily.
They are cotton mats with bunches of nylon or plastic spikes fixed on them. You are supposed to gently ease your weight on the mats while the spikes stimulate the nerve endings on your body. As they do so, they stimulate the skin and secretion of the hormone, oxytocin which is said to be a relaxing hormone.
Amazingly popular the world over (it is believed, one in every sixth person in Sweden has got one!) it is put to daily use to relieve, stress, pain, tension and insomnia.
How it works?
The spikes work on the principle of Acupressure. As you lie upon the mat, the spikes work by stimulating the production of the oxytocin hormone and by increasing the body's own natural endorphin (natural pain reliever) levels.
If used under the back, it increases blood circulation to the back muscles, and helps treat the underlying tension.
This mat can also be used to relieve neck and upper body tension from just 5 or ten minutes lying down with the mat rolled up under the neck – a small addition to any Pilates studio.
Besides the back, you can also use the mat for stimulating the feet, the neck, the bottom or even the face
How to use?
You can sit, stand or lie on the mat or press it onto an area of pain.
The best way to begin is to place the mat and then gently lie down on it – by sitting close to it and then gently rolling the back over the spikes. The back should be bare (preferably).
For the first few minutes, you would likely feel uncomfortable with the prickly feeling, but this sensation would gradually fade away and you will then feel a gradual deep relaxation overcome you.
The mat should extend from your bottom of your back upto your skull. You will be surprised how quickly you relax, some people even fall asleep.
If you are looking for a deeply relaxing, healing and rejuvenating effect or natural pain relief without using drugs, simply lie on your mat for 15 minutes to feel results.
If the pain you are experiencing becomes too much, you can always introduce a thin layer such as a bed sheet or linen between your back and the mat. Over time, as you get used to it, you can do away with this layer.
For the first week use it just 10 minutes... Over time extend session to upto 30 minutes.