Feeling tense? do you need to relax? stressed out? Does the phrase ‘human time bomb‘ describe you? Or perhaps you find it hard to get to sleep…or you sleep so lightly that any noise wakes you? Or maybe you experience chronic pain? I will stop here because regardless of what you are dealing with health wise – we found something that can help.  Drum roll please … Introducing…the Shakti Acupressure Mat aka portable bed of nails! Yep you heard me right – a portable bed of nails. I know, I had the same reaction at first…and then I tried it. This is my story:

I was at a trade fair promoting our professional association. Our stand was adjacent to a guy selling mats covered with spikey discs. When I inquired he introduced me to the Shakti Acupressure Mat a ‘bed of nails‘. I thought, this guy is crazy… why would anyone want a bed of nails??? Though to a recovering Catholic it does have a weird kind of appeal… joking….Intrigued I watched his stand, convinced he’d curl up on his own bed of nails due to no customers. Boy was I wrong!

Person after person tried the Shakti Acupressure Mat, and mat after mat was sold. I was so fascinated I started asking his customers what they were experiencing whilst they were using the mat (he had a massage table set up with a mat for people to lie on and he had mats for people to stand on). Everyone said the same thing “I feel amazing…sooo relaxed”. At first I thought he was paying people to use and then ‘buy’ one I was so skeptical. So I kept chatting with his customers all day and all day he kept inviting me to try the bed of nails. Each time I declined politely thinking “you’d have to be crazy”.

Curiosity finally got the better of me after about the 20th person reported this great experience…And as is my way, I waited until the very last minute before the show closed for the day to try the mat. I t was was ‘now or never’ because I was not rostered onto our stall the next day. Anyway I chose to stand on the mat as my feet are very sensitive. The sensation was amazing. It was uncomfortable or perhaps just strange at first though I quickly got used to it. Then a warmth rose up my feet and, as the circulation increased, my feet/I felt great. I was very pleased about that response because I have (had?)  bad circulation for as long a sI can remember so my feet are (were?) chronically cold. But the best bit was after I got off the mat. My feet felt warm and tingly and I felt calmer; which was how I stayed for the rest of the day. I talked about it so much that night my partner wanted to have a look. We went back the next day and bought one. I am so glad we did.

The Shakti mat targets acupressure points and nerve endings along the spine. Using the Shakti mat causes the body to release endorphins and oxytocin – those nice ‘happy feeling’ hormones. At first using a Shakti Acupressure mat can be daunting. Your mind knows you are about to lay down on a surface with 6000 pointy bits and it screams – Nooooooo. Then after a few goes it becomes a must. “From a physical viewpoint the acupressure points stimulate the release of endorphins (a family of  neuropeptides concentrated in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus involved with pain relief, the body’s response to stress and determining mood. Membrane receptors for endorphins are found in large quantities in pain pathways of the nervous system.) and a range of other hormones associated with calming and relaxation. Ise of the mat also increases blood and lymph circulation which has a detoxifying, stimulating and healing effect. The release of endorphins triggers a self-healing mechanism in the body and blocks pain. The result is a sense of deep relaxation and well-being, even high levels of happiness.”

According to the guy at the exhibition they had reports of kids as young as 5yr old frequently falling asleep on it! According to the company children tend to like it a lot – they calm down and relax when they use it. It is very efficient for worried and over-active children. It’s good to use at bedtime, as they fall asleep comfortably. I can verify that our kids (11ys, 10yrs and 7 yrs) like it and use it. In fact I was said to them last week we need to get some more because there is always competition/a line up to use it. 350,000 people in Sweden alone use one – which tells you something. And it is used by kids through to those of more advanced years. There are no age restrictions. The only caution is the company advises against pregnant women using it – they are just being overly cautious.

The mat can be used to assist with a range of conditions and of course pain relief. Testimonial after testimonial attest to the Shakti mat for alleviating lower back pain and sciatica. The mat is a portable acupressure/reflexologist and masseuse all in one. What’s more you can travel with it – which is a bit hard to do with your masseuse! That’s why I started out the post with the claim “we can help” – I believe this mat can help with most issues. It is not magic bullet but it can help you relax more which helps EVERYTHING. Moreover it releases all those feel good hormones which helps with people suffering depression and anxiety…and it facilitates circulation!

As a practitioner I am wary of selling many ‘gadgets’ through clinic. There is always something new to try and who hasn’t got at least one ‘great idea’ stuffed in their closet or under their bed? I’ve got a couple. I am really only interested in the products/interventions that I think make a fundamental difference to health. Anyone can palliate a problem. Our society is built around the idea pf palliation eg ‘soldier on’. But as a practitioner I am more interested in getting to the center of a problem rather than tinkering around the edges. The complicating factor is that in my experience there are often bits and pieces that contribute to the core problem and so mask it or distort. Therefore I believe in clearing up the extraneous or contributing aspects so that what’s left is the core to be treated. And by using homeopathy with a range of modalities that is possible. I know this approach takes more time but it also gets real results.

How does that relate to Shakti Acupressure Mat? Well use of the mat will help remove the contributing bits to a given problem. If sleeplessness is contributing to your health problem then use of the Shakti Acupressure Mat will help you sleep better so you are free of that contributing factor – which in turn.  Same if accumulated tension is contributing to back pain – for example – regular use of the mat will help release those muscles so that contributing factor is removed and then you have a clearer picture of what problem, if any, you need to respond to.

So there you have it. Try the product and see what you think. You may need to persevere with the product till you break through any blocks you have. If it is not for you then just pass it on.