ZEN TIP TUESDAY #9
This week for ZTT #9 I’m happy to welcome Kate Campion who is sharing with us the benefits of using an acupressure mat – the main one being improved and more restful sleep! Kate also gives us the heads up with her tips on using it and when not to use it! This is one thing I had never even thought of to help me sleep better, but it sure has grabbed my interest now! Enjoy the read, and of course you can learn more about Kate at her bio at the end of the post.
If you’re joining us for ZTT Link-Up #007, welcome!
REASONS TO USE AN ACUPRESSURE MAT
If you have trouble switching off at the end of the day, and can’t remember the last time you closed your eyes in bed and simply fell asleep, then this tip is for you!
For many years, I had issues with sleep.
My brain seemed to never stop working. It was constantly full of chatter – most often when it was time to rest my head on the pillow.
That chatter would run through all the things I had to do, all the things I hadn’t done…
At its best it kept me on my toes.
At its worst it would start to bring up all my mistakes, failings, and fears.
In desperation, I started taking sleeping pills. But although they would help me fall asleep quickly, I’d wake up at 2.00am hyper and wired. And over time I felt their efficacy wane and I went from half a pill to one pill to one and a half to two.
Sometimes even then they wouldn’t work.
And more often than not, I’d wake up irritable and tense after taking them.
When I met my now husband, my life changed in so many ways, and I stopped taking the pills.
But still, with the pressures of work, running a home, parenting, and everything else, there would be nights when I would lie there restless and stressed, feeling a world away from any kind of relief.
And when I started my blog on top of my job, which meant some crazy hours, it got even worse.
I knew something had to change.
EARLY DAYS OF USING AN ACUPRESSURE MAT
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, when I saw an ad for a Shakti mat, which they described as “a bed of nails.”
Intrigued, I clicked on it to read more.
It explained the Shakti was an acupressure mat, which I had never heard of. However I had had acupuncture a few years before and found it to be beneficial.
I decided to order the mat.
When the Shakti mat arrived, I was a little freaked out. It was a flattish, foam filled mat covered in tiny plastic spikes.
That night, I put it down on the bed, and then managed to manoeuvre myself so I was sitting with it right at my back.
I lay down slowly and instantly felt a combination of pain and warmth.
My back went bright red and felt almost like a burning.
I lay on the mat for about 15 minutes before I felt like I’d had enough.
I sat up and removed the mat and proceeded to have one of the best sleeps I’d had in years!
AFTER USING THE ACUPRESSURE MAT FOR A WHILE
Now every night I use my acupressure mat.
I follow the same process as that first time, though now I tend to lie for 20 minutes at a time. I no longer get the burning or warmth – just a feeling of intense relaxation.
I usually read when I’m on it, however I often find that lying on the mat stills me to the point where I just want to put my book down and concentrate on my breathing.
This is especially the case when I’ve had a stressful day.
I’ve also found the acupressure mat great for standing on when I have sore legs, or rolling up and putting under my neck when my muscles are stiff.
But overall, my most zen moments come from using the mat as part of my evening ritual.
BENEFITS OF USING AN ACUPRESSURE MAT
It clears my head, stills my mind, and enables me to have a restful night’s sleep.
If you’d like to try an acupressure mat, here are my tips.
- Wear a thin t-shirt to start with if you’re super sensitive to pain
- Begin by only lying only 5-15 minutes to begin with.
- Once you’re in position, stay in position! I find that if I move, especially after I have been lying on it for a while, that it’s too painful to continue.
WHEN NOT TO USE AN ACUPRESSURE MAT
It is also important to note that, according to the Shakti mat creators, an acupressure mat is not recommended in the following cases:
- coagulation problems (haemophilia) or using anti-coagulants
- substantial skin damage (severe eczema or psoriasis) in the areas of use
- fever or an acute illness
- heart diseases
But if you’re clear of those conditions, and you struggle with unwinding, then I recommend you give an acupressure mat a try.
I recommend the Shakti mat as it’s still going strong in its third year of use. You can also go to Amazon and search for an acupressure mat, but check the reviews because they’re not all created equal!
Katie is a wife to the world’s most supportive husband, and a mom to two adult children and two griffon furbabies. She blogs at My Sweet Home Life, where women find inspiration and motivation to organize their homes, nurture their relationships and develop themselves. She believes that with small steps daily in the right direction, anything is possible!
You can connect with Kate here:
ZTT LINK-UP #007