Acupressure is a form of alternative medicine functioning in much the same way as acupuncture; however, acupressure foregoes the use of needles and instead places pressure upon the meridians used in acupuncture. Like acupuncture, this practice originated in Chinese medicine. Perhaps the most well-known incarnation of the practice stems from massage: many massage therapists enlist placing pressure on certain areas of the body to ease pain and release tension, in addition to soothing and massaging sore muscles.
Many men and women find acupressure an effective form of pain management. It is also extremely versatile, as it does not merely focus on back pain, but can be used for pain as widely varied as toothaches and tension aches. Acupressure is not merely used to treat pain, however, as many who ascribe to the belief in meridians use acupressure as a form of bodily maintenance, ensuring that the body’s energy flows unrestricted from day to day.
Acupressure mats enlist the help of hard discs or spikes, typically made of plastic, and designed to place pressure on meridians. Mats are useful for individuals unable to make regular acupressure appointments, whether that is due to financial or geographical difficulty. While mats are not intended to take the place of a certified practitioner, many individuals find mats extremely useful for occasional pain and regular meridian maintenance. Acupressure benefits include:
- Use in the comfort of one’s home
- Designs including soft foam bases and high-quality plastic discs to simulate acupressure practice
- Degrees of use; customers may use the mat every day for an hour, or as little as twice per week for ten minutes
Spoonk Acupressure Mat
The Spoonk acupressure mat is a cotton and foam product created with comfort and safe use in mind. Boasting an average use time of only 35 minutes for relief from pain, Spoonk suggests their items may be used for pain relief, as well as to alleviate sleep troubles. Because of these claims, Spoonk is regarded as a useful, versatile method of utilizing acupressure for back pain.
Spoonk users typically reported a high level of satisfaction with this mat, citing its materials and effectiveness both as reasons for purchasing the product. Though it may bear a price tag higher than some of its competitors, users swore by the product’s longevity, as the spikes generally do not wear down heavily over time, producing results as impressive six months down the road as the first day of use. Users were also pleased with the overall aesthetic of the brand, commenting happily upon the colors and accessories available to individuals who choose to invest in a Spoonk mat. Users cautioned people considering a purchase to use the mat for at least a week before making a decision regarding its usefulness; many found that a week was required to see strong, lasting results, and to grow accustomed to the unusual feeling of using an acupressure mat.
One of the greatest boons of Spoonk’s mat proved to also be one of its downfalls: the firmness and “spikiness” of the mat’s disks were unbearable to a small number of users, necessitating a return for a less intense acupressure experience. Another handful of customers were unable to see a lasting difference in back pain or sleeping patterns after a few weeks of use, and discontinued use after this time. Individuals with extremely sensitive skin or high pressure sensitivities appear to experience some difficulty with this mat, and may need a mat with smaller, less firm acupressure spikes.
Nayoya Acupressure Mat
The Nayoya acupressure mat is a highly rated product, set apart from similar products by its astounding number of points (6,210). Additionally, Nayoya’s product comes equipped with a full, built-in pillow, adding comfort to the pain-relieving purpose of this practice. Included in the purchase is a travel bag, making it an excellent product for individuals seeking portability.
Majority of users were pleased with their purchase, citing the mat as a significant source of pain relief. Most were quick to caution potential buyers to give the mat time, as the first several uses may be uncomfortable or even slightly painful. Many veteran users suggested working down from a heavy shirt and pair of pants to bare skin, giving the body time to adjust. For some, this meant a getting-used-to period of one week. Acupressure mat reviews noted, however, that after this time, the mat worked wonders for pain relief and relaxation, providing much-needed relief for individuals unable or unwilling to utilize conventional methods of pain reduction, such as exposure to sunlight, exercise, or pharmaceuticals. Users were also impressed with the quality of the product’s fabric and points, as both are able to withstand considerable wear and tear.
Some users were unable to withstand the discomfort long enough to grow accustomed to the feeling of acupressure, and felt this product was not reliably effective. Others experienced difficulty ordering the product from third-party sources, noting that there seemed to be a divide in communication between the third-party retailer and the company of origin.
Zensufu Acupressure Mattress
The most economical mat in the round up, Zensufu’s product is intended primarily for back and neck pain, and is not recommended for foot pain or other areas of the body. Like the mats mentioned above, the item comes with a small travel bag, and possesses an undetermined number (in the thousands) of pressure points, comprised of a hard, durable plastic. Manufacturer instructions suggest customers utilize the mat every day, for a minimum of 5-10 minutes for best results.
Users expressed extreme satisfaction with Zensufu’s magic, citing it as the main source of back pain relief and stress relief. Most users reported possessing some pre-existing conditions of the back and neck, and tried numerous pain relief methods before finding this practice. Many were also impressed by a drastic change in sleep patterns; after consistent use, most users found they were able to sleep more deeply, for longer periods of time, further improving stress and back pain. Long-time users swear by Zensufu’s contribution to acupressure mats.
A handful of users found the product too uncomfortable for continued use, and sent it back (without difficulty) after only one or two uses. Others discovered that the materials caused an itching sensation, and were unable to use the mat for an extended time period. Still others experienced no positive results after extended use, and found that an acupressure professional was needed to remedy the severity of their pain.
Which Mat Is Best For You?
Spoonk and Nayoya mats are extremely comparable, both in terms of price and quality, and may very well be considered interchangeable. These mats are best suited to men and women seeking a trusted brand of acupressure mat possessing sturdier construction. For individuals looking for a bargain, Zensufu’s mat will more than suffice; although the pressure points have been described as being of lesser quality than more expensive mats, user reviews can attest that many were unable to tell a difference when using the budget-friendly Zensufu.