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WHAT IS THE BEST ACUPRESSURE MAT FOR BACK PAIN?

An acupressure mat for back pain is an excellent alternative to acupressure massage. Back pain is one of the most common issues faced by Americans with as much as 80% of the population complaining about back issues at some point in their life. It’s safe to say; you are not alone in your quest for an effective solution. You have probably already spent hundreds of dollars in the search for a side-effect free, cost-effective solution but to no avail. 

Sadly, traditional methods for solving back pain usually involve swallowing endless amounts of over-the-counter pain medication (which you know is bad for you). Then there is the ice pack or heat pack remedy which is supposed to ‘soothe muscles’. And how about the dozens of back exercise workouts you have downloaded in an attempt to relieve the pain?

Those methods may provide some relief, but there can be side-effects. 

People who are serious about getting rid of their back pain think out of the box. One of the less known methods is called acupressure. Acupressure has been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine and stems from the same principle as acupuncture (minus the needles). Acupressure massage is done by a practitioner using their fingers, palms, elbows and feet.

 However, if you are like me who hates being touched (i.e. massaged), or don’t have access to a professional practitioner, an acupressure mat is the answer.

What is an acupressure mat, and how is it used? Read on to learn more. 

WHAT IS AN ACUPRESSURE MAT?

An acupressure mat for back pain has hundreds of plastic points that target several pressure points in the back.  These points stimulate acupoints non-invasively using pressure, unlike acupuncture, that uses needles. Acupressure mats take acupressure to the next level and can be used in the comfort of your home. Some of the benefits of an acupressure mat include:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved sleep
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Increased energy levels
  • Better mental health
  • Improved digestion
  • Brighter complexion
  • Relief from migraines and headaches

But wait- can lying on a mat get rid of your back pain? How does acupressure work? 

To understand the science behind acupressure, you first need to understand Qi. In traditional Chinese Medicine, qi is the energy that flows throughout your body. When this flow is interrupted like from trauma, acupressure releases qi to restore the body’s balance. Qi flows through channels or meridians that are linked to major organs like the liver, heart and kidneys. You can think of Qi as blood circulation that can be disrupted by pain, inflammation and other issues. This is where acupressure comes in. 

Acupressure works by placing pressure on specific points on the body to release qi and ‘unblock’ these areas. Since there are more than 650 pressure points in your body, a pressure mat uses small spikes to stimulate pressure points on your back. With repeated use, you can get rid of back and neck pain for good. 

HOW DO YOU USE AN ACUPRESSURE MAT?

acupressure mat

Acupressure mats may need a little getting used to because the spikes are sharp and can be uncomfortable for beginners. But once you get over the initial discomfort, your body will start to warm up and feel good. For the best results, use the mat daily starting at 10 minutes and working your way up to 20 minutes.  Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get the best of your first acupressure mat session.

  1. Place the mat on a soft surface 

If it is your first session, we recommend spreading the mat on a bed or sofa for increased comfort. Once you get used to the spikes, you can move to a firm surface like the floor.

  1. Start by sitting on the mat

Placing the mat against a chair and slowly leaning your back against it is an excellent way to start. This technique gives you control over how much pressure you can take and when it is too much, you can quickly move away. Once you get used the sensation, you can try contact with your bare skin.

  1. Slowly lie down

When you feel like you are ready to lie down on your mat, do it very slowly. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed on the mat to avoid injury. If you need to reposition yourself, do it very carefully because any sudden movements can result in piercing or scratching.

  1. Take your time

Like with any other alternative treatment, acupressure mats for back pain take time to work. Consistency is the key to success so set a schedule and stick with it.

Despite the many benefits of acupressure mats, there are some instances wherein they may not be a good idea. These include:

  • Adults with thin skin, diabetes or poor circulation

When misused, the spikes on the mat can pierce the skin, causing wounds. If you have diabetes or are prone to skin damage, it is not recommended to use acupressure mats.

  • Babies and young children

Acupressure mats are only for adult use and should be kept away from babies and young children.

  • Adults with high or low blood pressure

Talk to your doctor first if you have high or low blood pressure before using acupressure mats for back pain.

  • Pregnant women

Most manufacturers do not recommend using acupressure mats during pregnancy. Also, never use acupressure mats to induce labor without medical supervision.

WHERE DO I LOOK FOR ACUPRESSURE MATS?

Acupressure mats for back pain usually come with an acupressure pillow. You can buy these mats at any store that sells yoga mats and other health equipment. 

However, most reliable brands showcase their versions of acupressure mats online. All-around stores like Amazon are the best place to find affordable options.

ARE ACUPRESSURE MATS GOOD FOR BACK PAIN?

Definitely, yes! And what’s more, there is scientific research to prove it. One study conducted in Germany examined the benefits of acupressure mats for back pain among 40 patients suffering from chronic neck and lower back pain. After 14 days, patients experienced pain relief in both areas. The study concluded that using an acupressure mat can affect how the body processes pain and reduced pain ratings in patients with chronic neck or back pain.

 10 BEST ACUPRESSURE MATS FOR BACK PAIN

1. Anja Acupressure Mat for Massage

Made from organic materials, the Anja Acupressure mat is ideal if you are after an eco-friendly solution that also looks good. The mat has over 5,000 ergonomically designed spikes that are made from medical-grade HIPS plastic. The Anja mat is filled with coconut fiber and also comes with a carry bag for easy transport. Another impressive feature is the neat spike design that resembles the lotus plant, which is believed to promote relaxation. 

PROS

  • Eco-friendly material
  • Attractive design
  • Ergonomic spikes
  • Comes with a carry bag

 

CONS

  • Small compared to other mats
  • Depending on your weight and usage, the pillow may flatten over time

 

Is it Worth Your Money?

The Anja Acupressure Mat is an excellent start for beginners because of its ergonomic spike design. However, if you are an experienced acupressure mat user, you may want something more intense. Considering the wide variety of colors you get to choose from, the price of the mat is a bargain and can be a great addition to your fitness equipment. 

2. TimeBeeWell Eco-Friendly Back and Neck Pain Relief-Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set

If you are looking for an acupressure mat that comes with instructions, check out the TimeBeeWell Eco-friendly mat. The mat comes with a free e-book so newbies can learn how to use the mat properly. It also has a very comfortable cover made from 100% cotton and a half-moon shaped pillow that is perfect for the neck. 

PROS

  • Eco-friendly
  • Three-year warranty
  • Comes with storage back
  • Includes a pillow

CONS

  • The spikes are quite sharp and may leave impressions if you use it shirtless. For beginners, I would recommend always using it with clothes.
  • The mat comes in limited color options.

Is it Worth Your Money?

The TimeBeeWell mat costs more than other mats but is also larger and offers more support. The company also offers a three-year warranty which is impressive for a mat. 

 If you are worried about getting a mat that is too small, the TimeBeeWell mat will solve your problem. It’s large enough to cover your entire body from head to foot, so no muscle is let out. Its moon shaped pillow is designed for all those hard-to-reach neck muscles

3. Dr Relief Acupressure Mat 28′ x 17′-Shaitsu Intervention Mat & Pillow Gift Set

Experienced acupressure mat users will love the Dr Relief Acupressure mat. The mat uses hard plastic spikes that are more aggressive than other mats but also offer more relief. With its 28’ x 17’ size, your entire neck and back are covered in painful ecstasy. The padding used is firm and cloth thicker, which means you will be enjoying your mat for years to come.

PROS

  • Classic black and white design
  • Sufficient size
  • Has a cotton/linen cover
  • Washable covers

CONS

  • The spikes may be too intense for new users

Is it Worth Your Money?

For a mat this large, the Dr Relief Acupressure Mat is an affordable option. What we love about this mat is its classic black and white design which men will love. If you can stand or even ‘enjoy’ a little pain, then this mat is perfect for you. 

4. Colin Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set for Back/Neck Pain Relief and Muscle Relaxation (Purple)

For a budget-friendly gift, the Colin Acupressure mat and pillow is something you should check out. It comes in an easy to wrap, cylinder bag perfect for any occasion. The mat is a little more advanced than typical mats with more than 6,000 acupressure points so you can expect results even after a few minutes of use. That friend or family member of yours who has a desk job or stands the whole day will thank you for introducing the power of acupressure to them.

PROS

  • Comes in a neat gift-ready package
  • Offers full back and neck support
  • Made of 100% thick cotton

CONS

  • Only comes in purple

Is it Worth Your Money?

If you are looking for a gift to give a health-conscious friend or family member, the Colin Acupressure Mat is worth it. The mat may feel painful in the beginning, but once they get the hang of it, they’ll be going back for more. With its unique packaging, you won’t need to do much wrapping, which saves you more time and money.

5. Artree Eco Professional Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set from Organic Linen

Out of all the mats we reviewed, the Artree Eco Acupressure mat is probably the most unique. The pillow is filled with organic dry lavender and buckwheat hulls which adds to your relaxation. In terms of quality, the spikes are made from medical grade HIPS plastic while the padding is from coconut fiber. This unique combination makes the mat moisture resistant and hypoallergenic.

PROS

  • Comes with a travel backpack
  • Three-year warranty
  • Uses hypoallergenic material for sensitive skin
  • Mint and buckwheat hull filling in the pillow

CONS

  • The foam in the mat is rather thin compared to other mats

Is it Worth Your Money?

For those with sensitive skin, the Artree Eco Acupressure Mat is one you should try. It comes with all the regular features of a good acupressure mat but uses hypoallergenic material. Another thing we love about this mat is it comes with a handy backpack ideal for travel. 

6. ZenGuru New Natural Acupressure Mat & Pillow Set

The ZenGuru New Natural Acupressure Mat is one of the few mats that uses deep penetrating magnet therapy. Strong magnets are placed in between the lotus spikes to target the neck spine and lumbar regions. This added feature helps ease the pain from the spikes and ensures relaxation. All the materials used are eco-friendly and durable so you can use the mat for a long time.

PROS

  • Cotton material for extra comfort 
  • Uses magnetic therapy for pain relief
  • Comes with a reflexology chart 

CONS

  • The spikes may be a problem for sensitive skin
  • The mat may be too small for some

Is it Worth Your Money?

Considering all you get from this mat-the reflexology chart plus magnetic therapy, the ZenGuru Acupressure Mat is a worthwhile purchase. If you are the type of person who needs to understand how things work, the chart will give you all the information you need. However, we wouldn’t recommend this mat for new users as the spikes may be too intense.

7. Jade Egg Shop Sacred Weapon Organic Acupressure Mat-Yoga Meditation Mat

The Sacred Weapon Organic Acupressure Mat is the latest addition to Jade Egg Shop wellness products. It is another 100% eco-friendly mat with natural coconut fiber filling and a natural linen cover that is soft on the skin. The spikes are designed to give a spa-like-experience by triggering endorphin creation. 

PROS

  • Easy to clean 
  • Made from high-quality eco-friendly material
  • Detailed design

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a pillow

Is it Worth Your Money?

Although the Sacred Weapon Organic Acupressure Mat is a little on the expensive side, it works for a wide range of ailments. If you want a product that will stand the test of time and don’t mind spending a little more on it, then we highly recommend this mat.

8. LYAPKO Acupuncture Mat Big Pad 

With only two thousand plus needles, the LYAPKO mat is a great way to start if you are new to acupressure. The mat offers a wide area of stimulation measuring 10.8 x 19 inches for higher intensity and impact, especially for more extensive parts of the body. Another unique feature of the LYAPKO mat is that its spikes do not hurt or damage the skin.

PROS

  • Pain-free massage
  • Ideal for massaging large body parts
  • Made from soft rubber

CONS

  • Not eco-friendly

Is it Worth Your Money?

If you have a low pain threshold and want something that still massages painlessly, the LYAPKO mat is the right choice. Considering the size of the mat and overall quality, we would say you will get your money’s worth. The mat is especially an excellent buy if you want to focus on other areas of your body like your legs or thighs, which may not be reachable with smaller mats.

9. Elite Trend Back massager Mat Pillow Set

What impressed us most about this mat is its bright color. You can get the mat in purple, blue or orange, and each mat comes with a neat bag for storage or travel. The eco-friendly nature of the mat makes it ideal for first-time users. The mat is also lightweight and can easily be rolled up and stored in the bag.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Eco-friendly and dye-free
  • Comes with a neck pillow
  • Comes with linen carrying back
  • Money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Small in size

Is it Worth Your Money?

If you are after a compact mat that is easy to roll and carry around, we believe you can get the best value for your money with this mat. The mat has less than 5,000 spikes, so even new users can quickly get used to the initial discomfort. 

10. Spoonk-Back Pain and Sleep aid Relief in Cotton Regular Size Acupressure Mat

Spoonk’s acupressure mat features 6,200 spikes and can double as a neck pillow. Each purchase also comes with a massage ball which you can use on targeted aches and pains. The mat easily rolls up so you can use it on different parts of your body, including the neck. For secure storage, it includes Velcro panels and fabric hanging loops.

PROS

  • Comes in an easy-to-carry bag
  • Includes a massage ball
  • Versatile design 
  • Includes fabric hanging loops for secure storage
  • Manufactured by a well-known brand 

CONS

  • Rolling up the mat may be tricky
  • The mat is a few inches smaller than some alternatives

Is it Worth Your Money?

The Spoonk Acupressure mat is a good buy if you are always on the go and want a compact mat. Despite its small size, the mat manages to hit all the right buttons, providing relief wherever you need it. We especially love the versatile nature of the mat, which can double as a pillow.

Conclusion 

Purchasing an acupressure mat is one of the best decisions you can make. With the right mat, you can relieve backaches and pains, get better sleep and improve your overall health. Acupressure mats have been proven and tested by millions, so not give them a try?  I was pleasantly surprised, and I know you will be too.

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acupressure mat for back pain