Have you heard of the Ancient Bed of Nails? You know, the one where you lie on a block of wood with nails and it has a surprising number of health benefits, including back pain relief? This theory dates back to 400-200 BCE, as referred to in a Sanskrit poem from India. And it may come as no surprise but it is still used today - with modifications of course! Combining the benefits of both acupuncture and massage, it is used to promote self-healing in the body. Bed of Nails offers relaxation and healing for the built-up stress and tension that comes from everyday life. Read on to find out more of the ancient Bed of Nails Theory and why acupressure works, and how you can incorporate it into your life.
What is the Bed of Nails and How Does it Work?
The modern-day Bed of Nails is predominantly a mat with plastic nails attached to it, which you lie on. The Bed of Nails theory relies on the stimulation of the body’s nervous system through the nails, which also promotes blood circulation. The nails do not pierce the skin, even though it may seem like they will if you lie on the mat! This is because of the even distribution of body weight on all the nails, so that only a small amount of pressure is applied to each area of the body in contact with the nails.
So, Why Does Acupressure Work?
As well as restoring energy balance to the body through the application of pressure to the acupoints on the body’s meridians (the paths in the body where the energy flows), it is believed that acupressure releases endorphins and oxytocin in the body. These chemicals act as the body’s natural pain relief. They also help to relax the mind and are sometimes referred to as the ‘happy hormones’, allowing stress relief and promoting positive mental and physical well-being.
Stress can eventually have a negative impact on your mental and physical health, and can often be reflected in the accumulation of muscle aches and muscle tension. You might not always think it at first, but it is often found that relaxing the mind helps to relax the body too naturally. Acupressure also allows the release of this muscle tension, through the stimulation of blood flow throughout the body, combined with the release of endorphins.
Acupressure at Home: Our Acupressure Mats
Some of you may wish to try implementing acupressure into your relaxation routine, but are not quite sure whether you are quite ready for the Bed of Nails. In that case you can practice acupressure on yourself, by simply massaging the acupressure points or trying an Acupressure Mat or pad.
An Acupressure Mat is a modern take on a ‘bed of nails’ also known as ‘needle stimulation pad (NSP)’. This much-loved mat, especially by all of us here at Yogi Bare, is a rollable foam mat covered in a layer of soft cotton and hundreds of plastic nubs or ‘needles’. But don’t be put off by the name, the spikes have rounded tips so can’t hurt you! One of the beautiful things about Acupressure Mats that makes them so versatile is they can not only be used underneath your back, but they can be used to stand on, and can even come in the form of an ‘Acupressure Pillow’.
How to Use An Acupressure Mat
Using the Bed of Nails Theory with your Acupressure Mat for even just once a week can improve the quality of your sleep and improve both your physical and mental health. We suggest gently laying yourself down on the mat for around 20-40 minutes. Relax your body - feel the thousands of pressure points relieving pain, tension, and knots in your back. This unbeatable feeling can become part of your self-care daily routine.