Life these days is lived at a frenetic pace, with little time to take a breath, let alone to stop, relax, and reset. So, it means that our brains are always in a constant state of activity which can be detrimental to health and wellbeing. Not only can that lead to mental health issues like stress, depression, and disrupted sleep but when you’re always on the go, the things that are good for us, like exercise and eating healthily often get de-prioritised. And we forget to pay attention to our posture or to take a break to stretch our legs too. All in all, today’s lifestyle makes for an unhealthy body and mind. Physically, that’s demonstrated by an increase in muscle tension, digestive issues, constipation, poor circulation, high blood pressure and a whole host of other unpleasant health issues.
So, what’s the antidote? Well, the importance of self-care cannot be overstated. Slower living, being more mindful, giving yourself ‘me-time’ and prioritising activities that enhance your health and wellbeing are, of course, vital. But what about the ancient art of acupressure? Has that ever occurred to you as a way to rebalance and re-energise yourself?
What is Acupressure?
Traditional Chinese acupressure and the similar Japanese ‘Shiatsu’ have been practised for thousands of years in the far east. Both use manual finger or thumb pressure to stimulate specific points on the body. They’re like acupuncture and are often called ‘acupuncture without needles’.
The aim of applying this pressure on certain points is to clear energy or ‘chi’ blockages along meridian pathways. This has the effect of improving circulation and energy levels, releasing muscular and cranial tension and soothing the body as well as promoting relaxation and self-healing.
Whilst there’s still much research to be done in this area, it’s thought that when acupressure points get stimulated, endorphins and oxytocin are stimulated and there is some scientific basis that these hormones calm and relax the body, block pain, and are re-energising.
What Conditions Is Acupressure Used For?
Acupressure can be used for a multitude of 21st century issues including the relief of muscular tension, neck pain, back pain, relaxation, fatigue, poor sleep and even nausea.
Fortunately, nowadays you don’t have to travel as far as China to experience acupressure. It’s often included in spa body treatments, and you can also find an acupressure practitioner through various professional bodies in the UK.
Even better, you can now practise acupressure in the comfort of your own home!
Yogi Bare Acupressure Mat and Pillow
Acupressure is a convenient and easy way to apply some much-needed self-care. Once you start using your Yogi Bare Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set, available in black or grey, on a regular basis, you’ll find that you’re more relaxed, more energised, sleep better, and relieved of that frustrating daily muscular tension.
It really is a portable, modern version of the bed of nails, so you can easily take it into the office or even away with you on holiday. Most of the time though, you’ll probably just take some time out of your day to roll it out at home and enjoy the energising, rebalancing experience.
With 210 pressure points on our acupressure mat, the gentle, painless round plastic spikes create gentle stimulation, applying pressure to the body where acupuncture would normally apply a needle.
To get the maximum benefit from your mat and pillow, we’d recommend creating a regular relaxing ritual 20-40 minutes several times a week. To enhance your experience, you could play some soothing music, listen to a meditation app or use an aromatherapy oil. Skin contact is best when using the mat and pillow but if you’d rather not, wear a light t-shirt or towel until you get the right sensation for you.
You can do acupressure as a stand-alone activity but it's also wonderful to incorporate it into a yoga or meditation session. As you get into position, experiment with the position of your acupressure pillow so that it’s arranged under your neck crevice and feels comfortable. For extra support, try positioning your legs up against a wall. Did you know that you can also stand on your mat to activate reflexology points on your feet? And don’t talk yourself out of it. After all, there’s always time to stand on your mat, even when you’re doing the washing up!
Whenever you use your mat, be sure to rehydrate afterwards because acupressure kickstarts the detoxifying process so you’ll need to flush the toxins out. We hope you’ll love using your Yogi Mat Acupressure Mat and Pillow as much as we do!
If you liked this article, we think you’ll love ‘The History of Acupressure’.