If you roll around in bed with your eyes open and thoughts racing, you are definitely not alone. Stress, lack of movement, and the increased use of smartphones before going to bed, are repeat offenders in terms of disrupting your sleep. When you sleep poorly, the body doesn't regenerate properly, and in turn, you become much more susceptible to stress - an ominous cycle begins!
One easy and effective way to combat disruptive sleep and stress is with The Shakti Acupressure Mat.
An acupressure mat is essentially a modern day 'bed of nails' - a concept used by ancient gurus and yogis as an aid for healing and meditation. Fast forward to today - and the acupressure mat was developed to make the health benefits of a nail bed more practical and accessible (and slightly less daunting than lying on actual nails!)
Acupressure mats are covered in 6,000 sharp plastic spikes. When the spikes are applied to the body (through lying or standing), they exert pressure on the skin and muscles. This process is called 'acupressure' and is much like acupuncture - but without the needles. When you lie on a mat, the spikes essentially mimic the thumbs of an acupressure practitioner... Thousands of thumbs at a time!
Although it seems counter-intuitive, these spikey mats can be used as a wonderful aid to prepare the body for deep and restful sleep. Much like a deep tissue massage, the pressure application encourages stored tension to release from the muscles. This on its own is incredibly relaxing for the body (imagine a massage every night before bed!). On top of this, Shakti Mats do a wonderful job of encouraging blood flow and healthy circulation in the area being targeted. The process leaves your body feeling tingly, warm, and almost blissful as ‘feel good' hormones start to take over.
Much like anything good for you... Lying on a Shakti Mat does come with a bit of challenge! The first few minutes are uncomfortable, and your body will want to resist. But just like going for a run, or taking a cold plunge... the whole process is incredibly rewarding. The initial experience of pain itself actually causes the body to release endorphins. And when you feel good... You sleep better (and relieve stress).
While the concept of acupressure is reasonably new to the Western World, Eastern medicine has successfully approached sleep and stress issues from this more holistic point of view for thousands of years. All it takes is an open mind to experience the incredible benefits of acupressure!
Here's 6 steps to create the perfect pre-bed Shakti Mat session…
- Prepare your room for relaxation - dim the lights, remove technology, grab a book, and spritz a few sprays of your Salt Lab magnesium oil
- Place your Shakti Mat on your bed (under the duvet) with the top of the mat resting on your pillow
- In the nude (yes, nude!) sit on the bed with your bottom just below the end of the mat
- Slowly lower yourself onto the mat using your arms for support. Your head should be resting on the pillow and the spikes should end just below your skull (you can always fold the top of the mat if the spikes come up too high)
- Take a few deep belly breaths, and sink your body into the mat. Try reading a book to distract yourself from any initial discomfort
- Soak it in - after 10 minutes tension will ease and the whole experience will become extremely relaxing. At this point simply continue reading your book or enjoy the moment. Once you hit 20 minutes don't be surprised if you start nodding off to sleep!
For more information on Shakti Mats check out @shaktimats / www.shaktimats.com.au