Fitness, Mental Health

How to Relieve Pain and Stress Naturally With Acupressure Mat

Woman peacefully resting on pink mat with eyes closed

Acupressure mats, rooted in ancient Chinese medicine, offer a holistic remedy for modern ailments like muscle pain and stress. By targeting specific points on the body, these mats aim to unblock energy pathways, promoting relief and relaxation. Benefits include alleviating neck and back pain, improving sleep quality, and boosting energy levels.

A strenuous workout but also a job where you sit a lot, such as office work or as a driver, can be a major strain on your muscles. You notice this throughout your body, but often it is mainly your back and neck that cause the most problems. While you’ve probably heard of acupressure before and perhaps have even tried different mats like yoga mats or posture mats, have you ever used the two methods combined? If not, you’re in for a real treat! Common acupressure mat benefits include relief from muscle pain, headaches, and stress, as well as deeper sleep, increased energy, and better circulation.

Acupressure mats are readily available, and so many people have opted to try this fantastic method already to help target pressure points. Acupressure mats are powerful tools, and you can enjoy all they have to offer both at home and on the go.   

What is acupressure?

The use of acupressure is ancient. It was probably first used by the Chinese, five thousand years ago. Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique often used in conjunction with acupuncture or reflexology. It is based on the concept of life energy, which flows through “meridians” in the body. In treatment, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points, or ashi trigger points, with the aim of clearing blockages in these meridians. Pressure may be applied by hand, by elbow, or with various devices 

Acupuncture needles being inserted into a person's body to alleviate pain.

How Does Acupressure Work?

Acupressure is thought to treat blocked energy, although it remains uncertain exactly what acupressure does. Some think the pressure may cause the release of endorphins. These are natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body.

Others think the pressure may influence the autonomic nervous system. This is the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary things like your heart, digestion, and breathing.

According to the principles of TCM, invisible pathways of energy called meridians flow within the body. At least 14 meridians are thought to connect the organs with other parts of the body.If qi is blocked at any point on a meridian, it’s thought to cause health problems along that pathway.A practitioner applies pressure to specific acupressure points to restore healthy energy flow. The points they choose depend on your symptoms. Given how meridians run, pressure points used may be distant from the site of the symptom. For example, an acupressure point on the foot may be used to relieve a headache.

What Is an Acupressure Mat? 

Acupressure mats are widely accessible and provide the same acupressure therapy benefits at home as when you use the acupressure massage services of a specialist. But what is an acupressure mat, exactly? 

 These special mats are made from cotton or similar materials, and normally feature small plastic spikes that stimulate targeted areas of the body, including acupressure points. They also stimulate your skin for additional relaxation and health benefits.

 Since your weight is evenly distributed on the mat, there’s no way for the needles to actually puncture the skin, so you don’t have to worry about any pain or injury from this holistic method of healing and energy promotion.

A woman peacefully meditating on a yoga mat with her eyes closed, finding inner calm and tranquility.

However, if you are among the following groups of people or have any of these conditions, using an acupressure massage mat is not advised:

  • Pregnant 
  • Nursing 
  • Have a heart condition 
  • Using blood pressure medication 
  • Have a skin infection 
  • Have open wounds

Ways to Use of Acupressure Mat

  1. First, relax and lie down on the mat. Try to evenly position your back across the mat. Always feel free to shift or move your body as needed to find a comfortable position that best suits you. Have lower back pain? No problem! Simply bend your knees or use a pillow to prop up your knees to add elevation and pinpoint muscle tension in this problem area.
  2. Initially, the acupressure spikes may not seem super comfortable. However, simply relax, breathe, and give your body time to adjust.
  3. Once you begin to feel comfortable, lie on your mat for 20–40 minutes in order to obtain ultimate results, and get up feeling calm, rejuvenated, and relaxed. 

The point of this session is to relax. Set a timer in the kitchen or on your phone to track your time, and listen to meditation music if possible. 

 When performing acupressure on the body, it’s particularly important that your body is evenly distributed across the mat. The pinpoints are known to be unforgiving if not used correctly, so if one area of your body is taking on greater pressure, it could cause harm or bruising to the skin.

Benefits of an Acupressure Mat?

There are quite a few benefits of an acupressure mat. From helping to alleviate occasional pain to helping you find your zen, here are just some of the wonderful ways that an acupressure mat can help you daily:

  • Helps with temporary neck pain relief and back pain relief
  • Helps alleviate shoulder pain and occasional soreness in the shoulder blades
  • Relieves stiff and sore muscles caused by overexertion 
  • Provides feelings of stress and tension relief after a long day
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Relieves nausea caused by bodily tightness and tension
  • Supports healthy blood flow/blood circulation 
  • Supports healthy respiration
  • Increases feelings of energy

A woman lying on a acupressure mat with her head on the floor, practicing a yoga pose.

 Is there an acupressure mat benefit you’re looking forward to most? With so many different ways this tool provides aid and relief, it’s such a great addition to your daily routine. While acupressure is known to provide a plethora of benefits, it should not be substituted for a needed medication or therapy prescribed by a doctor or chiropractor. Make sure to always partner with a medical professional, so they can properly treat and diagnose any of the issues you might be experiencing.

Tips for using acupressure mats

Follow these best practices when starting to use acupressure mats:

  1. Cover up

Even though the spikes on acupressure mats aren’t meant to puncture your skin, they are still really sharp. To mitigate any pain when first starting out, wear long sleeve pants, shirts, and socks until your body gets used to the sensation.

  1. Be conscious of your time

Laying on an acupressure mat for too long can cause damage, irritation, and bruising on your skin. So how long should you lay on an acupressure mat? You shouldn’t use an acupressure mat for more than 30 minutes. As a beginner, start off slow and listen to your body before increasing your time.

  1. Incorporate breathwork

If acupressure mats are uncomfortable at first, breathwork can help you relax while amplifying the benefits of acupressure at the same time. Take slow, deep breaths and use this time as a meditation.

  1. Start with a soft surface

Placing the acupressure mat on a softer surface like a bed instead of a hard, flat floor can mitigate the intensity of the pressure which can be beneficial if you are more sensitive to the sensation of acupressure. Once you get used to the sensation, you can move the acupressure mat to the floor.

  1. Be consistent

Using your acupressure mat on a regular basis will help you get used to the sensation quicker and allow you to reap the most benefits out of your mat.


In conclusion, the acupressure mat offers a holistic approach to health and well-being, providing a simple yet effective way to alleviate pain, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. By exploring the various positions and techniques outlined, individuals can tailor their experience to target specific areas of tension and reap the numerous benefits these mats have to offer. Whether it’s relieving back pain, soothing tired muscles, or enhancing overall vitality, the versatility and accessibility of acupressure mats make them a valuable addition to any wellness routine. Incorporating regular use of an acupressure mat can lead to improved physical comfort, mental clarity, and a deeper sense of inner balance, empowering individuals to take control of their health and experience the transformative power of natural healing modalities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some people may feel sore or have bruises at acupressure points after a session. You may also feel lightheaded for a while. Pressure should be gentle over sensitive areas, such as the face. If you’re pregnant, talk to your care provider before trying acupressure.

Some people may feel sore or have bruises at acupressure points after a session. You may also feel lightheaded for a while. Pressure should be gentle over sensitive areas, such as the face. If you’re pregnant, talk to your care provider before trying acupressure.

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