I don't know if it's due to work, college, or just general life stress, but over the last few weeks I've had terrible neck pain and tension headaches. I've been doing my yoga and meditation everyday which helps to stretch out the body, ease general aches and pains, and makes it much easier to sleep. But nothing seemed to be able to shift my head and neck-ache. Then, I remembered watching a Joyous Health video months ago where Joy talked about her use of a acupressure mat to help with discomfort in her back. So, I had a wee look online, compared different brands and types, and then impulsively bought the aptly named 'Bed of Nails'.
Basically, it's a torso length mat (and additional curved pillow) covered in over 8000 tiny little spikes which are meant to activate acupressure points along the skin to release tension, increase blood flow, and activate 'happiness' hormones to reduce stress and relive pain. It can also help with cellulite, weight loss, constipation, blood pressure, headaches, insomnia and skin complexion.
The instructions recommend laying on the mat 10-20 minutes a day, with or without clothing, depending on the desired strength. I've tried both. When you first touch the mat, by hand, it does feel intimidatingly sharp and spiky, but once you spread your weight out over it, it feels surprisingly comfortable. With the spikes directly against your skin it can feel a little uncomfortable at first, but much like a body brush, the discomfort soon turns into quite a pleasurable sensation. If you're looking for a less intense feeling, especially for the first go, then covering it with a think blanket or wearing a t-shirt helps to reduce the spikiness against the skin. Even against bare skin, after 30 seconds to a minute the pain completely disappears and you're left feeling tingly and relaxed. You do get left with tiny indents all over your skin for a few minutes afterward though, haha.
The short term effects are a feeling of rejuvenation, relaxation, tingling and energy. In the long term (bare in mind I've only been using it for a week), the tension and aches in my head and neck have eased significantly. It's not like, once you get up off the mat, you're healed, it more that throughout the day, your muscles stay more relaxed and you feel more energetic. I'd like to see what effects it has over a longer period of time, so I'm definitely going to keep using it. The more you use it, the more you enjoy it. I actually look forward to it now, as bizarre as that may seem.
Have an awesome week.