A little while I remember seeing a segment on a telly programme about relaxation and spa-like treatments you can do at home. One of the things they tested was the Yantra Mat (or a version of it, I can’t remember the programme exactly), which looks particularly uncomfortable but claims to have massive benefits for your well being.
I was sent one to try, and over the last few weeks I have been using it.
The Yantra Mat
Acupressure is a form of touch therapy that utilises the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In acupressure, the same points on the body are used as in acupuncture, but are stimulated with finger pressure instead of with the insertion of needles. Acupressure is used to relieve a variety of symptoms and pain. The mat has 8,820 acupressure contact points which are calibrated to provide equal pressure to all points, meaning you can have the benefits of this technique at home.
The blurb states that this is for anyone who wants to have more energy and increase their wellbeing – ideal for people who suffer from stress, have difficulty sleeping, are low in energy, are experiencing muscle tension, stiffness, headaches, back or neck pain, or are just in need better and more complete rest. I said the claims were high!
The information suggested that I started using it for up to 10 minutes at a time (once a day), and ultimately would want to use it for 20 minutes a day to help unwind and relax.
I got the mat out of its carry case and unrolled it… wow – spikey! I spread it out on the floor and ran my fingers over it… wow – really spikey! I’m supposed to lay on that?! I wondered what on earth I had agreed to when I said I’d give this a go for Splodz Blogz! I mean, look at it – have you seen Final Destination 5? That scene with the bed of nails is ALL I could think about!
Tentatively I laid down on my back. I was wearing a tshirt as the information suggested I should, at least to start with, but I could feel the prickly roses press into my back. I had a pillow for my head (again, as suggested), which meant my back was flat on the floor. After a minute or so I realised, actually this is really comfortable, in a strange pointy kind of way. In fact I tweeted that I was laying on a Yantra Mat and I was surprised and pleased that it was actually nice. After a few minutes I felt noticeably relaxed and the tension in my back (that I have been feeling a lot recently) was definitely easier. I sat up strangely happier. Can a mat with spikes all over it really do that?
Long Term Use
Since that first use I’ve not been afraid of it at all, and have actually looked forward to using it each day. Ok so I haven’t used it every single day, but it has been most days, and I do honestly look forward to it.
I find that laying on my back and my front on it does indeed relieve some of the tension and anxiety that builds up during the day. I find using it gives me an opportunity to do nothing but relax. In my 20 minutes or so I concentrate on the feeling, on breathing, and try to leave any other thoughts until later.
I still wear a tshirt, and it doesn’t have that prickly sensation I got on the first day any more. I have tried it skin-to-mat but I much prefer it with a vest top on, it’s just more comfortable. The little spikes aren’t painful, but do create little dimples all over my skin, so I know they are digging in and I guess therefore doing what they are designed to do.
Splodz Blogz Verdict
I couldn’t tell you if it’s the simple fact I’m taking time-out of my day to physically (and therefore mentally) relax, or the actual mat that is helping me feel better, but I am finding it a really nice thing to do. These last few weeks have been tiring, and so the act of having some “me time” is going to be making a difference to my mental well being for sure. But I am a Yantra Mat convert anyway – even if this is the thing that is forcing me to take five (well, 20). I find that laying on this mat for just a few minutes each day is absolutely and totally relaxing. Splodz Blogz readers know I am no scientist, I can’t give you any proof that this thing works, apart from how I feel after laying down on it. I know it won’t be for everyone, but I like it.
For more information and to buy a Yantra Mat like the one I have been using (£33.99), visit http://theyantramat.co.uk/.