I hadn't heard about acupressure until my housemate told me about her Shakti Mat a few weeks ago -- she swore by this thing. So, I decided to give it a whirl to see what it was all about. I didn't necessarily have too much trouble sleeping like she did, but I did feel like my mind was always racing before I'd finally doze off. Shutting my brain off is usually pretty hard, but since I've incorporated The Shakti Mat into my evening routine, I've been able to meditate, zone out, and feel super relaxed before falling asleep. I wanted to post about it so I could share with you guys my most recent self-care tool.
When I first stepped on The Shakti Mat, it felt like the most intense and horrible feeling ever. I got off immediately. My friend, Bex, encouraged me to try again and just be with that weird pain.
If you work in the hospitality industry, sit at a desk for multiple hours a day, do manual labor or you're a full-on athlete, you probably have loads of aches and pains constantly rotating through your system. I've found that days with lots of hours on my feet or being stationary at my desk, I could do with a deep tissue massage to get out the kinks and stiffness. Paired with a nice, hot Bikram yoga class, 20 minutes on my Shakti Mat before bed makes me feel like I've had a personal masseuse take a rolling pin and rub out all the bad stuff.
According to The Shakti Mat creators, the acupressure system helps to stimulate your muscles before you exercise and enhances recovery afterwards. It does a whole bunch of other good stuff to your nervous system, too -- see the extensive research on the benefits here. When I lay or step onto The Shakti Mat, at first I feel like I have restless leg syndrome and the energy moving through my nerve endings just feels straight up strange. After I settle into the sensation (it takes practice), my muscles start letting that weirdness go and I creep into a relaxation so deep that I often doze off.
Aside from the massive physiological benefits of using The Shakti Mat, it happens to have an awesome company foundation and business mantra, which I appreciate and admire. Created in Varanasi, India and launched out of Christchurch, New Zealand, The Shakti Acupressure Mat provides fairly paid wages and ongoing support for the women employed to hand make the mats. It even provides healthcare for the women and their families. That's good karma right there.
If you're looking for a new way to comb the knots out of your muscles, have a little you-time, and enhance your overall well-being, consider trying out The Shakti Mat. It's been one of my favorite things to help me sleep so deeply I wake up more refreshed than ever. Namaste, people.