As someone who has suffered years of back pain, I understand that it can be incredibly frustrating, irritating and quite honestly, depressing. No matter where your back pain came from, you know one thing; it's real. It can be extremely invasive on your everyday activity Today's focus is on Acupressure, notice the word "pressure" not "puncture".
Many have a fear of needles and are worrisome about the process or simply the cost of Acupuncture. I'm going to tell you a story of Acupressure that's changed my life.
Working in any type of physical job can lead to back pain, no matter how proper you lift.
As part of our primal philosophy, our bodies were not designed for 8 hours of constant lifting of anything.
However, injuring your back can come from the smallest wrong movement inside the comfort of your own home. While this is not a lesson on how to pick up things, I urge you to be careful!
With a family member working in a Chiropractors office operating a deep tissue laser machine to ease pain, many of the complaints of pain came from menial tasks.
How I injured my back
While working at UPS in the Metro College program (they pay for 100% of my tuition) I was lifting boxes (70-150 lbs) 5 nights a week. After 2 years, my back was wore out from the constant weight on my spine combined with twisting motions. I just didn't have a passion for a cold dark warehouse and had to get out. After beginning to use a back support belt, my back was getting in more pain by the night. I had multiple bad flare-ups and would collapse into my car after the night was over, aching from the job. Insurance with the company didn't support an MRI scan, so I've gotten other opionins on my back which showed "mild inflammation" of my lower back. Still to this day, the wrong movement could send my back into a flare-up which can be very uncomfortable.
How I naturally treated my back pain
Acupressure is an ancient healing method that was developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago. It is an alternative treatment option to the more widely known Acupuncture. With acupressure, there is no puncturing of the skin. There are pressure points scattered all throughout the body which enable the release of muscle tension, endorphins and most importantly, pain. Acupressure can be done by using your own fingers and applying pressure to these certain spots.
I actually haven't practiced or been worked on with typical acupressure points, instead, I've learned about the benefits of acupressure mats! With over 8,000 spikes, it feels amazing.
What are the benefits of using an Acupressure mat?
Regular use of an acupressure mat may help people who wish to:
- Relieve stress
- Relieve insomnia
- Relieve headaches
- Relieve muscle tension
- Relieve back pain
- Relieve neck pain
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve blood circulation
- Promote relaxation and well-being
In a research study on the benefits of using an acupressure mat, that was performed by Dr. Tanya Zilberter in Hillsborough North Carolina, the following results were reported by participants:
- 98% reported pain relief
- 96% reported relaxation
- 94% reported improvement in the quality of sleep
- 81% reported an increase in energy levels
How do you use an acupressure mat?
For the sake of privacy and laughter, I didn't use myself as the model for this mat. Once accustomed to the feeling, you will lay bare skin on the mat. Yes, your bare ass should be sitting on this mat at some point. It takes a little patience! Acupressure mat can be used many ways.
Here are some of the positions you can use a mat for.
For any desk job workers you need this position below.
Does this really help?
That's the same thing I asked when I read the reviews on amazon. There was no way that a mat full of plastic sharp spikes could help my back pain. Surely I had stumbled upon some cheesy product with fake reviews. I bought the mat and immediately lost all preconceptions about it.
In short, YES!
How painful are the spikes?
Not painful. It's definitely uncomfortable at first, but as anything in life, you will develop a level of tolerance for the mat. After a few 2-3 minute sessions of laying bare skin on the mat, you will have a back full of little poke spots; this is normal. Once you get accustomed to the feeling you can go for longer amounts of time until you approach the recommended 30 minute treatment mark.
Once you get past a certain duration, the uncomfortableness wears off and (most people I introduce say it feels great from the start), a wave of pleasure and deep relaxation takes over. This is due to the natural endorphin release I mentioned earlier. It feels incredible when you get to this point. I'm actually extremely relaxed as I'm typing this to you, I have the mat setup in my office chair.
Can you use this for longer than the recommended 30 minutes?
Yes! Biohacker Dave Asprey and I talked about acupressure for a little bit on the podcast.
Where can I purchase this mat?
I've had the best results for quality and price on Amazon.
Any other questions?