Health Tips from a Mother of Three

Cruel To Be Kind? The Pros And Cons Of Acupressure Mats

A popular item on gag and variety shows, acupressure mats are those spiny, death-machine-looking items that are sold in sports equipment stores but seem like they would do your body much more harm than good. However, these mats also come with glowing testimonials and promises of increased health and wellness — so who should you listen to?

If you're always up for a new product or two to really help your body out but are feeling a little bit squeamish about actually investing in (and using) an acupressure mat, then here is a list of the pros and cons of acupressure mats.


These tiny spikes that make up the effective area of the acupressure mat are more than just decoration — they can help promote better health for both your body and your mind. Here are a few positive effects that might occur with use of an acupressure mat.

  1. Increased Circulation. Acupressure mats increase the circulation of blood in your body, which can lead to healthier, clearer skin, a lower resting heart rate, and an increased ability to fight off disease, among other benefits.
  2. Pain Relief. Back and shoulder pain accounts for an astonishing amount of chronic pain complaints, with more than 25% of Americans complaining about it daily. Acupressure mats claim to help fight that chronic pain by stimulating the acupressure spots along your neck and spine, leaving you relaxed and pain-free.
  3. After-Workout Relaxant. Your muscles can be worn and tensed after your session at the gym or your at-home strength training, and this mat might be able to help. Acupressure mats help work out the stiffness and soreness of active muscles, helping you recover that much faster.


No treatment is one-size-fits-all, unfortunately, and you may find that acupressure mats are no exception to this rule. Here are a few possible negative reactions that could happen as a result of using an acupressure mat.

  1. Bruising. Especially on individuals with more sensitivity to pain and/or who bruise more easily, acupressure mats can just be painful to use, no matter how short of a time they spend on them.
  2. No Effect. Though acupressure has been practiced for eons, some people just don't find it very effective and have to look elsewhere for solutions to things like back pain, insomnia, and increased bodily functions.
  3. Increased Pain. You may find that your acupressure mat actually makes your chronic pain issue worse, in which case you should stop using it immediately. No remedy is worth injuring yourself further.

For more information, contact your local sports physical therapy center.