Thursday, April 1, 2010

Can Needle Flowers Improve Your Health?

For centuries Indian mystics believed lying on a bed of nails put the body and soul in perfect harmony. And as a child, I watched parodies of yogis sleeping on nails in sitcoms. Well as exotic as these images still are, there may be some truth in the ancient Indian practice. Doesn't it seem like everything old, becomes new again?

Nowadays in place of a bed of nails, what has become popular are acupressure, or Shakti mats. A standard mat contains over 6,000 spikes. (4,000 spikes are more intense; 8,000 spikes are less intense.) Lying on the mat is supposed to stimulate the nerve endings of your skin, which causes the body to release its own feel-good and wellness hormones, including endorphins and oxytocin. The claim is, this lowers your blood pressure and strengthens your immune system. Initially, you have to build up a tolerance for lying on the plastic needle points. Once you get used to it and use the mat for at least 20 minutes several times a week, the benefits are many. Users say they have more energy. It reduces stress and makes them feel relaxed, happy and centered. It eases pain, like back aches and muscle and joint soreness. It relieves headaches and promotes a better night's sleep.

I haven't tried an acupressure mat yet, but I know eliminating stress and keeping the circulatory system working improves your overall health, so I definitely have an open mind. Have you tried a Shakti mat? If so, tell us. Did it help you?
costs $39-$69

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