How the Shakti mat works
When you first lay on the mat, most people feel some discomfort as their body registers the impact of the points. For some perspective on this discomfort, our kids (11ys and under) enjoy using the mat – so it can’t be that bad…Anyway that sense of discomfort signals the brain to release endorphins for pain relief, which happens surprisingly quickly. The release of endorphins results in a calming and peaceful sensation spreading throughout the body and voila! your discomfort is relieved; you feel better physically and emotionally.
More technically put: “From a physical viewpoint the acupressure points stimulate the release of endorphins (a family of neuropeptides concentrated in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus involved with pain relief, the body’s response to stress and determining mood; membrane receptors for endorphins are found in large quantities in pain pathways of the nervous system) and a range of other calming hormones. It also increases the blood and lymph circulation which has a detoxifying, stimulating and healing effect. The release of endorphins triggers a self-healing mechanism in the body and also blocks pain. The result is a sense of deep relaxation and well-being, even high levels of happiness.”
So endorphins are powerful pain relievers present in our bodies just waiting to be tapped. Many believe endorphins have a similar effect on pain as morphine! What would you prefer for chronic pain – to use the mat or morphine? There is so much to say about the (physical) effects of endorphins. But briefly, endorphins in the blood stream:
- lowers blood pressure which increases circulation
- helps clear acid from the body which is fantastic for anyone with joint problems or gut issues.
- improves immunity
Typically, endorphins are associated with exercise, and usually heavy, exercise. What about those people who cannot exercise? The Shakti mat is perfect for them providing exactly the same endorphin related, benefits! And they don’t need to take a ‘recovery day’ from the mat – like body builders. Have a look at this article titled simply Endorphins to see yet another take on endorphins and acupuncture.
Emotionally, as we have said, endorphins make you feel good, relaxed and they help reduce stress. So this option is great for anyone with emotional issues, depression, anxiety etc.
FYI you can also trigger an endorphins release with: chocolate (dark is best), hot chillis, having a massage/bodywork, meditation and laughter.
So! Consistently use the mat and any/all of the triggers listed above and you will not know yourself! Start feeling the best you can – you’re worth it! There are so many obvious uses for the mat – below we have listed just a few.
- work in a store/are on your feet all day – place one behind the counter, or somewhere convenient, to stand on periodically to improve circulation and tiredness
- are a masseuse – use them at your practice
- run a yoga practice – use them for final relaxation
- do a lot of repetitive movement or strenuous physical activity – a shakti mat will make a big contribution to your well being
- work in a high stress environment – 5 mins on the mat can make a huge difference to your stress levels
- work in a residential care setting – mental health, aged care, chronic pain clinic etc – consider trying a mat with clients
Other uses –
- Office workers – places one on your chair at work
- Drivers – on your car seat
- Physios’ – for use with clients as a ‘warm up’
- Massage therapists’ – same as physios
- Anyone working with ‘hyper’ people – great to help get them back into their bodies
- Poor circulation generally – can increase circulation to any part of the body you work on
- Fatigue – short rest on the mat leaves you feeling refreshed