How do I use The Shakti Mat?
The Shakti Mat is designed for self-care, so use it in whatever way will best enhance your well-being. Common practices for lying down on it are before you go to bed, or after the gym. Common practices for standing on it are after a long day at work or first thing in the morning. While you can experiment with it in many ways, the most common way to lie down on it before you go to bed.
Instructions: Slowly lower yourself down onto The Shakti Mat so the points press up into your back. For best effects, use direct skin contact, but you can use a thin T-shirt if you find the sensation too strong. Focus on deep, relaxed belly breathing and avoid any sudden movements. Observe the sensations and try to relax. While you can use your Shakti while watching TV or reading a book, remember why you are here - take a bit of time to focus on self-care, without distractions. Listening to some meditation music or binaural beats can help. We recommend using The Shakti Mat for 20-40 minutes, but it is fine to go longer.
While this is the most common way to use it, you can apply the spikes to your feet, calves, thighs, glutes, wherever. For more information on using the mat on different areas of the body, click here.
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is an ancient healing technique, often denoted as “acupuncture without needles” because it applies the same principles to promote relaxation and channel the body's own ability to naturally heal itself. Acupressure is used as a means of muscle recovery and to promote deep states of relaxation, similar to massage therapy. As opposed to needles in the practice of acupuncture, acupressure concentrates on these same pressure points, or acupoints, that lie along meridians or channels in the body. It is believed that these meridians are interconnected with organs and tissues throughout the body, and those which are out of balance can cause illness. Because of its concentration on acupoints and their relation to the body's overall balance, acupressure practitioners have also developed techniques that can treat recovery from conditions like headaches, insomnia pain and much more. Acupressure (and acupuncture) are just some ways to help your body find balance through the pressures of modern life.
For more information on how acupressure works, click here: https://exploreim.ucla.edu/self-care/acupressure-and-common-acupressure-points
What is the bed of nails?
Historians estimate that the Chinese began practicing acupressure over 7000 years ago, but it wasn't until about 2000 years ago that people in what is now India started using acupressure mats – more commonly known to us as the ‘bed of nails’.
There is a lot of mysticism around the bed of nails and what they were used for. Contrary to popular belief, those Indian yogis weren’t doing it as some kind of pain tolerance stunt, but actually as a meditation aid! These yogis (mostly in the Himalayas) found that the physiological change the body underwent on nail beds aided their meditation practice. By getting through the initial feelings of discomfort it helped to cultivate mental resilience, and eventually eased the body and mind into a place of stillness. The Shakti Mat is the 21st-century bed of nails!
How does The Shakti Mat work?
The Shakti Mat is covered in spiky points which are designed to stimulate, then relax acupoints on the body. When these points are stimulated, energy (also called chi/ prana) flows through the body. When energy is flowing freely in the body, it is believed that the body’s own built-in healing systems have a better chance to do their job. The points simply put your attention on the area you want it. Overall, this process aims to encourage healthy circulation, healthy sleep, recovery from stress and tension headaches, and improvement in general wellbeing.
How long should I lay on my Shakti Mat, and when?
We recommend lying on your Shakti Mat for 20 minutes or more, to get the full benefits. There is no time limit to using your mat, some even fall asleep on the mat for hours! You can use your mat at different times of the day for different benefits. If you use your mat at night in bed before sleeping, it can aid a deep and restful sleep. If you use it in the morning, it can energize and rejuvenate you for the day.
Is it best used on the floor or the bed?
The Shakti Mat is beneficial on any surface. It is a matter of personal preference where you choose to use it. The floor is a harder surface, so the feeling will be more intense, whereas a bed or other soft surface is a little easier and wraps up around the body.
Which mat should I buy?
One of our most frequently asked questions. We have 3 different types of Shakti Mat, each differing in intensity:
The Shakti Original (Orange, Black or Green) has 6,000 points and is the mat we recommend for 90% of people.
The Shakti Light (Yellow) has 8,000 points and is recommended for those who are elderly, those more sensitive to pain, those who have fragile skin or those who already have a condition that causes discomfort (e.g. Fibromyalgia). Because it has more spikes than the Original mat, your weight becomes more evenly distributed, resulting in gentler intensity treatment.
The Shakti Advanced (Blue) is a step up for all the Shakti veterans out there looking to intensify their Shakti experience. The Advanced has the least number of spikes (only 4,000), so your body weight is distributed over less points. Try the Advanced mat if you have a strong pain threshold or have been using the Original mat for 6 months or more. This is a step up!
Can I stand on The Shakti Mat?
Sometimes we spend all day on our feet, so standing on your Shakti Mat will give them some well-deserved TLC. Our feet are covered in pressure points, so standing on the mat is powerful. Try standing on the Shakti Mat first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. Both may help to massage tired feet or support an energized and fresh start to the day. Start with socks or try placing one foot at a time to get the right pressure for you.
Can I lie on The Shakti Mat for my back, neck, and shoulders?
The main use for The Shakti Mat is support for the back, neck and shoulders area. Lie on your Shakti Mat for 20 minutes or more may:
- Stimulate your muscles: encouraging natural healing.
- Target pressure points on your back/neck/shoulders.
- Induce a relaxing feeling – restoring your vitality.
- Encourage healthy circulation - bringing a warm, pleasant sensation that is soothing and re-balancing.
Does The Shakti Mat hurt?
The first couples of times you use your Shakti Mat, it may feel uncomfortable. However the longer you spend on your mat, the more comfortable you will feel. Acupressure can be a powerful experience: during the first few minutes of using your Shakti Mat, it is common to feel a prickly, warm, sometimes pulsating sensation on the areas the mat is applied to. The mat is putting a large amount of pressure and stimulation on your muscles, and the sensations that you feel are normal responses. These sensations which will subside after about 10-15 minutes of using your Shakti Mat. You might find these sensations quite intense to begin with, and you may have an urge to move or adjust yourself, but try to observe the sensations and breathe through it. If your skin is very sensitive, you may want to start out with a thin cloth between you and your Shakti Mat. As humans, we all have a different sensitivity to pain and certain medical conditions can intensify this sensitivity. Try it out until you find the right level of sensation.
Regular users of the Shakti Mat get little to no pain at all, because tension is much lower in the areas the mat is applied to. Think of the first and tenth massage you get on a stressed area – regular use will help your muscles feel great. Just remember, the benefits of The Shakti Mat always outweigh the initial discomfort.
We do not recommend the use of The Shakti Mat or any Shakti products if you have any of the following:
- coagulation problems (hemophilia) or using anti-coagulants;
- large moles
- substantial skin damage (severe eczema or psoriasis, singes) in the areas of use;
- fever or an acute illness;
- heart diseases;
What is The Shakti Mat made from?
The Shakti Mat is handmade using Organic Cotton and non-toxic natural dyes. Laid flat out, The Shakti Mat measures 74cm by 42cm and they weigh about half a kilo. The mat is filled with an inner foam, making it a soft surface for you to use. The spikes are ABS recyclable and non-toxic plastic, and the foam is polythene (non-toxic, latex free and typically used for bedding).
Can my child use The Shakti Mat?
Children tend to really enjoy using The Shakti Mat because they relax into it very quickly. It helps them to calm down and relax, so try using it with your child at bedtime. If you are buying a Shakti Mat for your child, then consider trying the Light mat for them to begin with. We love getting photos of kids using The Shakti Mat!
Will I be too heavy for The Shakti Mat?
We find it is a person’s level of skin sensitivity that determines how they respond to The Shakti Mat, not how heavy they are. So no matter what you weigh, you can use and benefit from The Shakti Mat.
Is there a time limit on how long I can use my mat for?
The suggested time for positive effects is 20 minutes or more. The good news is, it is not dangerous to exceed this limit. Many people fall asleep on their Shakti Mat, and this is perfectly safe.
What do the symbols on The Shakti Mat mean?
The concept of The Shakti Mat begun in India, originating from the bed of nails. The name ‘Shakti’ and the symbols used are to represent the Vedic culture that it arose from.
The word ‘Shakti’ in Sanskrit is a feminine principle and symbolizes empowerment, abundance, and change.
The ‘Om’ symbol next to the word Shakti on the mat is mostly associated in the West with yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices. It is a mystical and sacred syllable that is used in Hinduism and Buddhism.
The ‘Sri Yantra’ symbol that is on the back of The Shakti Mat is a mystical diagram that means ‘holy instrument’. The Sri Yantra is considered to be the tool for obtaining and fulfilling all worldly desires and for material manifestation. This can be through increasing our focus and by clearing our minds so that we may see our goals clearly.
SHIPPING & RETURNS
Check out our Terms & Conditions for information regarding shipping, returns, and other order information.
You Haven’t Answered My Question!
If you have read our FAQ's and our Ts&Cs and still can't find what you're looking for - get in touch with our team via the contact form below and we’ll endeavor to get back to you within 1-2 working days :-)