When Jean from AlignMat Accupressure Mat Australia offered us an accupressure mat to test out and review, we were hesitant! I (Sam) am usually very open to holistic and natural therapies but those 5000+ very sharp spiky things looked painful! Before accepting, I did a quick bit of research and found out that just by lying or standing on the mat you are supposed to experience a decrease in muscle pain, decrease in joint pain, improved restful sleep, natural pain relief, increase in energy, lower blood pressure and mental clarity. All this for just $59.99 with a 30 day return policy! Okay, now they’ve got my attention!
I agreed to try out the mat with an open mind. Chris just laughed at me and muttered something about, “Just another voodoo therapy!” He is clearly not as open-minded as I am!
Over the past year, my running has taken a backseat due to some pretty serious foot injuries including Plantar Fasciitis. I have spent lots of money on some painful therapies such as shockwave therapy which unfortunately did not help. My calf muscles are also always incredibly tight and this contributes to my ongoing feet issues. I was willing to try anything that claimed to improve my situation, even just a little bit.
I received my AlignMat accupressure mat just after Christmas and it came presented in a nice little cotton storage bag along with a bonus matching accupressure pillow. The colour was one of my favourites too – deep purple. So far so good!
That night, it was like Christmas again (doesn’t take much to excite me). I laid the pillow and mat out on the bed. I lay down and OMG the pain…..the torture……were they serious? How is this meant to be relaxing? Then I remembered, I was supposed to reviewing this thing, I couldn’t just throw it away after just one try! So, the next night I tried again. It was again quite uncomfortable but…….no pain no gain right? I managed about 5 minutes before slowly peeling myself off the mat (which hurt like a burning cattle prod)! Suck it up princess, this is supposed to be good for you!!
The next night, I was ready! I knew what to expect. Chris was looking at me like I was a crazy woman and saying, “Why the hell do you keep doing it?” I replied, “Because I have to review it and it apparently takes time to get used to.” He simply rolled his eyes.
Each night as we watched the next Netflix episode of The Last Kingdom, I lay on the mat. I actually started to look forward to bedtime so I could use it! True story! I began experimenting with using the mat and pillow on different body parts. After about 30 minutes using the pillow on my neck, I’d lay a calf muscle on it. I found it had a similar effect to dry needling and helped to release the tightness in my calves.
I thought about how I might use the AlignMat to elevate some of the pain in my feet. Travelling around Australia means lots of walking and I really need to take care of my feet. So, I made an effort to stand on the AlignMat each time I washed the dishes! OUCH! Those were some serious spikes! As before, I persisted and each time I lasted a little longer and it got a little easier. I can’t say that I started to look forward to doing the dishes but at least I was doing something good for myself while carrying out such a mundane task!
I have now been using the mat for about two months and if you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering……..sooooooo did it work? Are all of your ailments cured? Do you feel incredible? Do you have an overwhelming newfound sense of mental clarity and focus? Well, this is actually very difficult to answer because there are many factors involved in determining one’s wellbeing. Yes, my calf tightness and foot pain (Plantar Fasciitis) seems to be improving but is this as a result of standing on the accupressure mat or the new orthodics and exercise program I’ve been prescribed by the sports doctor? Are my more restful nights’ sleeps a result of laying on the mat before bed or is it the fact that I bribed my 5 year old (with Minecoins) if he sleeps in his own bed and not in ours each night!? Perhaps these improvements are a combination of all of the above!
What I do know for sure is that once you have de-sensitised yourself to the initial uncomfortableness, you will feel like the pressure is no longer enough. You will actually find that you will position yourself in different ways in order to receive MORE pressure from those evil spikes! Whilst I’m not conclusively convinced that all the claims are true, I can proclaim that the AlignMat accupressure mat will survive the next caravan decluttering session and will likely remain a self care tool that I will rely on for life. I mean, it can’t hurt…….right?!
If you have any questions or comments for us or want to follow our adventures as we travel this amazing country, please don’t hesitate to visit our website Running Around Australia or contact us on our Facebook or Instagram pages.