Fancy lying down on a bed of sharp spikes? No? Think again, say fans of the Shakti mat, a square of cushiony cloth with rows of prickly plastic discs.
Based on the ancient ayurvedic 'bed of nails', the mats are designed to boost blood circulation and gently stimulate pressure points. Technically called an acupressure mat, the relaxation aid is also known by the brand names of shakti mat, pranamat or spoonk mat just as tissues are often called "kleenex".
While it pays to start slowly - we won't lie, the mat stings the first few times you try it - the burn soon gives way to a massaging sensation, and you certainly feel revitalised afterwards.
Even better, regular users say it helps with everything from insomnia to headaches.
Here are some simple ways to get started:
Standing on the mat is an effective way to stimulate the sensitive pressure points of the feet, which leaves you feeling like you've had a foot massage. Try standing on the mat in socks first before building up to bare feet, or get used to it gradually by resting your feet on the mat while sitting on a chair.
Lying on the mat can not only ease back pain, it also makes you so relaxed you may even fall asleep on it! Start by sitting upright with the mat behind you, before slowing lowering yourself backwards onto the spikes. It might burn initially, but it's worth persevering. Trust us.
If your legs are achy from a workout, try sitting on the floor with your calves resting on the mat. It's great for tight muscles, and if you're prone to aches a few days after a workout, regular use can also lessen the severity of delayed onset muscle soreness.
- BodyWhy entering middle-age is actually the perfect time to get your health back on track
Good Health ChoicesToday 2:45pm
- RoyalsDuchess Meghan has opened up about the ‘joy’ of adopting rescue animals
Now To LoveToday 12:30pm
- TVCan Matty McLean surprise us all and last the distance on Celebrity Treasure Island?
Now To LoveToday 12:00pm
- CareerJennifer Ward Lealand on being honoured for her commitment to her two great loves, theatre and te reo
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyToday 9:27am
- RoyalsWhen and where will Baby Archie’s christening take place? Here are all the details
Now To LoveYesterday 4:45pm
- TVThe moving reason behind Dancing With The Stars winner Manu Vatuvei's vow to keep dancing
Now To LoveYesterday 4:00pm
- BodyBiggest Loser's Jillian Michaels’ top 15 health habits are remarkably simple to adopt too
Now To LoveYesterday 2:00pm
- TVFormer DWTS dancer Carol-Ann Hanna gives her verdict on the final show and Manu's win
Now To LoveYesterday 12:00pm
- TVDWTS' Laura Daniel spills on her relationship with partner Joseph Moore and their plans to adopt
Woman's DayYesterday 9:21am
- RoyalsPrince Harry shares an adorable new photo of Baby Archie in celebration of Father’s Day
Now To LoveYesterday 8:15am
- Diet & NutritionHow this Auckland woman lost 30kg through hypnosis
Woman's DayYesterday 8:00am
- FertilityConsidering freezing your eggs? Here's everything you need to know
Good Health ChoicesJun 16, 2019
- BodyRotorua parents' heartbreak: only a miracle will save their little boy
Woman's DayJun 16, 2019