The bed of nails has been used in India for relaxation exercises, meditation and yoga for thousands of years. There are many factors that indicate the pain relief is due to the pressure from the bed of nails/Acupressure mat activating the body’s own production of endorphins, “natural painkillers”, which are also released during exercise, infatuation, sex, touch, kissing, caressing and when you eat dark chocolate. Endorphins give pain relief and a sense of physical well-being. They can also give a sense of intoxication.
Another substance which is probably also released is called oxytocin, sometimes called “the love hormone” or “the peace and calm hormone”. It is a hormone which is released during touch, caresses and lovemaking. Oxytocin produces relaxation and so you wind down and find it easier to fall asleep.
So How Does it Work?
Pain is one of the body’s important warning systems. It is a signal that something is wrong. Sometimes we do not find the time to listen to these signals or we have few options in our lives to change or influence the cause of the pain. Pain may then become a chronic ache. If you have continuous pain for more than three months, you are considered to have a chronic ache. Do you often have pain? If so you are not alone. According to SCB (Statistics Sweden) over 63% of the adult population have aches in their necks, shoulders, backs and joints.
Aches & pains stress your body
Pain and psychological, physical or inflammatory stress increases the body’s production of adrenalin, cortisol and noradrenalin – the body’s stress hormones. A long-term increase in the level of cortisol (more than four hours) impairs the immune response, raises blood pressure and blood sugar level, as well as making us more sensitive to pain. High levels of cortisol also influence metabolism; stomach fat is laid down.
You’ll notice that people often put on weight in periods of stress, and that it often collects around the stomach. High levels of noradrenalin result in muscle tension and aching muscles and joints. The body is in high tension. In addition, the level of oxytocin decreases, causing sexual desire to decline or disappear altogether. When oxytocin levels are reduced, levels of the harmful stress hormones are raised and the vicious circle starts. Pain-stress – pain/stress.
Oxytocin is the body’s own ‘happy pill’
Oxytocin is our peace and calm hormone. It is secreted during breast-feeding, caresses, massage, meditation, when people listen to pleasant music, go for an enjoyable walk, exercise, dancing, riding, a good dinner and so on. When levels of oxytocin rise, the levels of stress hormones in the body fall. Oxytocin makes us socially open, improves our working memory and our self-esteem expressed through the body. Damaged or worn tissues are repaired and new cells grow where they are needed. Our pain threshold is raised, blood pressure falls and worries and anxieties decrease. Sexual desire increases. Large doses of oxytocin make us drowsy. Oxytocin is the body’s own “happy pill”. (Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg, Swedish researcher in the subject).
By increasing the body’s production of oxytocin, you optimise your body’s performance and durability instead of manipulating it.
Pain & stiffness in your back, neck or shoulders?
Your muscles can repair and rebuild damaged muscle fibres when at rest. But if you always tense a muscle or area by heavy lifting, computer work, repetitive movements or just during periods of stress and anxiety, the muscles will never get a chance to rest and relax, or the intervals of rest are too few and too far between. This may lead to chronic aches and pain.
The Acupressure mat provides pain relief
There are many factors that indicate the body produces endorphines and oxytocin when you use the Acupressure mat. The endorphins are the body’s natural “painkillers” which are released during e.g. exercise. When the body releases endorphins, you become more relaxed and your pain threshold is raised. Use the Acupressure mat whenever your muscles ache or when your joints feel stiff. When your body is relaxed it is better able to heal and recover.
You can also use the Acupressure mat for pure relaxation. Use it when you find it difficult to wind down, or when you are feeling stressed. Try using the Acupressure mat before going to bed to help you fall asleep more easily. Regular use of the Acupressure mat will help you relax and create a quicker self-healing process for your body.
Lie on the mat for 20-40 minutes as needed, preferably at least a couple of times a week. You can use the Acupressure mat every day. It should feel “nicely painful” to achieve its effect. We all have different pain thresholds, so most of us will need to adjust the effect by putting a towel or thin cloth on the mat to soften the pressure of the “nails”. Try it out until you find the right level of sensation. The “nails” of the mat have a rounded tip and cannot harm you. There are more detailed instructions for use enclosed with the product.
People with whiplash injuries become dizzy and sometimes have pains in their neck at the beginning of the treatment. This is because the neck is important for balance. When a person has chronic tension in the neck and shoulders, the muscles “force” the neck into a new position. When the muscles relax, a new balance is created and this may cause dizziness. This is harmless and will gradually disappear as the muscles around the neck become less tense. Lie on the mat for 5-10 minutes every other day and gradually increase use of the mat as the dizziness/aches decrease.
Those who suffer from fibromyalgia are often over-sensitive to pain and should initially lie on the mat for a short time, about 5-10 minutes, and use a fairly thick cloth to get used to the sensation. Gradually increase the time on the mat and preferably use a thinner cloth as the body becomes accustomed to the pain with time.
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