I’m a sucker for meditation and mindfulness practices, but sometimes it’s fun to incorporate more tangible tools into your wellness routine. Cue hot stone massages, messy art projects, an intense vinyasa flow, and any other wellness endeavor that encourages a mind-body connection.
On that note, I’ve always been intrigued with acupressure mats. What better way to create a mind-body connection than by relaxing onto a bed of, well, needles? I admit, it’s a terrifying thought—but it’s impossible to ignore the thousands of raving five star reviews from users. So, I recently hopped on the opportunity to collaborate with Shakti Mat—an ethical company that creates a very, very spiky product!
My First Experience with my Shakti Mat
I chose the Shakti Mat Original in black, which has medium intensity compared to Shakti’s light and advanced mats. I figured it’d be tough, but my first round on the mat (with a light shirt on) was a challenge beyond my expectations!
Heat. Burning, intense heat grips your skin for the first few minutes on the mat. I won’t sugar-coat this—it was a mental battle to keep myself going, and I vaguely remember telling my husband it felt like my skin was peeling off. Yeah. It was intense! Luckily, I read tons of material on acupressure mats ahead of time and trusted that the pain would subside shortly.
Just when I felt like I couldn’t take any more, the pain dissolved into a soothing warmth and I felt my body relax. I focused on my breath and remained on the mat for about fifteen minutes, noticing the stark shift from pain to relaxing bliss. Afterwards, I felt a gentle boost in energy, less tension in my shoulders, and a surprising urge to try it again soon. And I did!
Practice Makes Perfect, Right?!
I’ve used my Shakti Mat and Shakti Pillow daily since their arrival and have experimented plenty. I’ve tried bare skin, a thick sweatshirt, and light layers while using my mat, which all yield vastly different experiences.
Thicker clothing definitely minimizes that initial prick of pain, but also leaves you without the muscle-relaxing benefits of the spikes. On the flip side, bare skin certainly brings a stronger mind-body connection, as it takes more focus to keep the breath steady and muscles relaxed. Regardless, I’ve noticed that even with bare skin and the intense heat from the spikes, the pain melts away into a blissful, incredibly relaxing experience in just a few minutes.
I also discovered that if I stopped a session too soon, I didn’t reap the rewards of the acupressure mat. Just as Shakti claims, the bliss sets in right around twenty minutes for me. Those first twenty minutes are enjoyable, but it’s the following moments on the spikes that really yield a deeply rejuvenating and relaxing session.
My Daily Shakti Acupressure Mat and Pillow Routine
I don’t hesitate to use my mat anymore, as the pain doesn’t seem nearly as intense as that first initial and shocking use! Nowadays, I enjoy using my mat with just a light bra on and prefer to remain still for a minimum of twenty minutes.
Using my mat boosts my energy before work, soothes any rising anxiety, and enhances my mindfulness practices. I’ve used the pillow to deter approaching headaches, but prefer to use it for my feet as I work at my desk. It’s a unique experience that brings focus, relief, and a sense of grounding. If I’m working, you can bet my socks are off and I’m enjoying a little self-care acupressure time on my feet!
I’ve had my eye on acupressure mats for months, but ultimately made the easy choice to support Shakti. An ethical company with their employees’ best interest at heart, Shakti goes above and beyond to provide a safe environment for their craftspeople.
Additionally, Shakti is committed to several philanthropic missions to improve living conditions for those beyond their direct reach. Shakti contributes 10% of their profits to non-profit organizations. As of December 2021, Shakti’s admirable commitment to giving back has lead to:
- 173,825 Deworming tablets administered
- 24,444 Children sleeping under mosquito nets
- 54,685 Vitamin A drops administered
- 8 Scholarships granted to employees’ children
- 2,590 Rainforest trees saved
- 240 Children supported with schooling
Materials and Production
Shakti mats are handmade, and each spike is clipped into place by hand. The spikes are made from ABS plastic, which is both durable and recyclable. Each mat is crafted from 100% organic cotton and non-toxic dyes, both of which are notably GOTS certified. As for the filling, each mat has a polyurethane foam core, which is known for its durability and quality.
I was incredibly impressed by the amount of support Shakti offers to their customers. After my order was placed, I received a series of emails from Shakti that shared incredibly helpful tutorials for using my new mat and pillow. These videos helped me feel confident about using my mat, gave me ideas for targeting different areas of my body, and certainly empowered me to stick through those first few intense moments. I credit these videos in large part for my acupressure mat success today!
Price & Colors
As of the publication date of this article, Shakti’s acupressure mats retail for $89 USD, no matter their intensity level. The acupressure pillows are sold separately and retail for $59 USD.
The mats come in three different intensity levels: light, original, and advanced. (I selected the original.) The light mat is beginner-friendly and comes in yellow. The original mat comes in black, orange, green, and pink. And for the brave souls out there, Shakti’s advanced mat comes in indigo.
I’m always on the lookout for wellness resources with a potent purpose—I want to support my mind and body without collecting physical items that turn to clutter after a few uses. So, after consistent use and a mild addiction to this painfully delightful and spiky mat, I’m pleased to consider my Shakti mat and pillow permanent tools for my wellness routine. If you stick around, I’m confident you’ll hear me talk about this mat for many years to come!
Would you dare to try an acupressure mat? Let me know in the comments below!
(And pssst—give it a go! You might just love it!)
Disclaimer: I collaborated with Shakti for this feature. They sent me their mat and pillow in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation to write this article—all thoughts and opinions are solely my own, and Shakti did not have a say in what I wrote. I only partner with brands that aligns with my priorities and would recommend to others. Thank you!