Blue shakti mat with white spikes
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Shakti Mats – Torture Devices or Health Aids

Shakti Mats make many health claims but do they live up to their name? With that many spikes, we’ll let you decide.

I have to admit I was a little sceptical when I was sent a Shakti Mat to try out. For all intents and purposes, it looks a little bit like a torture device.

With 6,000 sharp spikes protruding from the mat like a bed of nails, which, believe it or not, have been used as a relaxation aid for thousands of years. It is described as being like acupressure but with spikes. I am a great believer in acupressure and acupuncture as it has really helped me in the past.

Hilda Smith holding a red shakti mat with white spikes

What Does a Shakti Mat do?

It has many benefits and can be used to relax your body and mind. It is simple. The spikes apply pressure to your muscles and skin and it claims to help with:

  • Sleep
  • Circulation
  • Muscle tension
  • Relief from headaches
  • Relief from stress
  • Relaxation
  • Improved vitality
  • Recover quicker after exercise

Where do Shakti Mat Come From?

Founded by two New Zealanders committed to creating an effective, ethical product, Shakti Mats are used by athletes and ordinary people around the world to help with recovery and relaxation. Why even the ALL BLACKS use them!! Well, they definitely could do with learning how to relax after a game. I just have a difficulty picturing some of those huge men lying on the mats.

Particularly impressive is the fact that the women who make them in Varanasi in India get a living wage, work relaxed hours, have medical care, paid holiday leave and much more. I visited Varanasi last year as part of our trip to India and know that this must be a wonderful opportunity for these women.

Do Shakti Mat Work?

As I said, I was sceptical at first, but I now realise that on the evenings I use it, I definitely sleep better and feel more rested when I wake in the mornings.

Plus, I believe it is also helping with my circulation and lymph problems, with which I have been plagued recently. It also helps with tension in my shoulders.

How do You Use a Shakti Mat?

Place your Shakti Mat on the floor or on a bed. Initially, I placed it on the bed, but I have now progressed to the floor. You can place a neck pillow or a rolled-up towel underneath to support your neck.

Hilda Smith lying down on a red shakti mat with white spikes with a towel under her neck

Lie in a comfortable position so that your skin rests in contact with the points. Relax and breathe deeply. I have worn leggings and a top for the purpose of the photos, but I have no problem in lying on it in my underwear. It is very easy to relax and zone out, particularly if you listen to a relaxation tape.

The most difficult part is getting up as you become aware of the spikes once more. After you finish, your skin is red but it soon fades.

There are many ways to use it. I also stand on it in light socks for two minutes; I yet have to progress to bare feet. But I have started to put it under my bare feet when I am sitting down and it is so relaxing.

There is quite a lot more to learn about these wonderful mats which you can find here.

I am off for a relaxing lie down on my bed of nails. And no I am not a masochist.

By Hilda Smith, an ageless style ambassador and content creator who is spending her 60s embracing her personal style; road testing the latest and greatest in beauty and living her healthiest happiest life. Follow Hilda on Instagram here. This article first appeared on Hilda's website, Over The Hilda