Acupressure is an ancient healing therapy that started as a part of Chinese medicine more than 5,000 years ago and is now practised and recognized all over the world. In acupressure, gentle pressure with a finger is applied over certain specific points along a patient’s body, which follow specific energy pathways referred to as meridians. When these points are activated by pressure, the stagnant or unblocked energy is released resulting in improved blood flow, healing, relaxation and restoration of wellbeing and harmony. Whereas, when this energy becomes stagnant or blocked, it results in various ailments that may manifest as various types of aches and pains, emotional problems, stress, digestive issues etc.
Fibromyalgia is a type of disorder that is characterized by extensive musculoskeletal pain associated with sleep, mood, memory issues and fatigue. Patients have tender points all over their bodies (also referred to as trigger points), along with tight and contracted muscles. According to researchers, there is an abnormal rise in the levels of some neurotransmitters (chemicals present in the brain which signal pain) in people suffering from fibromyalgia. Due to pain and decreased sleep, people with fibromyalgia may find it difficult to function in their office or at home. This may result in feelings of frustration leading to symptoms of anxiety and depression.
As already stated, when the energy in the meridians gets stagnant it manifests as widespread pain and aches in the body, which is one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Ajnamat contains more than 5000 specially designed spikes, which help in releasing the stagnant energy, relieving tension and activating the natural healing power of the body. It also helps in improving blood circulation, which relieves aches and pains in the body. After you lay on the acupressure mat for about 20-25 minutes, your body becomes warm due to increased circulation of blood. This provides relief to all types of pain associated with fibromyalgia. You will also feel more energy in your body.
It has been found that lying on an acupressure mat for some time before going to bed helps you make drowsy and fall asleep easily. A small study done on healthy individuals suggested that acupressure mats are able to decrease heart rates (which are high in fibromyalgia patients) during sleep, increasing variability of heart rate (which is low in fibromyalgia patients), reduce the rate of breathing and improve circulation. It is suggested by these changes that acupressure mats reduce the activity of the sympathetic nervous system (that is responsible for the flight and fight response) and increase the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system (that is responsible for digestion and rest), which is good for fibromyalgia patients.
Moreover, acupressure mats help in releasing feel-good hormones referred to as endorphins. The gentle pressure from the spikes helps the contracted muscles and trigger points in the fibromyalgia patients to release; thereby, allowing the toxins to get washed away by the blood circulation.
Relief of Anxiety and Depression
The gentle pressure from the spikes in the acupressure mat helps in the release of hormones oxytocin and endorphins which make you feel good and improve your mood. This helps in relieving the feelings of anxiety and depression associated with fibromyalgia.
You can use the mat for a time ranging from five to 45 minutes in each position, preferably 20 minutes minimum for fibromyalgia pain relief. You may use it before going to bed to fall asleep easily. You may use it while sitting, standing or at the office while working.
About the Author- Dr. Ritu Goel
As a certified homeopathic physician and nutritionist, Ritu has worked for more than 10 years in the healthcare industry in various organizations as a physician and fitness and nutrition expert.
Rita also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital and Health Care Management from Symbiosis University, Pune, India, as well as a certificate in dietetics and nutrition.