Good’s wellness columnist Rachel Grunwell tries the Shakti Mat and shares her thoughts
I love a good blissful massage. However, I can’t seem to convince (decode “bribe”) the bloke or my kids into doing this very often. Maybe, it’s my unattractive runner’s feet that make them run a mile?
Actually, I think the kids would rather do their own thing – or ANYTHING else – rather than rub their mum’s feet.
So, I was keen to give the shakti mat a whirl. The shakti website promised the use of their mat would be the equivalent of having my own “personal masseuse”. Nice.
Or rather: “relaxation whenever you want, wherever you want”. Double Nice.
So, without reading any manual, I rushed in to try the mat. I couldn’t wait to try it. So, I immediately put my feet on the mat. I stood on that mat. And then I screamed.
There is a reason why these mats are likened to “a bed of nails”.
Like doing yoga for the first time, you should ease into using a Shakti mat.
Next I approach the mat, wearing socks. Ahhhhhh. Now we are talking. This feels gooooood.
The website recommends “slowly building up to bare feet”.
I use the mat in other ways too rather than just standing on it. The self-treatment of acupressure is fabulous. I love putting the mat on the back of my chair while I sit at my work desk.
A fave is to drape it over a rolled-up yoga-mat on the floor and ease back gently onto it so it can target my shoulders and back. After a long run, I sometimes place my legs gently over the top of the mat. Another fave way to use it is to have my legs up the wall (viparita karani) and my back on the mat. This is so nourishing, de-stressing and utter bliss. Well, at least until my cat Hermione decides she wants to play and flicks her tail in my face.
There are a few different mats. They have between 4000-8000. pressure points. I use the one for athletes the most.
The mat can leave some dimple marks on the skin, but these go after a few minutes.
I’ve enjoyed giving the mat a whirl and will keep using it. I recommend it. But remember to use it gently and slowly the first time. Don’t be overexcited like I was. Chuckle.
To find out more about the mat and redeem a special Good magazine offer, click here.