Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Acupressure Bed of Nails for Pole Dancers and Aerialists?

This past Christmas my sister in law gifted my father in law a Bed of Nails. It was an instant hit at our holiday gathering while everyone wanted to try out this interesting gift.  The Bed of Nails is an acupressure mat made of 100% cotton and consisting of 8,820 plastic nails measuring 14.5"x4"x6.  The mat is best used for acupressure therapy, similar to acupuncture except in acupuncture the therapy uses needles into the skin.  In acupressure therapy, the same pressure points in acupuncture are used but instead of inserting needles into the skin, pressure is applied to the points to initiate similar therapeutic affects. Bed of Nails Inc.'s website states, "Acupressure therapy is used for the following:

  • Improve circulation
  • Increase energy level
  • Relieve pain
  • Activate the parasympathetic nervous system for deep relaxation
  • Improve heart rate variability
  • Reduce cortisol levels for weight loss
  • Revitalize and rejuvenate."
After doing a little research, hearing about my sister in law and her husband's positive review, and experiencing the Bed of Nails firsthand, I decided to order my own Bed of Nails mat and pillow from www.BedofNails.org. After repeated pole or aerial workouts, I have a tendency to get achy in my trapezius muscles.  I've tried focusing my stretches on this particular area pre and post workouts which often leaves me experiencing minimal relief. I was hoping that the use of acupressure therapy in conjunction with my monthly deep tissue massages would aid in alleviating this issue. 

A question I came across in my research was how to clean the Bed of Nails.  On www.BedofNails.org, they have provided instructions for cleaning along with a video demonstration.

My Bed of Nails Experiences

My first session on the Bed of Nails lasted around five minutes. I started on the floor on my back using the head pillow while watching some television.  Needless to say, I didn't make it to the 10-20 minute recommended time.  I started experiencing a warming and burning sensation on my back- all of which I've read and heard from family members as being completely normal.  After coming off the Bed of Nails, I felt relaxed and tired.  My first session left me convinced.

Round 2 on the Bed of Nails was more tolerable. I made it to 5 minutes with a timer and was surprisingly willing to extend my time.  I ended up only doing the 5 minutes as planned and decided to continue adding more time with each session. This session was right before I went to bed and also left me feeling relaxed.

Progression: Throughout the first week of use I made my way up to 10 minutes while lying on the Bed of Nails mat on the floor.  Starting off my second week of use, I decided to change things up and use the mat while in bed.  While the intensity wasn't as prominent as I experienced on the floor, I did end up dozing off and was on the mat for over an hour my first time using the mat in bed.  I remember starting to lie on the mat at 10:19pm and the next thing I knew, my husband was waking me up at 11:39pm asking if I was still on the mat. I rolled off the mat and fell right back to sleep.  It was a very relaxing experience to have drifted off comfortably while snuggled in my nice warm bed.  If I didn't get it before, I got it now. I'm hooked. 

My father in law updated me on his progress and he said he was up to 20 minutes and has found himself sleeping well throughout the night. He said he uses the mat about an hour before he plans to go to bed.  He has a long history of poor sleep and frequent waking.  He said that since using his Bed of Nails, he has had some of the best sleep in his life.  His experience alone made me focus on increasing my time on the mat so I too could achieve the maximum benefit. 

I plan to continue to use my Bed of Nails and experiment with positions and where I achieve the best results in terms of sleep and relaxation.  I will keep you all posted on my results. 

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