Spoonk Acupressure Mat Review: A Unique Way To Relax

image of the spoonk acupressure matThe Spoonk acupressure is one of the most unusual ways to deal with muscle tension and improve your sleep that I’ve come across.

When I first heard they were receiving praise throughout the health world, I have to admit I was a little skeptical.

But since I often have back problems, and am always keen to try new ways to sleep better, I picked one up from amazon.com to test it for myself.

What is an acupressure mat?

The acupressure mat was invented in Sweden. It’s based on the healing art of acupressure, which originates in India, and later developed in Japan as Shiatsu massage.

The mat is made up of small plastic nodes, containing a total of 6210 stimulation points. That’s more than enough to distribute your weight across them safely when you lie on it.

spoonk-acupressure-mat-close-upYou can see in the photo that they look quite pointy close up. And in fact, when you first lie on them you might find it slightly uncomfortable.

But I found you get used to the feeling quickly, and the warm sensation they produce soon replaces any initial discomfort.

The instructions tell you to lie still on the mat for just a few minutes the first time, slowly increasing the time with each session.

Eventually, you’ll be able to stay on it for 20 to 40 minutes, and adopt different positions if you wish to.

My experience of the mat

red spoonk matMy first impression was that the mat is well designed, with the fabric and plastic parts solidly connected.

The nodes are smooth and firmly attached to the base of the mat, itself made from quality fabric. It rolls up nicely inside the carry case, and so altogether is a neat piece of kit.

I inspected the pressure points to see how sharp they are exactly. And although they aren’t as sharp as nails, thankfully, you need to be a little careful when using it.

I’m very tall, and even though the mat looks quite large in photos, it only fit my middle and upper back at the same time.

If you’re not a giant like me though, you’ll probably be able to cover your entire back at once.

I first tried it without a top on, just out of curiosity. It felt quite uncomfortable like that though, so I put my t-shirt back on and eased myself onto it again, which felt much better.

The instructions tell you that for a few minutes it’s normal to feel uncomfortable. But after a short while, the increase in blood flow will give you a warm feeling and you’ll relax more.

And that seemed to be true when I used it, as the initial discomfort did give way to a warmer and more pleasant sensation.

A week of testing it

Over the period of a week, I used the mat every day. After 3 days I was up to 15 minutes, and by the end of the week, I could comfortably lie on it for 20 minutes without a top on.

I also discovered that with socks on I can stand on the spikes, which shows that they aren’t going to go straight through your skin. It also made for quite a pleasant foot massage, which is one of the uses the manufacturer recommends.

The question is though, does it actually do what it’s supposed to do?

I’m fairly certain it helped release some tension in my back. I use a computer for many hours most days, which often results in a very stiff back and shoulders.

Using the mat did seem to help reduce some stiffness and knots in my back and shoulders.

I also think it helped me relax mentally as well as physically. And since stress is one of the biggest factors that contribute to my sleep problems, anything that helps me relax can only be a good thing.

Acupressure mat benefits

Using an acupressure mat regularly is reported to have a wide range of health benefits:

  • Relieves back and neck pain, muscular tension, aches, and pains.
  • Promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Increases blood circulation.
  • Increases energy levels and helps with fatigue.
  • Improves digestion.

Some of these effects arise because your body responds to the acupressure by releasing more of the endorphin and oxytocin hormones.

Sometimes called the happy hormones, these are also released when you engage in pleasurable activities. They then promote relaxation and form a part of your body’s natural pain relief mechanism.

Who shouldn’t use it

The following groups of people should avoid or be careful when using the Spoonk mat:

  • Children under 7
  • Children over 7 unless supervised by an adult
  • Pregnant women
  • People with high or low blood pressure should first consult their doctor

Specifications

  • It’s made in the United States, from 100% cotton and CertiPur-US ECO-foam.
  • The plastic nodes are made from recyclable, non-toxic ABS plastic.
  • The dimensions are 20 x 16 x 5 inches.
  • It weighs 3 pounds, so is easy to roll up and transport.
  • There’s also a more Eco version, made from a blend of organic hemp and cotton.
  • There’s a 30-day money back guarantee.

Verdict

The Spoonk acupressure mat is definitely unusual – my first impressions were right about that. But some of the best things in life are slightly odd.

In my experience, the mat did help alleviate muscle tension and back pain. And with that, it seemed to help me sleep better too.

I don’t think it’s a product that people with sensitive skin will tolerate so well. But if you’re willing to try it out and push past the initial discomfort, it could be a valuable self-help tool in the battle against aches and pains.

And for a one-off purchase, it’s more accessible and a lot cheaper than repeat visits to professionals to sort your back out.

Check out the Spoonk mat at amazon.com >>

14 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi Ethan, thank you for this review. I bought a purple one after reading about your experience and have been using it every day for a week now, and wanted to share my thoughts in return. I think you were right about it feeling a bit strange in the beginning, but you get used to it. More importantly, you were right about it helping with back problems. Like you, I sit at the computer probably more than is healthy, and often finish the day with a horrid back. A quick session on the mat definitely helps ease the suffering though. And over the week the effect seems to have been accumulative. So I’m very pleased with it and plan to continue using it. I’d recommend it if you have aches and pains in the back, but perhaps not for those with very sensitive skin. Judy

    • Hi Judy
      Thanks for your comment, and for sharing your thoughts. It’s always useful to hear from a reader who’s tried the product I reviewed.
      It’s great that the mat is helping with your back troubles, and I hope it continues to.
      I think that’s solid advice about avoiding it if you have sensitive skin. It’s one thing to put up with a little discomfort if the positives outweigh the negatives, but another thing if it goes from uncomfortable to unpleasant. Most people will be fine, but it’s something to be aware of.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have just purchased my first mat, I was dubious because I have fibromyalgia and thought it may be too painful to use because even people hugging me is painful, so I have just tried it and I can honestly say that I feel really relaxed at the moment, I am hoping that it’s the start of something good and relieves some of the pain I feel on a daily basis

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. It’s great to hear you feel so relaxed using the mat. I guess it’s early days to really tell whether it will have any true benefits, but fingers crossed! It would be great to hear back from you again in the future if you have a moment to share your experience.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • This is a FABULOUS product! I live with chronic pain due to Fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, degenerative disc disease, degenerative arthritis and a host of major back issues plus chronic fatigue leaving me unable to do daily activities such as household chores, even errands. Plus I have major depressive disorder (is it any wonder?!) I have to honest, I have had my Spoonk for a couple of years now but we moved so it became out of sight out mind in my closet. I do remember using it often when I first got it and was amazed at how it helped my neck and back pain.

    Well my physical condition has deteriorated since then and just last night I woke up at 4am in horrible pain in my low and upper back and neck. I layed in bed crying quietly so as to not wake my husband. So I decided to get out my Spoonk and I layed on it with out a shirt and yes it was a bit uncomfortable for about a minute And soon the feeling became one of comfort and relaxation as it made my other pain go away. I layed on it for probably 30 minutes. The minor discomfort of getting used to the feeling of the acupressure took my mind off my other horrible pain and soon I was feeling so much better. I couldn’t believe it! Why haven’t I been using this every day!!!!! You can bet that It won’t be stuck in the closet any longer!

    I hope this testimony helps someone. You would think with Fibromyalgia you wouldn’t be able to lay on it but you can and it will make you feel better. You will have to ease into the use of it at first but once you get used to it, it will become your best friend if you suffer from any of the symptoms I have, or just to destress your upper back and neck from working at a computer all day or just everyday stress. Best wishes to all who are suffering any kind of pain.

    • Hi Sabina
      Thanks for your comment. It’s good to hear from someone who finds the mat helps with specific conditions. Let’s see if it stays out of the cupboard for longer this time!
      I hope you get the pain back under control.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Great review, thank you!

    The digestive problems, headaches and weight loss/gain are most often a by product of a lack of sleep and increased stress, so it would only make sense that some of those symptoms would be alleviated by reducing stress and getting better quality sleep. Can’t wait to get mine!!

    • Hi Renee
      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you liked the review. I hadn’t thought of that, and it does make sense. I wrote an article a while back based on research that showed that people were more likely to choose unhealthy food after sleeping badly to help see them through the day. I’m not sure an acupressure mat will single-handledly solve those issues, but I guess it could help out.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi Ryan

      Thanks for your comment. It’s great to hear from a reader who found that the acupressure mat helped. I can understand why you were skeptical at first. It’s definitely something which has to be tried to understand really.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Wondering if you have tried Bed of Nails? It has help relieve my back pain the pasted year. Is there a difference?

    • Hi Thomas
      I think they are very similar, just some differences in the design and possibly the quality. But essentially it’s just another company making the same type of product.
      Good to hear it helped you though, thanks for sharing that!
      Regards
      Ethan

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