Muscle Recovery with The Shakti Mat
with The Shakti Mat
The body needs a certain amount of recovery and regeneration time in order to perform at its best. Commonly, athletes will use saunas or sports massage to support muscle regeneration - these tools increase blood circulation and help break down the metabolic products that accumulate in the body. Although these are great methods of recovery, they are not always accessible or affordable. That's why tools like The Shakti Mat can be an extremely effective 'at-home' method for supporting recovery and injury prevention.
What is The Shakti Mat?
The Shakti Acupressure Mat is essentially a modern day 'bed of nails' - a concept used by ancient gurus and yogis as an aid for healing and meditation. Fast forward thousands of years, and the acupressure mat was developed to make the health benefits of a nail bed more practical and accessible. Each Mat is covered in thousands of sharp spikes which when applied to the body, exert pressure on the skin & muscles. This pressure application is called 'acupressure' (acupuncture without needles).
How does it help with recovery?
The Shakti Mat supports blood flow, as well as restful sleep - two key factors when it comes to recovery.
Blood flow plays a vital role in regeneration because blood supplies the muscles with nutrients to help the body rebuild and repair them. Blood flow is also responsible for reducing inflammation and the pain associated with it. After a session on The Shakti Mat you will notice the skin appears warm and reddened in the area where the pressure was created - this shows blood flow being drawn to the surface to aid in muscle repair and recovery.
Restful sleep is also essential for muscle regeneration. The body releases growth hormones during the night, restores tissue and strengthens the immune system. Lying on The Shakti Mat facilitates restful sleep through the release of endorphins - the feel-good neurotransmitters of the body. When released, endorphins interact with receptors to reduce pain and stress while providing a sense of calm, relaxed, euphoric pleasure. This state allows you to achieve deep sleep and encourages time for your body to restore.
Encourages healthy blood circulation
Supports deep sleep and better sleep quality
Encourages release of feel-good endorphins
Activates the body's natural healing ability
Supports pain and muscle tension
So... Does it hurt?
In short... Yes! For most, the experience can be uncomfortable and prickly at first. This is because The Shakti Mat experience is two sides of the same coin: pain AND bliss. But after around 2-5 minutes on The Shakti Mat any discomfort will evaporate, the muscles will start to relax, and the whole experience will feel extremely relaxing. There are two rules when approaching a Shakti session:
Rule #1: Relax and give in! The more you resist the spikes and tense your body, the more it will hurt. Breathe through the discomfort and use your breath to calm the body.
Rule #2: Be patient with yourself. Don't expect to be a perfect Shakti-er straight away. But rise to the challenge knowing that with time (for some 2 days, for others 4 weeks) you will soon love the experience and won't want to miss a session.
Tips for using The Shakti Mat:
- Use for 20 minutes or more, post-workout or before bed
- Use with bare skin or a thin t-shirt while your body adjusts
- Drink plenty of water before a session to assist any detoxification
- Aim for at least 5 minutes, as this is the maximum time it takes for the initial feelings of pain to subside
- Begin by targeting the back before trying the legs, abdomen, arms or chest
Training and recovery are key to success in all forms of sports and exercise. For any athlete to be at their peak physically and mentally, recovery and self-care are crucial. That's why tools like The Shakti Mat are essential to ensuring your body gets the post-exercise therapy it needs.