At first sight, you may look at a spike mat and think, “Ouch!” Initially it may feel that way, but give it a moment and the discomfort will dissolve into heat and unfolding relaxation. It turns the distressed into the de-stressed …
The ideas behind the spike mat (Mukta Mat) come from the ancient art of Chinese acupressure and the Hindu “bed of nails,” both of which have numerable restorative and healing powers. The tiny points of pressure stimulate blood flow inducing a rapid warming sensation. This increase of circulation strengthens our immunity and helps relieve our bodies of toxins accumulated from lack of motion. The points of pressure also trigger the body’s natural pain medicine: endorphins (endo-morphine) leaving you with an overall feeling of release and contentment. It may also elicit the “love hormone/neurotransmitter” oxytocin. This can help insomnia, depression, fatigue, headaches and pain.
Using the Mukta Mat is quite the meditative ride and it’s different each time. I look forward to what each encounter will feel like and how it will affect me. When I first lie down, my back and brain seem to wrestle against the points. Pinned to the moment, I am forced to utilize awareness, patience, and the breath to work through the psychosomatic resistance. Soon enough, the tension surrenders and relaxation blooms in its place. Then you’re able to enjoy the points with ease and reap the healing heat and endorphins.
How to use your Spike Mat:
15-40 minutes at a time.
You can do it with bare skin or with a light garment on.
Adjust yourself so that your weight is distributed evenly.
Be careful to not brush your skin against the spikes as they are abrasive.
- Feet (standing)
- Front body (prone)
- Neck (with the Mukta Mat rolled up or placed over a rolled mat or towel)
I often use my spike mat on my 15-minute breaks, after work, during Savasana, and/or before bed. I especially look forward to it if I’m feeling agitated and unfocused. It calms my nerves and brings stillness.
Caring for Your Mukta Spike Mat
Our Mukta Spike Mat is a foam pad covered with fabric, so washing it is tricky. Because the spikes are glued onto the fabric, it's best not to get them wet. Here’s what we recommend:
- Spot clean with mild soap and a little bit of water. If you’d like to clean the spikes, brush with a toothbrush—VERY gently, so that you don’t loosen them.
- We have tried hand washing the spike mat in a dilute solution of mild soap and cool water. We don’t recommend this unless you really feel that spot cleaning is not doing the job. The foam core will take about 48 hours to dry, and the water may loosen the spikes and cause them to fall off. If you choose to hand wash your mat, submerge it in water only for a few seconds and then clean gently.
- You can pass a steamer over the back side of your spike mat a few times if you like, but do not pass it over the spike side of the mat, as you could melt or loosen the spikes!
- Definitely do not put your spike mat in the washer and dryer!