Posted December 06, 2011
Acupressure mats are great for relaxation and managing aches and pains. I've been using one nightly before going to sleep to help with back pain, to relax my back muscles and to help me sleep. It takes a little getting used to. The first time you use it, it feels intense, but once you've gotten used to it, you will crave it. Check out the editor's review of Heavenly Acupressure Mats at InsidersHealth Marketplace: http://www.insidershealth.com/marketplace/category/pain_relief/33 for details on using these mats. Please note: InsidersHealth Members' prices at InsidersHealth Marketplace meet or beat Amazon.com ($27.95 here), so watch for free shipping and holiday specials this month.
Another great tool for neck and back pain is the DaVinci Tool. It's small and portable, and works great for neck pain if you work at a desk or on the computer. The name 'Soft' DaVinci Tool' (the red one) is a bit of a misnomer. It's a very rigid, rubber material that provides a little give, so it feels gentle, but it's very effective at digging in and helping you relax tense neck and back muscles. I place it right at the base of my skull while resting on my back which feels unbelievably good, a bit like getting a powerful neck rub. The DaVinci Tool can also be used under a shoulder, thigh or other tense spot to 'knead' out tense muscles. I haven't tried the Hard DaVinci Tool, because the Soft Davinci Tool works great for me. The Hard Davinci Tool might be better for someone used to intense, deep massage. http://www.insidershealth.com/marketplace/product/115
Both of these items are great for on-the-spot tension and pain relief, when going to a massage therapist is out of the question. Note that the acupressure mat can be hung somewhere but you might want to keep the box for travel or storage since the points are actually quite sharp. These make great presents, too...