A Bed of Nails for Better Sleep? Acupressure Mats, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Resource A Bed of Nails for Better Sleep? Acupressure Mats, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Cort submitted a new resource:

A Bed of Nails for Better Sleep? Acupressure Mats for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Could sleeping on hundreds of hard plastic points help?

It's the weirdest idea: lying on hundreds of hard plastic points could help you sleep better. Even weirder is the idea that it could help fibromyalgia patients riddled with tender spots sleep better.

Upgrayedd on the Health Rising Forums recently found to her surprise that her acupressure mat worked like a charm.

Has anyone else out there tried an Acupressure Mat? It's about the size of yoga mat, and it's...​
Read more about this resource...
 

Tia

Member
I have some of these, the neck one and the mat. One of the weirder things I've tried so glad I'm not the only one! It didn't do anything for me when I got it a few years ago, found it quite painful and tiring to lie on. I'm not sure if I tried it before bed though, might dig it out again and give it a go - worth a try! Glad it's helping you, good sleep is so important.
 

AquaFit

Active Member
I wonder if this works like osteopathy to move toxins out of the upper back and neck area at the end of the day.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Cort, can you still use this if you have small fiber neuropathy ?
That's a good question. I would guess that it is not because of that one companies recommendation altho I don't know of one type of neuropathy is equal to the other. Maybe the company would know.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I wonder if this works like osteopathy to move toxins out of the upper back and neck area at the end of the day.
It hasn't been tested so far as I know. There is a suggestion from one study that they might help with circulation and that would suggest toxin removal
 

rebar

Active Member
I bought one for 21 dollars delivered and have been using it for 4 days now. I'm not sure what to think about a mid evil torture device used for therapy, but I like it.
I've been using it for the last 4 nights, generally around 7, In my bathroom on the tile floor with a electric floorboard heater running.
First night was for 10 min. the other two nights have been around 20 or 25, last night was the interesting one. I set it up, a little padding at the small of my back and a little under my neck, both to allow some contact with the delightful plastic nails.
Ask my wife to tell me when I'd done 20 min. Well I laid down and started to meditate, I fell to sleep, I mean deep sleep.
My wife came to tell me 30 min. had gone by and found me completely out. When she woke me I was a little disoriented, and really groggy, it took 10 min to collect myself.

I have no idea what this means, but I will continue using this plastic "bed o' nails" for at least the immediate future.

It really is uncomfortable initially, but with each use the body adjusts.
 

dejurgen

Well-Known Member
"Studies are few but a small one featuring healthy people suggested these mats may be able to reduce heart rates during sleep (high in ME/CFS/FM)"

That does somewhat resemble a recent experience of mine:

The last few years I had more and more very vivid dreams and fast paced high action cinematic 3D nightmares waking me up out of sleep several to many times a night. Sometimes I had tens of consecutive nightmares, each time stronger. Oddly enough I did not feel mentally afraid or anxious.
Often it went hand in hand with shaking, visual disturbances (fast flashing visual sensations) and some odd form of trembling as if my whole body went in some sort of resonance at about twice the beating rate of my hart. More then once, it felt as if I had a continuous "brain wave". It was quite unpleasant.

I noticed that I could shortly interrupt it by standing up and going to the bathroom or by deeply breading in and out a dozen times. As the time passed I could increase my control over it, but still for short durations. I focused on the visuals and tried to do things to moderate the disturbances. It worked within a minute but the side-effect was quite stunning: my hart rate reliable dropped from 60 to 65 beats a minute to 45 to 50 nearly each time, within a single minute!

I could manage to improve the technique and it seems that it puts pressure on the hart. But that wasn't ideal as my hart started to hurt. I consider that a no go. Yet, I further worked on the idea of someone on this forum that the high hart rate we have (mine used to be always 90 to 95 wathever I did nearly two years ago) is because the first chamber of the hart can't relax. As an engineer I know that making underpressure in a pump is a lot harder than overpressure as the fluid has to flow from itself in a cavity. So maybe this would combine with my idea of very much worsened blood flow in the hair vessels and lots of standing still (still as in not moving; translation?) blood leading to a sepsis like state (see forum on http://www.healthrising.org/forums/threads/the-great-nih-exercise-initiative-a-boon-for-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-me-cfs-and-fibromyalgia.5174/) so I thought it might be blood standing to long still and both the waking up and breathing technique created pressure and underpressure to remove standing still stale blood from the legs.

I believed that could be done better. So now I do every time I wake up some few gentle movements of my leg muscles (move feet too) to compress and expand them and it works quite well. Maybe we are restless in order to move in bed and to prevent the blood from standing to long still? The accupressure mats could do the same: squeeze stale blood out of the muscle cells? If that would be it, my litlle experience could be more gentle (just moving, no "nails") and more effective (every hour, not just once).

Anyone wanting to try and observe? It's quite harmless and could help some of us further if it would work. I guess it would be better fitted for someone with some form of orthostatic intollerance.
 

rebar

Active Member
I have adapted to it and look forward to the 30 minutes I spend on it, it may be effecting more than sleep. i've had about 5 days that were better than my norm. After reading the link to the study, dejurgen, I read a little on he parasympathetic nervous system. From my limited experience with bed o' nails that seems to be the logical reason. Two days ago I made just this observation to my wife, that the physical skin stimulation may cause a reactive response that calmed my system.
 
My 17-year-old son has been diagnosed with ME/CFS and getting to sleep, staying asleep and having restorative sleep have become very difficult for him. We got him an accupressure mat to try - he lies on it for approx 30 minutes before sleep - and he is reporting falling asleep more easily and having a more restful sleep. I would not describe it as miraculous, but a definite, marginal improvement for him.
 

rebar

Active Member
Well I believe it's time for me to update, I've now experienced over 2 weeks of improvement, a little with sleep but the interesting thing is I've phased into a better place. I've been more active, feeling better, physically. I've had a couple of days where I felt depleted, but the next day I was back into the feeling better cycle. For me to not have to spend my entire day on the sofa, is a good day indeed.

What I'm doing now is 45 min. in the early evening before dinner. I'm on a tile floor with an electric heater by my side, and use it shirtless.
I've been doing a type of meditation for several years and meditate for the 45 min.

A couple of points to be made, the skin is the largest organ of the body, if you aggressively stimulate a significant part of it, causing what appears to be a parasympathetic response, how could that not be good. The parasympathetic system is connected to the Vagus, and there may be more going on than a simple trigger that calms your system.

If the body interprets this massive area of skin stimulation as something to which its natural resources must be directed, then it may be redirecting its focus away from my dysfunctional system.
 

dejurgen

Well-Known Member
Hi Rebar,

Thanks for the update!
How long is the mat: do you have one that goes all the way to the feet? Would that be a better one than the shorter versions most sold?
 

rebar

Active Member
No dejurgen I don't believe that would be necessary. This is the one I bought,
https://www.amazon.com/The-Original-Shakti-Acupressure-Mat/dp/B002MCMH0A/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
The Shakti is Swedish and one of the first mats sold, the Swedes seem to love them.

The positives from the last couple of weeks are, considerably less sickness feeling,
a small increase in energy,
improved mood,
and a slight improvement in sleep, pain, and cognitive issues.

The big one is the first one above, I haven't felt like crap for over 2 weeks.
 
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dejurgen

Well-Known Member
I have the bed of needles for over two years. It helped sleep a bit and I was happy-ish with it. It helps but for me it still is a sort of torture device to lay on. So I hadn't used it for like over a year since I start to sleep better even without using the torture tool.

Some time ago, a friend video called and told about her ongoing sleeping problems. I could offer few help until I thought back about this bed of needles. I got it, showed her and explained her how to use it. Then we kept on chatting. By chance and lack of will to put it away straight away, I laid the matress on my belly with the needles pointing to it and my hands on the other flat side acting as a small weight.

I was in my frequent "hang-sitting" posure so the matress stayed neatly on my belly. I sort of intuitively got my shirt up a bit so the needles were in contact with the lower part of my belly. I just had a sort of flash in my mind saying "if your gut is in so bad shape, maybe this will help it relax a bit". My belly wasn't in view as I could check on the small window with my own video on it so it couldn't bother my caller.

Then something really unexpected happened. I started to relax in a way I hadn't for ages in less then 5 minutes. It was like a wave coming over me. My caller just saw it happening by the clear change in my face and expression relaxing so quickly. She asked "what's happening, you are getting so mellow?". It was the matress! And this way, it hurts WAY less then laying down on it and works WAY better for me.

I also tried the small neck piece and gently pushed it to the front of my neck: same reaction but less strong. That may be because my dysfunctional gut is in worse shape then my tense neck muscles?

Since then I use the thing often after a meal to get my gut and myself in a better rest-and-digest state. I feel it clearly helps me. My gut keeps slowly improving (I do other things for it to I must say, but this does help).
 

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