Wellness Friday: My Acupressure Mat, Read-Receipts, + a Clever Trick.

Happy Friday! As I write this I am not exactly the pinnacle of wellness (I just ate the most delicious cheese roll from a bakery here in Cartagena and it was EVERYTHING) and I only logged four workouts this week but I’m not obsessing… I’m on vacation!!

Okay as promised, I am going to tell you all about my acupressure mat… now that I’ve had it for a few weeks. All our usual wellness stuff is down below (my workouts, something new, healthy links) at the bottom of the post, so keep on reading for that!!! (Note – I bought this exact acupressure mat but then had to order the pillow separately. The pillow is amazing, so just get the set!)

What is it!?: An acupressure mat is basically a little bed of plastic “nails” which stimulate all of your pressure points, mimicking the effects of acupuncture; without needles.

How to use it: I like to lay on it for 20 minutes (you can do it for just a few minutes if you’re new, or as much as an hour if you have been doing it a while – you work up to it… the first time I tried it, I only lasted five minutes!) For best results, it’s better to have skin to mat, so I will do it in my bra and underwear… or with just a very thin t-shirt. You can also stand on it barefoot (they recommend doing this for ten minutes – I can only manage one or two minutes, it’s really hard!!!). After twenty minutes of laying on it I like to roll my hips over it a few times to really get into that part of my low back as it gets so tight. I also love using the pillow at night before bed. It relaxes me and makes me really sleepy.

When to do it: There’s no “right” time to do it. A lot of people swear by doing it in the morning as it releases endorphins, but I typically use it when I get home from the gym in the morning. I’ll lay down on it, and spend 20 minutes answering comments / responding to DMs on Instagram. I also use it when I’m watching TV at night as I love to multitask. And I like the pillow at night before bed when I’m reading.

What it does: I noticed an immediate benefit of more relaxed shoulders, neck, and hips. It is SO good for relieving muscle tension. I get SO tight so that is a game changer for me. It also helps quite a bit with stress relief and I always feel energized after using it. It helps with circulation, anxiety… the works. But for me, the reason I use it is because it alleviates back, shoulder, and neck pain BIG TIME.

Like I said, it does take some getting used to. I mean, look at that detail shot below… ouch! I swear, it’s scarier looking than it actually is. And after a few minutes of laying on it, your body adapts. Just trust me on this one!

A couple other things about this week…

* This may sound nuts but I purposely enabled text message read receipts on my iPhone. This might sound crazy but I did it for a few reasons. First of all, I’m pretty conscientious about replying to text messages in a timely manner. BUT I have been working hard at being off of/away from my phone as much as possible. I thought this would be a nice way to show my friends I just haven’t seen their messages yet. We’ll see how it goes.

* My friend Hitha taught me a clever little trick that I have been doing and thought I’d share here. On laundry day, she takes all of her clean workout clothes, pairs them together (think tank top, sports bra, leggings… even socks if you are ambitious), and rolls up each individual outfit so that when she’s getting ready for the gym in the morning everything matches. Genius!

This week’s something new: I tried a new yoga studio – taking a class at Laughing Lotus. I’m going to be really honest here – I absolutely hated it. It was a great workout. I got sweaty, got a good stretch, and felt good… but there were a few things that bothered me. The first thing is my own fault – taking a class with live music sounded so cool. But it was live blues music the poses and flows just don’t “go” with the music. It just felt weird and off… to me, the music should complement the poses. The other part. UGH. The instructor made us do this really dumb (in my opinion, everything is subjective) choreography of stepping + curtsies in between the flows… the poses had silly names like “One Love,” “OMG,” and “Raise the Roof,” and I found them pointless + distracting. I won’t be going back! The class was packed, so it definitely has a following – it’s just not for me. I think I’m a purist – one of the reasons I love yoga is the flow and I was really annoyed by their additions.


Friday – REST. As I mentioned in last week’s challenge my body was starting to feel a little broken so I took two days in a row off. This was amazing as my body needed it but also awful as I’ve really come to love working out (things I thought I’d never say!) I felt really restless and irritable!

Saturday – 75 Minute Get Up and Flow Yoga Class at Equinox. I love, love, love this class – it’s my favorite way to start out the weekend.

Sunday– 75 minute class at Laughing Lotus

Monday – 30 minute incline walk on the treadmill at Equinox, 60 minute yoga class at Sky Ting Yoga.

Tuesday – 60 minute yoga class at Sky Ting.

Wednesday – Travel Day

Thursday – If by exercise, you mean margaritas, then yes! I had high hopes of getting up early to do yoga but opted for sleep. #vacation

This Week’s Healthy Links:

Don’t forget to share your progress this week in the comments!

photography by Trent Bailey.

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  1. The acupressure mat sounds slightly scary! I’ve never heard of it before, so your review was super interesting! 😉

    And thank you for being honest about your yoga experience. We really need more honesty in the blogging world… 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    3.9.18 Reply
  2. The acupressure mat sounds incredible – must try! Have a great weekend!

    3.9.18 Reply
  3. Brianna:

    I love the idea of rolling up my workout clothes for the week! At night, I take them out for the next day, similar to a five year old, because I’ll take any time saving early in the AM.

    Enjoy vacation!

    3.9.18 Reply
  4. MarciaMarciaMarcia:

    I am also loving the acupressure mat, so thankyouthankyou for the recommendation. I felt really good this week and ended up working out 6 days – 3 runs, 2 bootcamps, and a ballet class. My best news of the week happened when I went to my endocrinologist for my 6-month check-in … my thyroid levels have been ideal and completely stable for three years now! It’s all thanks to this weird medication called low-dose naltrexone that has worked wonders for me (on top of the usual thyroid meds). I’m doing so well, I now only have to go back once a year. Oh, and I also dropped a few pounds since my visit last fall, so yay me! 🙂 I was trying to think if I did anything new this week, and I am trying a new facial peel. My skin is super sensitive so I can’t use any products with retinol or vitamin C, but a few AHAs and BHAs will work for me. My previous exfoliating wipes (by Kate Somerville) got discontinued, and these new ones (DR. Dennis Gross Ultra-Sensitive ones) are doing well. Hope you are having a blast in Cartagena!!!

    3.9.18 Reply
  5. Rachel:

    Thank you for the mat review! I was waiting to hear if it really works or not. I’m always really tight and it sounds like it should help 🙂

    Also, Self started this challenge with Aaptiv and you get a month free, so I decided to sign up since you always rave about it, and now I know why! It’s amazing! I usually go to a trainer twice a week and find that when I’m own my own I have no idea what to do. And this month my trainer was away, so I was really on my own. I’ve only done 2 elliptical workouts and stretching, but I really love it!

    Here’s link in case anyone else wants to try it out: https://www.self.com/join/sign-up-28-day-sweat-challenge?mbid=nl_dedicated_sweatchallenge&CNDID=18411978&spMailingID=13017841&spUserID=MTMyNTUzMTM0MjA3S0&spJobID=1342475558&spReportId=MTM0MjQ3NTU1OAS2

    3.9.18 Reply
  6. Maureen:

    I have one of the Acupressure mats. They are a great item. I do acupuncture as well so on days when I am not able to get to the acupuncturist I do this. I did not get the pillow (I know I should). I use a mypillow that I have and I will listen to music with this.

    3.9.18 Reply
  7. I use an acupuncture mat too – it really helps! Especially if you took a bath with Epsom Salt before to warm up your body.

    I have a question about your cute rug though — is it easy to clean? Also, does it feel soft when walking barefoot?

    Thank you in advance, Grace!

    3.9.18 Reply
  8. I’m obsessed with that acupressure mat (and the pillow!). Thanks for sharing my workout clothes hack, and hope you’re having the best time in Colombia!

    3.9.18 Reply
  9. I’ll definitely be checking out this pointy mat! And I love the idea of rolling up my workout clothes. I do this each night, so why not save myself some time and do it all at once? Genius! I hope you’re having the most fabulous time! Have a margarita (or two) for me!

    3.9.18 Reply
  10. Anita Carol Gambrell:

    Ha! I did Not do great, I try, I work, I take my pill, I went camping…. lots of walking, great exercise. Still gaining weight! Ugh thyroid!! Never giving up though! Back to Dr next week for adjusting meds once again!

    3.9.18 Reply
    • Anita Carol Gambrell:

      Oh and definitely looking into getting the mat and pillow!

      3.9.18 Reply
      • It’s such a gamechanger! And better luck next time! I’m so sorry your thyroid is acting up!!!

        3.10.18 Reply
    • jane:

      If you are hypothyroid and have been taking levothyroxine ask your doctor if you can switch over to Synthroid. Many many drug companies make levo so the exact amount is actually a range. Synthroid is made by one company and is way more precise. I know of at least 5 people + myself who ran into blood work issues on levo, switched to synthroid and have been stable ever since.

      3.10.18 Reply
  11. Rachel:

    I love these wellness Friday check-ins 🙂 I hope you’re having a great vacation!

    3.10.18 Reply
  12. Erin Tenneson:

    Forgot to comment last week! Such a busy one. Somehow still managed to get my workouts in, eat healthy, and crush my goals. For my something new last week, I stuck up for myself in a situation where I normally wouldn’t. I realize I would rather be honest and upfront, then hide and absorb all the negativity. Feeling great! So ready to continue the awesomeness this week. I’m finally jumping on the foam-roller bandwagon this week. I ordered one online and can’t wait to use it when it arrives on Tuesday.

    3.12.18 Reply
    • Good job!!! Amazing work sticking up for yourself… it can be so hard (and it’s something I’m really working hard at) but so worth it. Suppressing emotions, especially negative ones, is really bad for yoU!

      3.12.18 Reply
  13. Meems:

    I thrive on working out in group settings. Motivation with a capital “M”. I envy the variety of classes you participate in. Thank you for your honesty about the yoga class too. I really appreciate that one. Transparency.

    Be well!

    3.12.18 Reply
  14. I love the idea of turning on read receipts- something I’m pretty bad about haha!


    3.15.18 Reply
  15. I had never heard of an acupressure mat until somebody mentioned one a couple weeks ago. I was intrigued and immediately ordered one from Amazon. Two days later my companion and I were taking turns trying it in different ways (he liked standing on it; I enjoyed it on my back and my stomach). I’m going to take your comments as A Sign that I should add mine to my daily routine.

    3.16.18 Reply
  16. Melissa:

    I am a week behind but I needed to comment on this post and tell you that I did buy an acupressure mat and I LOVE it. Love it. Telling everyone I know about it. I have been so stressed and it is helping so much with the stress I typically carry in my back!

    Also on track for last week with my 5 workouts but let me tell you — I need to get my act together with my eating. Oof. Feeling it for sure.

    3.17.18 Reply
  17. Just got my mat after reading this review a while ago! I only made it through five minutes but am looking forward to seeing benefits in a couple weeks while working up my time.

    2.26.19 Reply