First off I have a severe form of fibromyalgia along with spinal stenosis, degenerative disk disease and pinched nerves. My pain level at times is unbearable...worse than my emergency c-section that I had no pain control for and delivered unmedicated. I really like the blue color and the fact that it is a mat and a pillow. On the inside is a foam. The outside, well, it seems painful. When I opened the box this was wrapped in plastic. I carefully opened it and lightly touched the hard white pointed plastic points. Wow! Did I really just order a torture device? I talked my hubby into trying it first without his shirt on. Immediate pain like a million needles poking into you at once. Let me mention my hubby was on the couch for extra cushioning. No amount of extra cushioning will ease this. However he stayed on it. Within a few minutes the pain started easing and he felt a warmth on his back. He described this feeling like Icy Hot cream on your back. Another few minutes pass and he says he feels his muscles relaxing. He tells me this should help me a lot since he never has much pain. He gets off and I look at his back. Ouch that looks painful. I stay a while longer. I suddenly start feeling weird things happening to my muscles in my lower back. I will try to explain. My muscles feel like tightly pulled string. It felt like strings were slowly started to pull apart. Almost like water balloons popping. I felt more warmth and a little pain. Now I know from experience I get stiff when laying down. So here I am alone wondering how I can get up without hurting myself. I slowly start moving. WAIT A MINUTE!!!!! Where did my constant companion go to? I did not feel stiff and I felt less pain than I had in years. I checked the mat to make sure I had not gotten cut. I was good. This is a helpful product that I am glad I bought. I really wish it came with a storage bag for when it is not in use. This will definitely be used every day.
I bought this about 6 weeks ago, because it was less expensive than similar items. On my first use, I ignored the review warnings to use it initially with thin fabric between the mat and skin. when i laid down on it, I didn't think I would last a minute, but if you give it a chance, you get used to the pressure and the experience in quite pleasant. The effects last for a few hours for me, which is great for pre- or post-golf (or life for that matter.) Gentle warnings: when you first lie down, try to do so evenly. Obviously don't flop down on it and maybe get someone to help you lie back until you get the hang of it. During use, if you have extra skin like I do, you may have to gently adjust areas of your back - gently. When you are finished, either sit straight up (with help if needed) or roll completely off in one motion. I was eye-rolling with some of the poor reviews. YES! The plastic on the mat and pillow is sharp. Take my word for it, Yes, it can scratch you if you are careless - and even cut you (I guess) if you are a moron. So, give it a chance, be careful, lie down and give it 2 minutes or so and you should have a pleasant experience. Do so in a quiet room with some relaxing music. Try it for 5-7 minutes to start and then build up. It really does help.
Like many other reviewers, I too was skeptical about this mat of sharp plastic. But, having chronically tight shoulders, the $20 price tag seemed worth a shot. The first 2-3 minutes feel like fire torture: everything hurts and starts to burn. After the initial feeling of being stabbed subsides, the muscles warm and just relax into the mat. I usually lie on it for 30-40 minutes at a time. The mat does leave marks that last for 5-10 minutes, and the muscles are red and warm to the touch--similar to a mild sunburn. However, the tension relief is real! My back and shoulders are noticeably looser after a session on the stabby mat. Yes, it's cheap and has a small learning curve to figure out how to lie down without scraping yourself. If you can handle that, this mat-o-doom may be an affordable path to pain relief! (It should be noted: I have a decent pain tolerance and use this without clothing. It might be too much for anyone with sensitive skin.)
I have fibromyalgia and have spent hundreds of dollars on various pain remedies throughout the years. Most things haven't really helped, including physical therapy -- the only thing that would provide relief was Tylenol and scalding hot showers. This mat appears to be invented by a sadist and it definitely HURTS, but with regular use my pain has become much, much better. It also helps relieve pain when it happens, but I've found it to be more useful in reducing pain generally rather than addressing a particular pain spot. My best evidence of its effectiveness is that I get extremely thirsty after massages and the same thing happens when I lie on the mat for 20-40 minutes. I don't know what the thirst means (a quick Google says something about the lymphatic system?) but I take it as a sign that this mat actually does something for my knotted-up muscles. I love the mat so much that I made the following meme. I hope it helps in your decision on whether to purchase this.
I was concerned about getting this because of the reviews that say it really hurts. I have fibromyalgia and was thinking my back wouldn't be able to handle it. But I got it out of dispersion anyway. I am so glad I did. It does hurt when you first lay on it, so that is true. I started by just using the bottom part of the mat because my back went out on me and I was in severe pain, couldn't sleep, etc. I put a sheet on the pillow and upper 1/3 of the mat. The first 30 seconds was painful but I accepted the pain hoping it would get better like the brochure says (it comes with a nice brochure explaining how to use it for different aches and pains). Within the first minute the pain started to diminish. In about 3 minutes I could feel my muscles "melting" into the mat. That's the only way to explain the feeling. I spent about 20 minutes on it and kept feeling different parts of my back really relax for the first time in weeks. Just when I thought my body was fully relaxed, I would feel another muscle "melt". I love it!! I am now up to 1 hour after only a week of using it. I tried using it "full mat with pillow" but the upper part of my back is just too sensitive to anything so I stopped doing the upper part of my back. My neck hated it the first couple of times, but now my neck feels really good when I lay on it. (It's like my body thinks it's being attacked and goes on full alert the first time. But afterwards it starts realizing that it's not going to harm me and doesn't send off a bunch of warning bells to my body.) I even took it to my meditation class where we can sit or lay in any position we want. And I am now hooked on using this as my meditation mat as well. I can meditate and help heal my back both at the same time. Before this I could hardly meditate because my back was in too much pain. I LOVE IT and highly recommend it. And it comes in PURPLE!!!!!
I got this because I had a sore and tense neck and upper back and can't afford regular massages. I was skeptical when I unpacked this because it didn't seem like anything special, and the color seemed duller than pictured. Looks are deceiving, so I tried it out right away. Reviews suggest that beginners start with their clothes on, but I hardly felt anything that way, so I went bare-back immediately. Different strokes for different folks! The initial feeling was a bit like a back scratch, like it felt good. After a few minutes, it started to burn, but in a good way. I found myself closing my eyes and relaxing. When I got up, I could definitely feel the difference! I have tried it both in bed and on the floor and both are effective, but especially on the floor. (That's what she said?) I've even caught my cat resting on it. :P It came with a small manual with pictures of how this can work in other positions too, like sitting, or on your stomach, thighs, or feet. I haven't tried any of those, but if I do, I'll update :)
Having had lupus and fibromyalgia for the past 15 years, I've tried literally everything possible - water therapy, acupuncture, herbal remedies and more prescription meds than I can even remember. Nothing helps much. When I saw this mat recommended in an article on chronic pain, I was a bit hesitant. Still, I'm always willing to try new things on the off chance it may actually be the thing to help. For the uninitiated, the plastic points can be VERY sharp! I had to be careful just handling the mat, as I wound up slicing my hand painfully. I also found that even full clothed, it was quite painful laying down on the mat at first. However, after the initial pangs, it quickly feels comfortable, even good. I had no problem reading or watching TV, even dozing off a bit. Then when I got up off the mat, I felt a noticeable difference in my muscles! Granted, it's not long-term, but then again, I haven't been using it long yet. And even if the effects remain short-term, I'll still take it.
Won't lie, it hurts when you first lay down. I shattered my leg to pieces a year ago and I am fairly tolerant to pain so I would not think it's just me being a wimp! That said after a couple of minutes and letting my body "melt" into the mat the pain is replaced by a pure feeling of relaxation. It has helped with my chronic leg pain and back pain due to my walking gait being off. You have to give it an honest try. If you don't practice and let all of your muscles relax it won't work. Keep trying a little each day, it will be worth it I promise!