shakti & rach + cat

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By Rachel Grunwell

I love a good blissful massage or foot rub. However, I can’t seem to convince (decode “bribe”) the bloke or my kids into doing this very often. Sadly.

Maybe, it’s my unattractive runner’s feet that make them run a mile?  

Actually, I think the kids would rather do their own thing – or ANYTHING else – rather than rub their mum’s feet.

I can’t possibly understand why.

So, I was keen to give the shakti mat a whirl. The shakti website promised the use of their mat would be the equivalent of having my own “personal masseuse”.


Or rather: “relaxation whenever you want, wherever you want” , according to their website.

Double Nice.

Does this mean I still have to work after I get my Shakti mat, I wonder?…

After all, I may choose to relax ALL THE TIME.


So, without reading any manual, I rushed in to try the mat. I couldn’t wait to try it. So, I immediately put my feet on the mat. I stood on that mat. And then I screamed. Loudly. Then whimpered.

There is a reason why these mats are likened to “a bed of nails”.

Please learn from my mistake and do not repeat what I did. Like doing yoga for the first time, you should ease into using a Shakti mat. Never, ever jump right on in with these things.

So, I decided to read the website for some guidance on how to use it.  So, next time I approach the mat, I’m wearing socks. Ahhhhhh. Now we are talking. This feels gooooood.

The website recommends “slowly building up to bare feet”. And this people, is why you read manuals, or reviews, before using anything new for the first time. I still laugh at my blunder. I wonder if anyone else has done this. Or maybe it’s just me who rushes in like a bull-at-a-gate sometimes!

I use the mat in other ways too rather than just standing on it. The self-treatment of acupressure is fabulous. I love putting the mat on the back of my chair while I sit at my work desk. 

shakti in the office

A fave is to drape it over a rolled-up yoga-mat on the floor and ease back gently onto it so it can target my shoulders and back. After a long run, I sometimes place my legs gently over the top of the mat. Another fave way to use it is to have my legs up the wall (viparita karani) and my back on the mat. This is so nourishing, de-stressing and utter bliss. Well, at least until my cat Hermione decides she wants to play and flicks her tail in my face.

There are a few different mats. They have between 4000-8000 pressure points. I use the one for athletes the most.

The mat can leave some dimple marks on the skin, but these go after about 10-minutes. I noted the time-frame when I put on a backless dress and headed out to a glam event shortly after using the mat once!

I’ve enjoyed giving the mat a whirl and will keep using it. I recommend it. But remember to use it gently and slowly the first time. Don’t be overexcited like I was. Chuckle.

ps here’s a pic of me on the mat with my cat (Hermione). That’s her swishing her tail in my face as I try and bliss out on the mat….

shakti and cat

To find out more about the mat check out their website: Click HERE

shakti and cat 2 upright pic

Rachel Grunwell is Good magazine’s wellness columnist and runs the InspiredHealth website. Follow her via InspiredHealth: