Despite the calm expressions on the face of mystics wearing diapers, sleeping in a bed of nails doesn't look all that comfortable. Regardless, there's said to be plenty of health and relaxation benefits in that long-running Indian art of acupressure. If you want to enjoy the same but can't handle the idea of putting your butt anywhere near lethal pieces of metal, you should get a similar experience from the Shakti Mat, a less-intimidating, Western version of the classic prickly bedding.
Instead of a wooden plank with nails sticking out, the similarly-geared bunk lets you lay your tired back on a carpet of plastic spikes. Sure, it's just as pencil sharp as those big-ass wood fasteners. At least, it doesn't look half as terrifying.
The Shakti Mat is a lightweight mat that rolls up for easy storage. When laid out, it exposes 6,210 fang-like prongs spread across a 26-inch foam that simulate the acupressure treatment provided by a bed of nails. According to claims, it cranks up the body's circulation while you sleep, sending surges of relaxation all over the body. It's being touted as an excellent way to relieve tension, as well as remedy insomnia.
Apart from resting your back on the Shakti Mat's bed of plastic spikes, the creators also recommend other positions that provide different forms of treatment, including standing on it and lying face down. Is it painful? People who tried the mat say it is, especially during the first time you lay down. Stick with it, though, and the pain turns into a pleasant sensation of warmth. Sounds fascinatingly mystical.
While the science behind its claims may be up for speculation, one thing's for sure: it looks like an interesting way of relaxing. Available for around $59, it doesn't sound too expensive to try.