Acuswedemat the Modern Day Bed of Nails

The health and fitness aspect of being a rider has never been in the spotlight more and a subject I touched on in my last post following the Performance Masterclass I attended. Many equestrians, myself included have a thirst for knowledge, to better ourselves and gain heightened self awareness. Be it in our straightness, balance, symmetry, posture, suppleness or flexibility. Then there is the reality check, of time, money and resources...

I practised Pilates with a Body Control instructor for many years before taking on a house renovation and I felt selfish leaving my other half at home sanding walls and painting skirting boards on an evening whilst I trekked off to a second hobby. I knew enough, owned a mat and a foam roller and I promised myself instead to train at home alone. Which is what I do, but not as consistently or intensely as I did previously.

This January I hit the gym with a Personal Trainer, I did four one hour high intensity training workouts. I loved every second, but the bill came to as much as Oscar's livery and it just wasn't sustainable. For this reason I have vowed to do a little more at home. To help my body perform at it's best, and to encourage my mind to be in the right place I have started to use an Acuswedemat, more fearsomely known as a 'modern day bed of nails'.

The Acuswedemat is ergonomically designed and shaped to the body. From the hips to the neck it is decorated with hundreds of circular discs covered in tiny spikes - these result in a combination of classical acupressure and Swedish innovation. Apparently 10% of the Swedish population have one of these...which is mind blowing??!

How have I been using mine...?
  • Before exercise for an energising 15 minutes. The time helps me focus my mind on what I am actually going to do, for example how far I will run, what Pilates exercises will I practice. The Acuswedemat increases blood circulation, that increases energy within the body and can improve flexibility. 
  • Again immediately after exercise, it aids recovery and helps to prevent muscle soreness as part of the bodies cooling-down process, as improved circulation helps the healing process.
  • The Mat can be laid or sat on however you wish, with a foam roller, cushion or rolled up towel to gain maximum effect in a certain area. I find laying on my back, targeting my shoulders and neck with a cushion for my head the comfiest. 
  • The 'bed of nails' sensation actives our bodies natural endorphins too, creating a feeling of wellbeing and personally makes me feel...
  • Sleepy!!

 The Acuswedemat can be used to simply wind down and relax on which is something I often do. I carry a lot of tension in my arms, that travels up to my shoulders and neck. The first time I used the Mat, the next day I ached. I woke up questioning why, unable to put my finger on it until the following evening when I laid on the Mat again and put two and two together. My body felt like it had endured a sports massage. This sensation eased with continual use and I feel much looser for it.

As equestrians I think we often overlook the pressures we put our bodies under, casually labelling it as 'just what we do'. Whether it be pushing full wheelbarrows, carrying heavy water buckets or in recent months riding with out shoulders scrunched up around our ears on a freezing cold hack or when we hop on board and our horses feel fresher than we do, jolting our bodies when our muscles aren't as warmed up as they should be. We take a lot of wear and tear and for me, the Acuswedemat is a one off investment that offers a natural and long term solution for those who want to prevent problems with stress, or pain and achieve a better balance and flexibility. And once finished with it neatly rolls up, like a Pilates mat and can be taken wherever you go, even competitions! Now that's a warm up routine to consider...?

The price is 100 euros, around £88 including postage at the current exchange rate and can be purchased here you can also read about the Accuhorsemat that Oscar is to try out next...

Thank you for reading,

Jessica and Oscar
Gee Gee and Me

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