You’d be forgiven for struggling to find the link between contemporary technology and the ancient practice of yoga, so let’s talk about Grippz Mats, the world’s first accupressure yoga mat.
According to their promo video, the product’s three main functions are to “invigorate your body, reduce muscle and joint pain and prevent slipping”.
Grippz Mats was designed after founder and CEO Katrina Starzhynskaya, “a trained acupuncturist and former yoga instructor”, used holistic therapies to help her Lyme disease. A bacterial disease that causes a wide variety of symptoms, including joint and muscle pain, the Lyme disease caused Katrina to suffer from partial paralysis. Finding both acupressure and yoga to be effective, she searched for a way to combine the two practices and discovered the practical and physical benefits of incorporating soft “acupressure nobs” into a yoga mat.
In order to better understand how the mat might be effective, it’s worth looking into acupressure which, despite being a non-medical treatment, is regarded seriously enough to have been given a write up by every hypochondriac’s best friend, WebMD.
Acupressure is based on an idea common to Asian bodywork techniques, that there are several acupoints on the body that are vitally important to the flow of ch’i and connect the fingertips to the brain and other organs or groups of organs. Acupressure involves applying pressure to these acupoints in order to regulate the flow of energy through the body, something which the Grippz Mat achieves while the user is engaged with their own exercise routine.
Other features include eco-friendly materials, a long lifespan, and being made from “closed cell” material that prevents the mat from absorbing fluids or odours, ensuring it is easily cleaned.
The project’s $10,000 goal was absolutely smashed, receiving $83,376 in pledges (it also received $151,528 on Indiegogo). Mass production began in January, and the various Kickstarter pledge incentives are due to ship in May.
Of course, you may well be the kind of person that thinks that this all sounds like moon-loving hippy nonsense and we are in no position to disagree with you, so, you know, enjoy your back pain?