Last weekend I went to the Yoga Conference and Show in Toronto with a pal (yeah, I’m totally one of those people now) to check out the latest and greatest in yoga, natural health and general wellness. Within 30 minutes I had spent $100 on a spoonk mat, organic toothpaste and a salt pipe. True story.
The Spoonk mat has been on my radar for awhile. The mat is designed based on the principles of acupressure and Japanese Shiatsu massage. A few bloggers I follow swear by its benefits, which are said to range from decreased stress, anxiety and muscle pain to an increase in energy and better sleep. I had almost purchased it a bunch of times but was dissuaded by the cost, so when I saw it for $50 (it typically retails for around $65) I jumped on it. The makers of the Spoonk mat recommend 20-40 minutes a day of spoonking (I’m guessing that’s what it’s called).
I’ve been using mine while reading or watching TV on the couch, and occasionally I’ll put the mat down on the floor and place my feet on it for a bit. It’s recommended that one wear a thin t-shirt when laying on the mat, as the sensation can be quite intense, especially at first. I found standing on the mat barefoot to be too much, but placing my feet on the mat while in a seated position is quite enjoyable. I’ve also taken to rolling the mat under my neck when I want to focus just on some neck pain I’ve had on and off for a few years. While I’ve not used the mat long enough to know if it has any long-term benefits, I can say that after using it for a few days I’ve noticed reduced tension in my neck and it feels particularly great when I place my legs on the mat. Just make sure not to make any sudden movements while laying or resting your arms or legs on the mat, as those spikes are super duper spikey and could tear your skin. As a note, the Spoonk mat should not be used by women who are pregnant. To all my pregnant pals out there I’ll spoonk for you while eating soft cheeses and sushi and drinking wine. I’m selfless that way 😉
I also picked up a salt pipe, also known as a Himalayan Salt inhaler pipe. Salt pipes are touted as having healing properties that would particularly help people with allergies, asthma and other respiratory and throat/lung issues, and many people swear by their ability to cut down on the severity and length of a cold and cough. While I don’t suffer from severe allergies, over the past few years I’ve noticed that I get mild to moderate allergy-like symptoms during the summer months that are on par with what I’ve witnessed in friends with hay fever allergies. I get the whole itchy palate, stuffed noise, itchy/watery eyes deal. Oh and salt pipes are supposed to help with snoring too.
The way to use a salt pipe is to breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. The nose part is essential, because breathing out through your mouth into the pipe will render the salt moist which reduces it’s healing properties. The people I bought this from emphasized the importance of drinking a lot of water after using the salt pipe. And yes, it does taste a bit like salt but it’s not strong. Overall it’s a pleasant experience.
If anyone has used either the Spoonk mat or a salt pipe I’m super curious to know your thoughts. Hit me up in the comments!