The Effect of an Acupressure Mat on Anxiety

Are acupressure mats good for anxiety?

Numerous pieces of research have proven that acupressure therapy has an immediate and positive impact on the symptoms of anxiety.

With an acupressure mat, you can enjoy the treatment in your own home.

It’s worth mentioning that though acupressure can relieve the symptoms immediately for many, it’s not treating the root cause of the condition.

Therefore relief will be short term, but with very few reported side effects, it can be used as a daily tool for easing your anxiety symptoms.

Before we take a look at the research, we wanted to talk briefly about our experience:

I’ve been using an acupressure mat for the past four years, normally before bed when I feel at my most exhausted!

For me, the mat acts as a distraction. When my thoughts feel noisy and confused, I love the way my mind refocuses when I lay on the spikes.

Bought primarily for neck pain, I’d underestimated how much it would also help with stress and anxiety.

Our founder Jonathan, has been using the therapy for nearly 10 years and has tested more than 30 different mats during that time:

Laying on an acupressure mat works wonders for anxiety, it’s perfect for calming a busy mind.

The overstimulation you experience when you first get onto the mat is overwhelming. There’s so much going on, all the sensations from the spikes. That creates such a distraction from everything else. It’s so intense at first that you can’t think of anything but the feeling of the spikes.

Once you get over that initial period and start to relax and melt into it, your mind has been refreshed and that pattern of thoughts broken. Then, it’s a feeling of calm and total bliss.

So let’s take a look at the official research…

Between 1997 and 2014, 39 different studies were conducted to understand how the spiky treatment can help to calm the mind.[1]

Data from each project reported a positive outcome. They found acupressure to be effective in providing immediate relief to symptoms and described it as having a “medium effect size”.

In fact, five of the included projects with larger sample sizes reported an even greater effect, leading researchers to call for wider scale trials.

One such investigation was published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies in 2014.[2]

It focused on easing depression, anxiety and stress in patients with end stage renal disease on hemodialysis.

Results were assessed on the Depression, Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) and found that scores were significantly lowered after the treatment.

Professors in Malaysia, where the research was carried out, were able to conclude:

Findings from this study indicates that acupressure therapy delivered three times a week for four weeks was able to significantly reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and general psychological distress in patients with hemodialysis.

We’ve found through lots of testing that the best way to use an acupressure mat for anxiety is to make it part of your self-care routine and set a mood.

Holistic therapist and wellness expert, Brandi Jackson, explains that finding a place you feel comfortable is so important:

If you find yourself anxious at home, consider keeping your mat in a space where you can practice for example your bedroom may be ideal or near the living room couch.

If you are working in an office space, consider keeping your acupressure mat at your desk or in your car to be used during your break.[3]

Want to give it a try?

Here at The Good Body we’ve been using acupressure mats for years and have tested many different brands.

Discover our favourite acupressure mat, which we believe is the best in the world…

Laura Smith


Laura Smith

Associate Editorial Manager

Specialist health & wellbeing writer, passionate about discovering new technologies & sharing the latest research.


  1. Au, D. W. H. et al. (2015). Effects of Acupressure on Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis [Online]. Acupuncture in Medicine. Available from: [Accessed 4 July 2023].
  2. Hmwe, N. T. T. et al. (2015). The effects of acupressure on depression, anxiety and stress in patients with hemodialysis: A randomized controlled trial [Online]. International Journal of Nursing Studies. Available from: [Accessed 4 July 2023].
  3. Spiritual and Mind Wellness (2020). Holistic Therapy Anxiety Treatment: How To Use An Acupressure Mat And Pillow + More Benefits [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 4 July 2023].