6/24 UPDATE: Congrats to Alex and David for winning the Spoonk acupressure mat. The giveaway is now closed, but if you’d still like a mat, it’s available here on Amazon. This is an affiliate link that helps fund Food Babe operating costs – Thank you for your support in advance!
At the end of a long day walking around Expo West (The largest natural foods show in the US) last spring, I finally decided to venture into the health/wellness section away from the food. I stopped dead in my tracks, after seeing the excitement happening at the “Spoonk” booth.
Spoonk is an acupressure mat that has over 6,000 points to stimulate your circulation. Circulation is incredibly important in regulating all our body functions. When circulation isn’t good, our energy gets blocked and affects the way we feel and think.
A lot of people were trying out the Spoonk mats, stepping on them and feeling them – I couldn’t help but want to join in the fun. I wanted to know if benefits listed on their marketing – improved sleep, relaxation, stress relief and easing muscle tension really worked. Being somewhat skeptical at the time, I didn’t think something so simple could be so powerful.
Luckily, the founder Hans came over to introduce himself and offered to give me a mat (which retails for $70) in exchange for my opinion. My curiosity got the better of me and of course I said yes, but only if he would give my friend Alyssa, who accompanied me to the expo one too! He generously obliged.
So there we went … Alyssa and I carrying our Spoonk mats in all their glory. I received a green one (which matches my home décor perfectly) and Alyssa received a purple one…
The real test happened when I came home and unrolled it. I showed it to my husband and being the adventurous person that he is, immediately laid down on it for a good 20 minutes. After getting up he said he felt energized.
That was just the beginning. Since then and over the last 3 months, both of us have used Spoonk for various relaxation techniques. Here are some of the benefits I received (and will continue to enjoy thankfully to Spoonk):
- Improved a crick in my neck a couple of different times
- Calmed my mind and improved anxiety before bed
- Relived sore muscles in my legs, feet and back
- Alleviated stress after long days in the office at a computer
- Standing on the mat while doing computer work and participating in conference calls kept me alert and clear
I am pretty sure I am not experiencing the placebo effect, since I am really in tune with my body. The improvement in mood and overall well being immediately after using Spoonk is real. I just wish I had this mat when I was traveling on the road for work all the time. The stress on my shoulders and back of carrying my laptop and bags by myself through airports every week really added up and this mat would have been a savior for that time in my life.
If you’ve been reading Food Babe, you know that I don’t see the conventional doctor all too often and my medicine of choice is through regular acupuncture treatments. When I went earlier this week, I had to ask my acupuncturist about Spoonk and get his opinion. He concluded it can improve circulation which can in fact can move stagnant “chi” around in your body. But is obviously not a replacement for the targeted and deep energy work that Acupuncture provides. He said “Americans are one group of stressed out people, anything that helps us alleviate stress, the better! We need more tools like this.” I loved the fact that he didn’t immediately dismiss it and it gave me even more motivation to continue using Spoonk, especially after long days at the office.
So as you can see, I’m pretty sold on Spoonk, but I really wanted to know what Alyssa thought too… She kindly put together her thoughts for you to read as well. (THANK YOU Alyssa!)
From Alyssa M. Ward, Ph.D.
During our visit to Expo West, I was newly pregnant and very excited to receive a free Spoonk to test out. After arriving home, it was the first item that I opened up and demonstrated for my husband. We took turns trying out several different positions with the Spoonk—sitting with feet resting on it, standing on it with thin socks, and finally laying down with the Spoonk beneath our upper back and head. My husband, ever a skeptic, pondered the data and efficacy and the scientific mechanism behind the product. We consulted the website and found that the Spoonk is not recommended for pregnant women by its creators, and bears a warning to ask one’s physician before use. At my next OB appointment, we unfortunately found out that I was diagnosed with a very rare condition called “vasa previa” which meant that my doctor was taking all precautions. She told me that we could not risk me having any contractions whatsoever, as it threatened the baby’s life. Apparently the Spoonk was high on the “no no” list as it involves acupressure, which could potentially lead to contractions.
I was quite disappointed that I would not be able to use the Spoonk for many months. I was encouraged to see that my skeptical husband, with no prodding from me, spontaneously started using the Spoonk on a regular basis. He starting keeping the mat right next to our bed, and in the evening he would first sit on the edge of the bed with his bare feet resting on the mat. After a bit he would stand for about 30 seconds at a time. On a few occasions, he used it on his back and neck, though did not find this quite as helpful. My husband is 6’4”, and has size 13 feet. He is so far away from his feet that it is difficult for him to put shoes on without sitting down, and he is generally not in close contact with them to give them a rub. The Spoonk allowed him a method to soothe his feet after workouts and in the evening after a long day in lawyer-shoes.
I have done a bit of internet-searching and have failed so far to find any evidence of randomized trial support for the Spoonk’s anecdotal claims to ease chronic pain, migraines, and the like. There does appear to be quite a following, with Dr. Oz recently naming the product the “Best Alternative Remedy” for pain relief. Case study and local aggregate evidence are certainly both important sources of data, though the scientist part of me wishes that there was some kind of controlled research to back up the claims. Regardless, my observations of my husband’s enjoyment with the product will encourage me to integrate use of the Spoonk once our dear baby girl is safely out of my belly!
The best part of this post, is that Spoonk has offered to give away two mats to a lucky Food Babe reader. To win, you have to be a Subscriber, Facebook fan and/or Twitter follower and leave a comment below by Saturday, June 23. Feel free to leave any comment or any question you like, but I would love to know if there is a particularly topic you’d like me to write about next.
I really wish I could give a mat to all of you.