Reporting Mary Robb Jackson
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Some people will try anything to relieve pain, which includes sleeping on a new-age bed of nails.
It may sound counterproductive, but two local women gave it a shot.
Standing in for metal spikes are thousands of very sharp plastic points.
The Halsa Mat is based on 5,000 years of early Hindu Vedic tradition. It’s advertised to help with stress, fatigue, low energy, muscle tension, back pain and insomnia.
Its companion pillow is touted to relieve serious headaches.
“I guess the lure was – I have arthritis in my neck and every morning I awaken with a headache,” Charlotte Boreland said.
Two weeks ago, Jackson went to the Himalayan Institute looking for volunteers. Boreland was up for the test because she’d rather avoid headache medication.
“And so I thought, ‘Why not give this a try and see if there’s any benefit to it?’” Boreland said.
Initially, it was too painful to rest her head directly on the pillow. However, covering it with t-shirt material did the trick.
She used the mat for 20 minutes a day and two weeks later, she’s waking up free of neck pain and headaches.
“I will probably continue using it and my husband is using it. I use it first, he uses it after me and he is sleeping better at night,” Boreland said.
“The concept behind that is touch can stimulate your body to create hormones, and factors that make you feel better – which then can make you relax your muscles,” Dr. Don Whiting, a neurosurgeon at Allegheny General Hospital said.
Dr. Whiting believes that if you can get relief without medicine or surgery, why not try it?
Joyce Morse had tried everything from chiropractors, to deep tissue massage, and acupuncture. A total of 41 years in dentistry has taken its toll.
“Well, I have stenosis in my left neck and stenosis in my lumbar,” Morse said.
However, after two weeks of using the Halsa Mat three times a day, the results have not paid off like Boreland’s.
“I am not convinced either way and I would like to continue using it a little longer,” Morse said.
Morse thinks that her experience with the mat may have been affected by too much gardening and rainy weather during the trial period.
There are a number of different companies making these acupressure products and Halsa is the Swedish version.
They’re not cheap either. Ordinarily, a set of mat and pillow runs nearly $80, but you can find them on sale for about $60.
You can also buy the items separately to cut down on the cost.