The mystical bed of nails originated over 1,000 years ago and was used by gurus in the practice of meditation and healing. Bed of Nails® has created a modern, ergonomically designed version of that ancient technology, with a Swedish twist. Adorned with thousands of non-toxic plastic nails (harmless to the skin), Bed of Nails® offers all the healing benefits of its legendary ancestor. It brings the self-healing benefits of acupuncture and massage into the home and workplace to help create and sustain a healthy lifestyle amid the stresses of a modern world.
Bed of Nails is similar to acupuncture, a holistic method of healing used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The 2000-year-old theory states that we have energy, or Qi, running through our body at all times. When this energy is blocked, it can cause illness or pain. So the pressure of our 8,820 rounded nails against the skin triggers the body’s innate way of healing itself, stimulating energy pathways known as meridians. BON may help release endorphins, the body’s very own “happiness drug,” which provides a sense of joy, energy, and pain relief. It also stimulates oxytocin, which makes you feel calm and relaxed (yes, it is possible to feel energetic and relaxed at the same time!).
My BON Eco mat and pillow arrive in slick packaging and I’m pleased to see that each product has its own fabric storage bag. The mat is torso-length and an inch or so thick; the pillow is an elongated half-cylinder. Both are covered in natural coloured linen (breathable and eco-friendly) and are apparently stuffed with buckwheat hull and coconut fibre, which gives the items a feeling of weight and quality.
Both pillow and mat are covered with thousands of tiny plastic spikes and as I unpack the products I do have a moment of apprehension: the plastic ‘nails’ are sharp! Sharp enough to make them tricky to handle, and I wonder if I’m going to be able to withstand the discomfort when it comes to lying down on the things.
The information leaflet provided in the box suggests starting off by leaning the body onto the mat with a t-shirt on for a less intense experience, but when I try this I can’t feel anything, so off comes the t-shirt and I tentatively lean my bare back onto the mat which is draped over my sofa. Immediately the sensation is like being pricked by thousands of tiny needles (if you’ve ever had a tattoo – it’s kind of like that but over a large area at once) and my instinct is to get up quickly, put the thing away and never look at it again. However, I stick with it, taking some long slow breaths, and very quickly the pain gives way to a delicious sensation of warmth spreading through my whole back and shoulders.
Bolstered, I even add in the pillow under my head. As time passes I’m able to relax my body weight more and more back into the mat and pillow and a sense of deep relaxation floods over me. I stay where I am for 20 minutes, listening to some music and continuing to breathe deeply and I’m surprised when my timer sounds, feeling like I could have happily stayed for much longer. When I finally rise from the mat I have thousands of tiny indents in my back and the area is red due to the increased blood flow to the skin – but my back and shoulders feel goooood; the chronic tightness that I suffer from seems to have been replaced by a feeling of ease and a tingle of aliveness. Mentally I feel clear, calm, energised and ready for the rest of the day.
Bed of Nails is not for the fainthearted, but anyone who makes it through the first few moments of (quite intense) discomfort will be rewarded with a wonderful sense of refreshment, relaxation and renewed energy. The pillow is especially handy as you can rest the soles of your feet on it or pop it under your neck without having to get undressed, but for those of you who have the time and privacy (and the courage!), I would wholeheartedly recommend the full-body experience. I’ll definitely be using both the pillow and the mat on a regular basis as part of my quest for a more comfortable physique.
My advice would be to start slowly and build up to the full experience by beginning with a t-shirt on to moderate the intensity, or by choosing to lean on the mat rather than lie on it with your full body weight. This way you can adjust the experience to suit your personal comfort/discomfort threshold and still reap the benefits.