Bed of Nails Mat – Does it really work?

The infamous bed of nails mat. This modern version of an ancient ascetic practice has seen a resurgence in popularity. What is its history and how does it work? Before I continue I want to let you know that “I have advertising relationships with the stores I link to on this page”. Keep in mind though, that the products that I review, I own and use. Any insights or remarks about these items are based on my own observations or added research that I have investigated.

Fakirs and Stuntmen

In the past, beds of nails were crudely fashioned from a piece of wood with hundreds of nails pounded through so that they all protruded from the other side. Evenly distributed, they actually only produced a small amount of pressure to the skin which prevented the skin from being pierced. Stuntmen have taken advantage of the physics behind this idea and have added the breaking of cinder blocks on the chest or having someone stand on them to increase the drama and excitement of this visual wonder. Historically, the use of the bed of nails goes back to the ascetics or Fakirs of India. Lying on the bed while meditating was used as a means of improving focus and clarity during meditative states. There are some accounts of Fakirs achieving an altered state of consciousness while using the bed of nails and there are modern day studies that mention this.

Scientific Inquiry

The modern bed of nails mat has become very popular world-wide as a means of pain reduction and the general relief of stress. I have found only a couple of serious research papers discussing the potential effects of utilizing the bed of nails. Keep in mind that scientific inquiry and evidenced based research only provide the measurable results of the specific information that they are exploring. The subjective effects on the participants, although positive, are not measurable. One study explained this as follows,

“There were no effects on normal pain intensity, optimism, anxiety, depression, stress, energy, or sleep quality. The participants appreciated the treatment, but their enthusiastic verbal reports of experienced beneficial effects could not be verified in the statistical analyses.”

You can read a bit more about it here.

And here.

My Own Experience

Initially, I learned about the bed of nails mat from an old friend in the local yoga community. He bought one out of curiosity and found it to be an interesting tool to add to his meditation practice. He casually mentioned it in a conversation one day and I reacted accordingly. “You are doing what?!” In the ensuing conversation he convinced me that it did work for him. He was able to “chill out” to a deeper level that was different from his ordinary meditative practice. I was hooked. I got home and ordered one and patiently waited for it to arrive. When it did, I excitedly opened the box, laid it on my massage table, removed my shirt and proceeded to lie down on it.
Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set – $19.99

from: ProSource

Wo! It really hurt to get on. I mean, I couldn’t believe I was trying this. Crazy! Bravely, I laid back and with my clock in view, proceeded to try to outlast my friend’s best time (I am slightly competitive). At first, I felt an overall pain, then, more of a burning sensation that changed to a numbness. It was there, but no longer as intense as when I first got on. This took about two minutes. After that, I was good. I still felt it, but it was okay. Five minutes into it I was still doing fine. After fifteen minutes I slowly peeled myself off and I had to admit that I felt like I was in an altered state. My back was all marked up from the plastic points but no damage was done to the tissue. I felt good. Calm and peaceful. Was that from the nails or simply lying down for fifteen minutes? It’s hard to say. I’m not a scientist. What I did notice was that the nerve pain I had been experiencing in my left foot was not there anymore. The only thing I can think of, is that it the natural response to pain is the release of endorphins. Endorphins are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland. Their function is to inhibit the transmission of pain signals; they may also produce a feeling of euphoria very similar to that produced by other opioids. It is a systemic release, so even though I was feeling the pain on my back, my entire body was flooded with these endorphins and it seems to have had an effect on the pain in my foot and on my state of mind.

Will it work for low back pain? I really can’t say because I do not have low back pain. What works for one person may not work for another. It did help my foot though, and for twenty bucks, its worth a shot.


So, I decided to write this review about the bed of nails mat because of my experience with it and because of my new adventure in affiliate marketing. That’s why I mentioned my relationship with a store in the first paragraph. I’m only writing about products that I have had personal extended experience with. No promises are made, just my personal experience with a product. If you do decide to purchase one, I’d be interested in hearing about your results in the comment section below. If you are curious about Wealthy Affiliate and what it is all about you can find out more here at To purchase a mat, click on the Pro Source link here.

I am paid a commission for purchases made through links in this post.

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