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Vila Mat

Relax your muscles and balance your chi with this Swedish acupressure mat

by Karen Day in Design on 12 January 2012

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Whether you're looking for a little therapeutic relief after a long day on hill or just need to balance the flow of your inner chi, the Vila Mat aims to help. Created by snowboarders Justin Steinhardt and Hjalmar Hedman, the Vila Mat harnesses the power of acupuncture through its crown-shaped plastic spikes—a remedy known to reduce physical pain, increase circulation and boost mental energy.

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Commonly used in Sweden (the word "vila" translates to repose in Swedish), the mat has developed a cult following around the world by everyone from yoga instructors in LA to Finnish pro snowboarder Jussi Oksanen. I recently put the yoga-sized Vila Mat to the test, and found the spikes incite an almost immediate heat sensation that relaxes the body. After 30 minutes, my back muscles felt looser and my mind felt more at ease. Although the effects of acupressure mats aren't confirmed by medical doctors, anyone who spends significant time behind a computer will likely benefit from the stimulation that mat provides and the meditative state it inspires.

The Vila Mat comes in three colors—stone gray, ocean blue and royal blue—and sells online for $40.

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