CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HOMEDICS
What is it?
It’s not breaking news that stretching every day is good for you – whether you’re sitting all day at a desk job, lead a less-than-active lifestyle or are a keen gym-goer and want to keep your muscles limber, there are myriad benefits: from reducing stress to improving performance during workouts.
But if you struggle to find the motivation and time for activities like yoga, or are unable to take part due to a medical condition or injury, there’s a high-tech new solution. Introducing the HoMedics STRETCH mat – designed by a yoga pro, it has a selection of pre-programmed treatments that mimic yoga poses and stretches.
Essentially, it provides similar benefits to yoga, without any effort on your part, allowing you to lay back and relax while the mat does the work – pretty genius if you ask us.
How does it work?
The mat – which plugs into a standard socket – is filled with precision-controlled air chambers designed to inflate in sequence to emulate yoga style stretches. Whilst you lay on the mat, the chambers gently inflate in different areas, encouraging your lumbar to stretch, release and relax.
There’s a choice of four pre-programmed treatments vary in intensity and can be selected via a handheld remote control – allowing you to customise each stretch to suit your flexibility and ensure maximum comfort.
Each stretch is designed to be combined with deep, slow breathing – which further helps to release tension in the major muscle groups. Expect to feel immediate benefits in your shoulders, hips and back, and see improved overall flexibility over time, along with reduced stress levels and a greater sense of wellbeing.
Anything else to know?
HoMedics recommend checking the support manual if you have a medical condition before purchasing or using STRETCH. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with the product (SL has tried it out, and we have to say – we’re pretty impressed so far).
The brand are also offering SL readers 25% off STRETCH mats right now: simply enter the code SHEERLUXE25 at checkout to claim your discount.
Tips on how to get the best stretch by Karen Brown, yoga instructor and Head Designer at HoMedics…
1. Relax & Let The Mat Do The Work
Try to mindfully scan each part of your body during the treatment, and wherever you sense tension, consciously release that tension by allowing your body to become heavier and softer. The motion created by STRETCH will move your body without you needing to exert any effort. In fact, the more you relax, the greater the benefits will be.
2. Enhance The Twist Action
For programs that include a twisting movement, the benefits can be further enhanced by adding a gentle turn of the head as described below:
- During a shoulder twist, try turning your head slowly in the direction of the twist. Allow the head to be heavy and the ear to sink down towards the mat. Move the head gently back to centre as the shoulder comes back down, before repeating on the other side.
- During a hip twist, keep the upper body relaxed and both shoulders heavy. Allow the hip to be lifted without resistance. As the right hip lifts, try turning the head to the left side and vice versa. Always move gently and return to a neutral position in between movements. If there’s any discomfort in the neck, make the movements smaller or try using a pillow either side to rest the head on as you turn.
3. Use Your Breath
If you feel tension or slight discomfort during the treatment program, try to visualise directing your breath to the area of tension. Breathe slowly and deeply, in and out through the nose. If it feels okay, you can also try extending the out breath making it up to 50% longer than the in-breath. To get into this rhythm try counting to four on the in-breath and fix on the out-breath. Sink deeper into the mat as you exhale.
4. Try Varying Your Position
STRETCH has been cleverly designed to work for people of all different shapes and sizes. You can subtly change the feel of your treatments by moving slightly closer to either the top or bottom of the mat as you lie down. The effect will be different for everyone, dependant on your height and proportions, so give it a try and find your favourite position.
5. Get In The Habit
Treatments can be repeated as often as feels good for you, but as with anything new, always start gently and build up your regime as your body becomes accustomed. We recommend starting with a gentle ‘stretch’ treatment on level 1 and waiting at least 48 hours before the next treatment. Then slowly build up to daily or twice daily treatments, as desired.