Will the spike mat be under this year's Christmas tree?

"Spike mat" Christmas Present of the Year

The controversial "spike mat" has been named as this year's "Christmas Present of the Year", by the Swedish Retail Institute.

The spike mat - or acupressure mat - is a mat with plastic "spikes" people lie on for supposed health benefits. According to the Intitute ít has been chosen for the title because it is a symbol for today's health-conscious society.

But the spike mat is controversial. They are said to cure everything from back pain and head ache to sleeping problems and stress. "Rubbish" say some health professionals, and this summer, the Swedish Consumer Agency sued a company selling spike mats for misleading marketing. "The company gives the impression that a product can cure or alleviate illnesses when this clearly cannot be proved," the Consumer Agency said in a statement at the time.

This is the 22nd year in a row that the Retail Institute names what they think is and will be the most popular Christmas present of the year. In order to get the title, the product or the interest in it, has to be new. It should have a high selling potential and "represent the time we live in".

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