IMPORTANT - COVID-19

The governing body of Acupuncture the British Acupuncture Council recommended that members postpone acupuncture treatment as a result of the impact of Coronavirus, therefore my practice will temporarily close from Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice on this website.
Please continue to read my regular Blogs during this period.

- Neck Pain and Tension

Neck Pain and Tension

Acupressure for Neck Pain and Tension

I am aware that many of my patients who come for acupuncture have neck pain and tension, in this stressful time, this is a place that tension sits so here are some tips to help with acupressure. 

Muscle tension and back strain are common causes of neck pain. Worn joints and broken-down cartilage can also be a factor. Neck pain usually centres on one location in your neck, but it can also be dispersed. This kind of pain can take the form of stiffness or spasms. Neck pain can also cause headaches.

Acupuncture is effective treatment for neck pain. Acupressure stimulating pressure points with massage instead of needles would not provide the same pain relief but will help while we are in this difficult time. 

Acupressure can be a holistic neck pain treatment. Stimulating pressure points may relieve neck pain and soothe aching muscles. 

Acupressure points for neck tension and pain

To try acupressure for neck pain relief, follow these steps: 

  1. Relax and breathe in deeply. Be mindful to choose a comfortable and quiet setting to practice acupressure treatment. 
  2. Use a firm, deep pressure to massage the pressure points. You can rotate your fingers in a circular or up-and-down motion or just hold your finger still on the point for three to four minutes: focusing on one at a time. If you feel a sharp increase in pain anywhere on your body during the treatment, stop right away. 
  3. Repeat the massage treatment throughout your day if you feel they are effective. There is no limit to how many times per day you can practice acupressure. 

Below is a list of pressure points for several different kinds of neck pain. Remember that the whole body is interconnected. That means that it is not uncommon to stimulate one part of your body to activate or align another body part. 

Bladder 10 Heavenly Pillar

This point is found on either side of your neck, at the base of your skull on your occipital bone and about two finger width (your finger) away from the top of where your backbone begins. This is a powerful point supporting the Body Mind and Spirit, holding you between heaven and Earth. A good way to hold this point is lie on your back lie with your arm out to the side laying your index and 2nd finger on this point. Relax there. You can also do this with a two small balls, this may be very tender to start with so be kind to yourself!

Gall Bladder 21 Shoulder Well 

This point is found in the muscles of your shoulder, about halfway between your neck and where your arms begin. This point helps regulate the flow of Qi between the heart and mind, by giving emotional and physical flexibility, allowing the head to rotate with ease and allowing greater vision.

Good to lie on your back again placing your thumb on the point and hands on your head and close your eyes and relax. 

NOTE that stimulating this point may induce labour so do not stimulate it to relieve neck pain when you are pregnant! 

For these two points if lying flat on back is difficult you can bend your knees or put pillows under your knees. They can be done sitting up if lying down not possible, make sure you rest your arms on something as they may ache as you are holding points for a while.

Colon 4 Joining of the Valleys

This point is found in the crease of the flesh between the thumb and first finger, roll your finger into the gap. Receiving and releasing are joined at this point, clearing waste from around the system. This is a very powerful point so treat gently. If you are deficient in energy treat with care. This point can help with pain but is often overused so gently hold and relax. Clearing can cause downward movement, so can cause bowels to move.

 NOT recommended if you are pregnant or having a heavy period.

Try these to start I will do some more to help different situations and for your whole system. I hopefully will be doing some films to help you.

Closing Advice

Acupressure can complement other effective neck pain relief home remedies, like a warm compress, stretch exercises, and over-the-counter pain relief drugs. The good news is that with rest and self-care, most  neck pain does resolve on its own within a day or two. 

Recurring neck pain could indicate an issue with your sleeping positions or the amount of stress in your life, or it could be a result of doing exercises incorrectly. Keep an eye on any pain you experience and contact your doctor if it flares up consistently or gets worse. 

If your neck pain is the result of an injury or car accident, do not try to treat it yourself with acupressure or another remedy. Make sure to get documentation and care from a physician and follow up on any testing or physical therapy that is recommended. 

From the Mayoclinic.org

Neck pain can be mild to severe. It can be sharp or dull or cause neck stiffness. The pain may be just annoying or interfere with daily activities. But fortunately, neck pain isn’t usually a sign of anything serious. And most people with common neck pain will experience a complete recovery in four to six weeks.

Common causes of neck pain are:

  • Muscle tension and strain: Too many hours hunched over a steering wheel, computer or workbench can cause muscle strain. Neck muscles also can tighten in response to problems such as arthritic joints of the spine.
  • Worn joints: There are seven vertebrae in the neck, which are connected by ligaments and joints. Just like any other joints, wear and tear can contribute to the development of arthritis.
  • Disk degeneration: With age, the spongy disks that cushion the vertebrae become stiff and provide less shock absorption. This can contribute to neck and upper back pain.

A doctor usually can’t determine an exact cause of common neck pain, even with imaging tests. In most situations, the recommended treatment will be self-care to speed recovery. Components will include staying active, using good posture, and employing stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation. A heating pad, warm bath or gentle massage may ease symptoms. In the first few days, applying ice several times a day may relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

For more information and help contact Hannah on;- https://www.southwellacupuncture.co.uk/contact/

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