Neck pain or stiffness is as common as getting a flu or cold. Everyone has it at some point in life. The importance of the neck in the movement of the head and its location in the human body, make it more prone to injury and fatigue. While there are a number of ways to deal with stiffness and pain in the neck depending on its cause, there is evidence to support that acupuncture for neck pain is the most effective way to deal with it. Acupressure and acupuncture both target certain acupuncture points for neck pain.
In this article we explain all you need to know about acupuncture and acupressure for neck pain.
Acupuncture For Neck Pain
Acupuncture is an ancient and powerful form of alternative healing. It has its roots in China and has gotten a lot of backing from traditional medicinal doctors in recent times. Its based on the premise that a human body is an energy or qi form. Blockages and disruptions in the flow of qi is the reason that a person suffers from a myriad of illnesses and conditions. By releasing these blockages, those conditions can be treated.
It is believed that there are over two thousand points on the human body, which are basically connections with the energy pathways (or central nervous system). Disruptions in the flow of qi can be corrected by manipulating these points. called acupoints, using needles.
Acupuncture may be an ancient form of medicine, but research has shown it to be effective. While the premise of acupuncture is built on the human body being an energy form, research has identified biological reactions behind its effectiveness.
- Acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system resulting in the excretion of opioid peptides. These chemicals have an analgesic effect on the body i.e. they reduce pain.
- Acupuncture also looks to stimulate neurotransmitters and neurohormones. These chemicals are responsible for communication within the central nervous system. Acupuncture stimulates the neurotransmitters and meurohormones into sending the brain messages of feeling less pain.
- Acupuncture is also known to stimulate the the central nervous system by strengthening the immune system. The immune system is the body’s first line of defense against pain.
- The acupoints (in this case acupuncture points for neck pain) are believed to be conductors of electromagnetic signals. When an acupuncture needle is used to stimulate these points, it triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphin is responsible for killing pain and thus its release can combat pain.
Which acupoints are stimulated using acupuncture depends on what condition is being treated. As far as acupuncture points for neck pain are concerned, there are different acupoints that are stimulated depending on what the cause behind the neck pain is.
The main takeaway from this is that acupuncture focuses on stimulating certain points on the body that have connections to the central nervous system in order to sort out the flow of qi. Each condition is treated by treating different acupuncture points.
Acupuncture Points For Neck Pain
If you are looking for self-help remedies, we advise you to skip this part and read about acupressure for neck pain.
For those having an interest in learning acupuncture, acupuncture points for neck pain depend on the causes and symptoms behind it. For the sake of making this easier to digest, we will divide the acupoints into three groups.
1. Acupuncture Points For Neck Pain Caused By Trauma
The acupoints must be needled using the reducing method for 1-2 minutes. If this provides relief, continue to do this a few times, preferably 3-5 more times. Then move onto establishing auxiliary local points. Needle the points and leave for 15-20 minutes. The acupoints to be targeted are:
- SI 3
2. Acupuncture Points For Neck Pain Caused By Strain
Neck pain caused by strain is treated by targeting local, adjacent and distal points.
- SI-3, SI-6, SI-7
- TH-3, TH-5
- UB 60
- GB-39, GB-41
- SI-12, SI-14, SI-15
- UB-11, UB-12
- GV-14, GV-16
These three types of acupuncture points for neck pain must be targeted keeping the specific channel in mind. So if the channel being targeted is GB, you will be needling GB-39 & 41 (Distal), GB-21 & 14 (Adjacent) and GB-20 (Local).
3. Acupuncture Points For Neck Pain Caused By Cold Wind
The reducing method of needling is used for this treatment. Auxiliary local points are not involved. 2-3 minutes of needling, repeated a few times should be more than enough. The acupoints to be targeted include:
You can learn more here.
Difference Between Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure both operate under the same premise. The only difference is the technique used for stimulating the acupoints. While acupuncture uses needles, acupressure employs substantial pressure to stimulate the acupoints.
Because of the fact that acupuncture reaches deep within the acupoints to stimulate the qi disruption, it is known to be stronger and more effective compared to acupressure. That does not mean that acupressure does not have its advantages. Chief among them is the fact that if you know where to apply pressure, you can do it at home and do not need treatment by a specialist.
Dry Needle Point Therapy and Source Point Therapy are other techniques to make use of acupoints.
How To Apply Acupressure
Before we get into identifying acupressure points for neck pain, here are a few things that you should remember.
- When targeting certain points for acupressure, start by applying slight pressure on each point to see which ones make you feel better and which ones cause more pain.
- Pressing slightly with two fingers should be enough to make you realize which acupoints need more work
- Once you have identified the acupoints that you will be targeting, apply pressure onto them for 2-3 minutes each before moving on.
- While applying pressure to an acupoint, make sure that you are doing so on both sides of the body. This is to say that if there is an acupoint on the shoulder region on the front side of the body, you need to apply pressure at the same point on the back of the shoulder as well.
Acupressure Points For Neck Pain
As we mentioned before, acupressure points for neck pain are not much different from acupuncture points for neck pain. But to make it simple, here are the acupressure points that you can target to relieve pain:
The acupoint is situated in the shoulder muscle at the halfway point between the neck and the shoulder. This acupressure point is great for relieving pain caused by a stiff neck.
Acupressure on this point helps relieve pain and numbness in the neck. It is located on both sides of the area where the spine and skull connect at the base of the neck.
The celestial window is located in the area under the ear just above the base of the neck. Stimulating this area will not only reduce neck pain but it is great for headaches as well.
This amazing acupoint is located in the hand between the thumb and the first finger. Pressure on this point is great for relieving stress and tension. It may also relieve neck pain caused by stress.
Like the celestial window, this point is located just below the ear but slightly above the celestial window. It’s exact location is the depression behind the ear.
- Other Acupressure Points for neck pain
Other acupoints that you should target for neck pain are situated in the head. These include:
- Eyebrow Ascension
- Deviating Turn
- Fifth Place
- Light Guard
- Celestial Connection
- Declining Connection
- Jade Pillow
Acupressure and acupuncture have a long history of treating and curing conditions using acupoints. Although still at odds with modern medicine, its effectiveness is well documented. By stimulating these acupuncture points for neck pain, not only can you have instant relief but also treat the causes behind the pain. It is a great wholistic approach to treatment, one that can make you feel healthy and good about yourself with little to no side effects.