Thursday, September 10, 2015

DIY Neck Pain Relief

In our increasingly digital world, we are constantly looking down at our phones, tablets and laptops.  It is no wonder, then, that more and more people come to my clinic for neck pain relief.

Nerves from all over the body go through the neck to reach the brain.  If your neck muscles are tight or spasming, it can irritate the nerves and cut off circulation to the brain and eyes.  As a result, you may experience dizziness, vision problems, difficulty breathing, and anxiety.  Frankly, I cannot overstate how important the neck is to your general feeling of wellbeing.

Chinese neck stretching exercises

There are several different ways of relaxing your neck muscles.  The most basic, of course, is to eliminate or reduce the activities that cause those muscles to tighten up, such as the use of electronic devices or misaligned sleeping positions.  However, for most people, drastically reducing the time you spend on the computer is simply not an option due to the nature of your work.  If this is the case, stretching and acupressure may be a good place to start.

Last December, I did a 3-part video series with Dr. Jing Fan, an orthopedic surgeon from Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, on stretching exercises for neck pain. The original blog post can be found on my clinic's website,  Dr. Fan, who is very tall and spent many hours every day looking down to perform surgeries in China, believes that by doing these exercises for 10 minutes daily, he was able to stave off the neck pain that plagued so many of his colleagues.

If you are in need of instant pain relief and do not have the time or space to perform stretching exercises, there are a few acupressure points you can press while sitting at your desk or lying down. These four points along the neck and upper back are called Gallbladder 20 (Feng Chi), Small Intestines 15, Gallbladder 21 (Jian Jing) and Bladder 15.  I provide a detailed explanation of each one in the video below.


Sometimes, however, if your neck muscles have been spasming for too long or you simply cannot reduce the amount of time you spend sitting and working at the computer, DIY neck pain relief may not be enough.  If that is the case, you many want to consider getting acupuncture done at those neck pain relief acupoints to deeply relax your muscles and reset them for a healthier alignment.  I have offices in Needham, MA (20 min outside of Boston) and in Boca Raton, FL, but with the increase in the number of acupuncture schools in the U.S., you should be able to find an experienced acupuncturist near you.

That is all for my DIY Neck Pain Relief Guide for now!  As always, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel @AcuOptimalHealth for more information on acupuncture and healthy living.