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Acupressure Points for Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common complaint, and at least one in three people experience it at least once a year. The best way to deal with it is to massage the neck to relieve tension. But how should you do it effectively and without possible complications? Consider the ancient medical art of acupressure.

Acupressure massage for neck pain

Does Acupressure for Neck Pain Relief Actually Help?

Acupressure for neck pain

There are many reasons for neck pain, or, as it is often referred to, “a stiff neck.” The most common are, however, an uncomfortable sleeping position or too puffy a pillow, or a bad posture - especially during office work or staring at a smartphone. Sometimes it’s caused by a pinched nerve. Acupressure, a technique that helps to stimulate blood circulation and release muscle tension, is a helpful tool for easing neck pain.

Acupressure is an ancient healing art based on the traditional Chinese medicine practice of acupuncture, but no needles are required. You put pressure on specific places on your body, known as acupoints. This method is safer as there’s no bleeding involved.

Therefore, acupressure serves the main purpose of relieving pain, heating the muscles, and increasing blood flow to the brain, enriching it with oxygen. If we turn to science and academic studies, there is no definitive consensus on the effectiveness of acupressure as a treatment for neck pain.

Pressure Points for Neck Pain Relief and How to Trigger Them

Although acupressure for neck pain can be performed by a specialist, it’s also a great self-help tool. To do it effectively, check the most popular acupressure points for neck pain relief listed below:
Jian Jing

Jian Jing

Jian Jing is an acupressure point that positions itself between the right and left shoulders, where the highest point of the shoulder muscle is located. Jian Jing neck pressure points provide targeted relief for neck stiffness. Pinch the muscle with your thumb and middle finger, then push it with the index finger. Stimulate it for 4-5 seconds.

He Gu (L14)

He Gu (L14)

This acupressure point for neck pain is located between the base of your thumb and your index finger. Use your thumb to put pressure on it, circulating it a bit during the procedure. Then repeat the same with the other hand.

Wind Pool

Wind Pool (Feng Chi/GB20)

Feng Chi, an exceptionally helpful neck pressure point, is located under the hairline on the back of the head. To stimulate it, put the tips of your middle fingers into the space where the base of your skull meets the top of your neck and slide them away from each other until they reach a pool of GB20. For best results, do it for between one and three minutes.

Zhong Zu

Zhong Zu (TE3)

This pressure point for stiff necks can be found between the pinky and ring finger, between the knuckles where the fingers connect to the hand. Apply firm pressure to massage and stimulate it for a few seconds. It’ll help to ease the tension in the neck and shoulders.

Tai Chong

Tai Chong

This acupressure point is located on the foot above the place where the skin of the big toe and the next toe join, just a little bit higher. For stimulating this neck pain pressure point, give it a firm push and make circular movements. Be sure to lessen the pressure if any painful sensations occur.

How to Perform a Massage on Neck Pressure Points

Self Massage

Though the technique of acupressure for neck pain relief seems quite simple, certain rules need to be adhered to achieve the required result. They are easy to remember and easy to follow.

  • Find a quiet place and set aside time, make sure no one disturbs you; put yourself in a relaxed state and take several deep breaths to calm down.
  • Use firm, deep pressure in circulating movements and control the level of pain. Stop massaging the neck pressure points if you start to feel unwell.
  • Repeat the massage throughout the day.
  • Relax and Breathe In Deeply

    Relaxation and deep breathing are vital elements in acupressure. Acupressure, being a part of Chinese medicine, has a certain philosophy regarding energy in the human body. It doesn’t matter if you believe in it; it’s a fact that the procedure has a stress-diminishing effect. Unfortunately, stiffness in the neck can be caused not only by physical factors but by psychological too. Giving yourself some rest, temporarily, away from all the worries can be a healing experience. It is also a good idea to massage the acupoints with a positive intention. In a way, it’s a form of meditation that balances your body and mind.

    Find a place to relax for 10 to 15 minutes in the position that is the most comfortable for you. Your eyes can remain opened or closed. Breathing is another crucial component while you’re putting pressure on acupoints. Deep breaths bring oxygen to your blood; they calm the mind and help to minimize obsessive thoughts. This is the perfect base for a neck massage ritual.

  • Use Firm Pressure Movements for Massage

    You should press the acupoints firmly, yet it should not be too painful. Try to have a 90-degree angle from the surface of the skin whenever it’s possible.

    Stop massaging the acupoint if there's exceptional discomfort.

    If you apply pressure manually, use the middle finger as it's the strongest one. You can also use the thumb, or the knuckles of your fist. You can try doing it with a pencil eraser or an avocado pit. Do not massage or rub the area around the pressure point.

    Bear in mind that each body is different, and therefore, the pressure and duration required are different too. Do not ignore your sensations.

  • Repeat the Techniques Throughout Your Day

    It’s ok to repeat stimulating pressure points for neck pain relief throughout the day. Take into account the reactions of your body and mind to acupressure. There’s no rule on how often you should perform the massage. There are no restrictions on the duration of the procedure other than an emergency case or an illness that requires immediate medical help, such as an open wound or burned skin.

Who Should Avoid This Type of Treatment?

Although using acupressure for neck pain relief is one of the safest methods of self-help, pay attention to several major issues:
  • Do not put pressure on sunburnt skin, on areas with boils, blisters, or varicose veins.
  • While pregnant, it’s better to consult your doctor before applying any pressure to your body;
  • Avoid using acupressure or reflexology, or any other method that suggests putting pressure against the body if your neck pain is caused by a physical injury.
  • It’s also inadvisable to massage the acupressure points after a heavy meal as it may cause nausea or after the iced drinks.

Try Out Massaging Pressure Points for Neck Pain with a Pranamat Eco Set

Though acupressure is a self-help method, having additional tools is a good idea—for example, the Pranamat ECO Set. Here you will find a massage mat that stimulates acupressure points while you’re lying on it, releasing the endorphins, and making you feel as if you’ve just had a massage. And a special pillow will stimulate the pressure points if you are experiencing neck pain.

The materials used are natural and will add to your feelings of health and relaxation. Such a set is extremely helpful when you don’t have enough time to massage yourself. It’s a great present for those who spend their time in an office chair and can’t afford to spend 10-15 minutes away from their desk.

Pranamat massage set

Final Thoughts

Pranamat massage set

The neck, being a symbolic bridge between body and mind, should be treated with care and respect. All the vital arteries and vessels are hidden there, nourishing our brains. Acupressure, when applied according to specific rules, is a treatment that’s safe for such an important body part. Not only does it help with stimulating blood circulation, but it also puts you in a peaceful state of mind.

And if you lack time and strength, consider purchasing the set. It’ll help improve your quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

It helps in terms of increasing blood circulation, but science can’t give a straightforward answer to this question.

There are numerous points for neck pain relief, such as Jian Jing (GB21), He Gu (L14), Wind Pool (Feng Chi/GB20), Zhong Zu (TE3), and Tai Chong.

Put firm pressure on acupoints, avoid rubbing the area around it, stay in a relaxed state of mind, and breathe deeply.