Acupressure can help relieve pain, tension and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. Stimulate these acupressure points to ease neck stiffness and neck pain.
How to Get the Best Results from Acupressure
Apply firm pressure with the thumb or forefinger. Breathe deeply and steadily, and don’t hold your breath. Apply pressure for at least 20-30 seconds. For best results, stimulate the acupressure point for two minutes or longer.
Never use acupressure if the acupressure point is over a vein, mole, wart, bruise, cut or abrasion in the skin. If you have an underlying medical condition, consult your doctor before using acupressure to treat neck pain and stiffness.
Acupressure Points for Neck Pain, Sore Neck and Neck Stiffness
1. Back of the hand
There’s an acupressure point for neck pain and stiffness on the back of the hand, just below the little finger. Find the acupressure point by running your finger along the outside of your hand. Just beneath the knuckle of the little finger is a small hollow. Apply firm pressure or massage this area for relief of neck stiffness and pain.
2. Between second and third fingers
To treat a stiff neck and neck pain, apply pressure between the second and third fingers. The point is located at the back of the hand, just below the knuckles. Each hand corresponds to the opposite side of the neck. If pain is on the left side of the neck, use the right hand acupressure point, and vice versa.
3. Hegu Spot
The Hegu Spot is located in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger. Grasp this spot with the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand. Apply firm pressure or massage the area for relief of neck pain, stress and tension. Stimulating the Hegu Spot can also help relieve general body pain.
4. Back of the skull
Run your thumbs along the base of your skull, starting at the back middle point and moving outward. Just outside the curve of the neck muscles are two indentations or grooves at the base of the skull. Use your thumb(s) to apply firm pressure.
Stimulate one point repetitively, holding pressure for three seconds, then releasing for one second. Do this ten times, then repeat with the other side.
5. Slope of the shoulder
Run your thumb down the slope of your shoulder. The pressure point is about halfway between neck and shoulder. In the neck, the large trapezius and sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscles are often the cause of pain and stiffness. The trapezius muscle begins at the base of the head and travels down over the shoulders, and the SCM runs from behind your ears to the groove at the base of your throat.
Apply firm pressure to this acupressure point to relieve a stiff sore neck. For best results treat both sides of the body. If you’re pregnant, don’t stimulate this acupressure point, as it may cause uterine contractions.
Although these acupressure points will help relieve neck pain and stiff neck, everyone is different. Your personal pressure point may be slightly “off” from that shown in the visual guideline. If you don’t find the acupressure spot right away, wiggle your thumb or forefinger around the area a bit, and you will find it.