Neck pain is a common issue, but luckily it can often be relieved by using this simple acupressure self-massage. Acupressure uses the same points as acupuncture, but they are stimulated using finger pressure rather than needles. This makes it a safe and easy treatment that anyone can do when they need fast relief.
This acupressure massage can be done almost anywhere, but it is best to choose a quiet spot where you can relax without interruptions. Focus on your breathing throughout the massage and perform each movement slowly and with intention. The entire massage should take five to ten minutes.
First you will need to locate the point numbered GB20 at the base of your skull. You will find it between the trapezius muscle which runs over the top of your shoulder and the sternocleidomastoid muscle which runs down the side of your neck.
Place your hands on the sides of your head with your two thumbs on the points on either side. Use your thumbs to press into the points, pushing them up towards your eyes. Hold for a few seconds and take some deep, calming breaths. Then use your thumbs to massage the point in small circles using medium to firm pressure. You should be able to feel the points, but it should not be uncomfortable. Continue to massage the points in this way for one or two minutes.
Next, use your index and middle fingers to massage the muscles either side of your spine. Work your way down your neck, using small, circular motions. Repeat three times.
Then you will need to locate the vertebra at the base of your neck (numbered C7). It should be slightly prominent compared with those above and below it. Midway between the tip of this vertebrae and the tip of your shoulder, you will find the point GB21. Massage this point with your index and middle fingers using medium pressure for one to two minutes. (Note: If you are pregnant, you should skip this stage)
You will then need to locate two more points located just behind GB21. These are numbered TB15 and SI13. The three points are in a straight line, around a fingers width apart. Repeat your circular massage on these points one by one, spending around one to two minutes on each.
After that, use the flat surface of your fingers to sweep down your neck and over your shoulders in long, smooth strokes. You may find it easier to do this by reaching across your body and using the opposite hand to the side you are massaging. Repeat this action three times on each side.
Finally, take a few deep breaths. Turn your head gently and slowly to the left, then the right and look up and down. Repeat this several times, shake out your arms and relax for a few moments before going back to your day.