Pain anywhere in the body compromises your quality of life. It’s frustrating and distracting when your limited mobility prevents you from doing the things that you enjoy. Almost everyone comes into my office seeking treatment for pain in their neck and upper back. Sometimes it’s their primary reason for treatment and other times a secondary concern because they are just used to living with it. At times it’s so severe it causes headaches, numbness and pain radiating down the arms, or insomnia; other times it’s a low grade tension that is always nagging in the background without a moment of relief. Here are 3 tips to ease your discomfort and get you back on track!
Physical movement: If you have a desk job, so much of your time is spent sitting in front of a computer. You’re probably not aware that your neck muscles are straining as your chin juts forward just a bit. Physical activity will get the blood and qi flowing through those muscles. Every time you take a bathroom break, do a few stretches to open up your chest and upper back. Use a foam roller or tennis ball and lay on the floor to massage out the tension. Physical movement will break up the qi stagnation that is causing you pain and discomfort. Have your work station evaluated to make sure all of your equipment is in an ideal location for your body. For more stretches check out “Stretching in the Office” by Bob Anderson.
Stress reduction: From the top of your head try to consciously relax the muscles of your face, jaw, shoulders, arms, all the way down to your toes. Notice how everything starts to soften. Take 10 minutes a day to breathe deeply and do this scan to bring awareness to your body. You don’t need a perfectly quiet room to do this. How about while you’re sitting in traffic, before your big meeting (or after), or at the end of the day before you fall asleep?
Acupuncture: Treatments are effective in providing immediate and sustained relief especially combined with the self care strategies above. Acupuncture will improve blood and qi flow to the painful area and reduce inflammation overall. Other techniques that I use include cupping, gua sha, and electro-acupuncture. Moxibustion, which is a deep warming therapy will become your new best friend!
To experience the benefits of acupuncture, contact me and we can schedule a time to get you back to feeling great!