Everyone uses tablets and mobile phones. Unfortunately, they force you into a posture that strains your neck, shoulders, and back. Most people lower their heads to look at the screen of their smart device or tablet. In addition, they then raise their shoulders and slant their necks into a bent-forward position. As a result, this can lead to shoulder and neck pain.
Many people, including students and high-performance professionals, get stiff shoulders and necks. A tilted head and bent neck will eventually put pressure on your upper spine, which will, over time, lead to lower back pain. This physical stiffness and constant discomfort will eventually make you stressed out, feeling uneasy and uncomfortable.
In traditional Chinese medicine, there are 12 main channels or meridians where qi flows throughout the body. The posture you remain in for too long while you use your tablet or mobile phone will strain the muscles and joints in a way that inevitably leads to a stagnation of qi flow in those areas. Imagine a stream. When the stream is constantly flowing, the water is always fresh and clear. If you were to build a dam further upstream, then the flow of water would stagnate and the water where you are standing would become stale and murky.
Stiffness and back pain is caused in the same way that blocking a clear stream leads to murky water, only in the case of the body, it is a blockage or imbalance of the natural flow of qi that causes the problem.
By massaging certain points on the body, also known as acupressure, you are able to unblock the passage of qi in that area and help its flow to become more balanced. This may result in an alleviation of your stiff neck or recovery from the acute back pain caused by this phenomenon.
The following are three effective pressure points that can help you get rid of your stiff neck and sore shoulders in just minutes.
These points are located just below your occipital bone, where the spine reaches the skull. There, just left and right of the spine, lie the Fengchi points. For most people, this is right on top of the natural hairline at the back of the head. Start by massaging the muscle at the back of your neck with your hands to loosen the flesh. Then use the thumb of either hand to rub the Fengchi points.
Once the muscle located at your Fengchi points relaxes, you may notice the sensation of your eyes brightening and the soreness and pain in that area will be alleviated. In principle, this effect is simple to explain since the blood coming from the heart passes through the carotid arteries and also through the Fengchi points on their way into the head.
Translated, the term Fengchi means “wind pond.” This is because the part of the body where these points are located is most likely to be affected by wind since it can easily pour into this point.
Since blood flows through the Fengchi points on its way to the head, if the circulation is insufficient in this area, the blood supply to the brain may also become inadequate. As a result, your eyes may become more likely to degenerate. Regularly pressing the Fengchi points is therefore said to help clear your eyesight and help you sleep better.
The Jianjing point lies at the intersection of the neck and the trapezius muscle. To better locate it, you can place your hand right under your ear line on your shoulder and press the point right below your third finger from the thumb side.
This acupuncture point is easy to locate and very simple to massage. However, it is not located in the neck area at all.
To locate the Chize point, place your palms upward just below the elbow and bend your arm. The Chize point is right below the tip of your thumb. As you press down onto the Chize pressure point, shrug your shoulders simultaneously.
You may feel a sensation in your upper back area, as a result of your Gaohung area — near your trapezius muscle — relaxing.
Translated by Joseph Wu and edited by Hermann Rohr