Acupressure is an ancient practice that can help relieve tension and improve circulation. This form of alternative medicine is based on the theory that energy flows through the body along specific pathways, called meridians. By applying pressure to specific points along these meridians, you can influence the flow of energy and relieve pain.
Acupressure has been practiced for centuries in China. Today it's used in the treatment of many ailments, including neck pain and tension.
If you want to try acupressure for neck pain, there are six main points to target.
How to Use Acupressure for Neck Pain
Acupressure is a gentler alternative to acupuncture. It's relatively easy to learn and doesn't require needles – just the pressure of your hands.
You can use it at any time of day, and it's simple to integrate into your daily routine.
Here’s how to get started:
- To begin with, find a comfortable position. If you think you might fall asleep, then it's best to sit in a chair with a back that supports your neck. Alternatively, you can lie down on a bed or couch.
- Figure out which pressure points you want to target. We’ve included six points below that can help with neck pain and where to find them.
- Use firm pressure to massage each point for about 10 seconds. If you find a point that's particularly painful, then massage it for 30 seconds. Repeat this process for each point until you've covered all of them.
Feel free to repeat this process as often as you need throughout the day. There are no limits on how often you can practice acupressure. Use these steps for stimulating any acupressure points on the body.
6 Acupressure Points for Neck Pain
Although there are many acupoints on the body, there are six main points that can help with neck pain.
1. LI4 (He Gu)
The He Gu point is one of the most effective for pain and stress. LI4 can help with many different types of pain, including:
- Neck pain
- Sore throats
- Bell’s palsy
He Gu has been studied extensively in both clinical research and controlled trials. One study found that this point was highly effective for reducing myofascial pain in jaw muscles. A recent systemic review found that stimulating this point was effective at alleviating tension headaches and migraines.
Where is it?
The He Gu point is located between your thumb and index finger in the web of skin that connects the two fingers.
He Gu is considered one of the most important points in acupressure because of its ability to help with so many ailments. It can help with virtually any type of pain and tension, and it’s easy to stimulate while you’re on the go. Try our Aculief Wearable Acupressure clips to help target this point!
Because He Gu is such a powerful point, it should not be activated by pregnant women.
2. GB21 (Jian Jing)
The Jian Jing point is one of the most common pressure points for neck pain, but it can also help alleviate things like shoulder tension and stiffness that can contribute to pain.
In one double-blind controlled trial, GB21 was one of the points that successfully helped alleviate chronic headaches. Another study found that stimulating this pressure point significantly reduced pain in the upper neck, shoulder and back (upper trapezius muscle).
Where is it?
GB21 is located in the shoulder between your neck and your arm. To find the point, pinch your shoulder muscle with your middle finger and thumb.
The Jian Jing point may induce labor, so it shouldn’t be used during pregnancy.
3. TE3 (Zhong Zu)
The TE3 point, known as Zhong Zu, can help with neck tension, headaches, shoulder pain and upper back pain.
Studies have found that activating this pressure point stimulates different parts of the brain which may promote better circulation and help alleviate tension.
Where is it?
TE3 is located in the valley between your 4th and 5th knuckles. Find the depression between these two knuckles, and apply firm pressure.
4. GB20 (Wind Pool)
Also known as Feng Chi, GB20 can help not only with neck pain, but also with migraines, fatigue, blurred vision, headaches and cold symptoms. It’s also a great point for alleviating stiffness after sleeping in an uncomfortable position.
One review found that Feng Chi, when used with other acupoints, helped alleviate migraines.
Where is It?
Feng Chi is located along the base of the skull, behind your earlobe.
5. UB10 (Heaven’s Pillar)
UB10, or Heaven’s Pillar, is another great point for alleviating neck pain, and it can also help with sore throats, headaches, neck stiffness, shoulder pain and even stuffy noses.
Some people say it helps clear their brain fog and soothe sinews.
Where is It?
Heaven’s Pillar is located at the nape along the base of the skull. It actually consists of two points, one on each side of the neck.
6. Luo Zhen
The Luo Zhen point can help with neck pain and stiffness. In fact, the name translates to “fall off pillow,” which is a common cause of neck stiffness.
Where is it?
Luo Zhen is located in the valley between the index finger and middle finger knuckles. Apply pressure on the hand that’s on the opposite side of where you’re feeling pain.
Acupressure Made Easy
Although all of these six points can help with neck pain, LI4 is one of the most effective. But activating this point with enough pressure can be tricky. That’s where Aculief can help.
Aculief is a wearable acupressure clip that puts pressure on the LI4 point for you, so you can do more important things – like enjoy that morning cup of coffee in peace.
And if your neck pain is coupled with a killer headache, our Headache Relief Hat or My Relief essential oil roll-on can help ease your pain.
Whether you choose to use Aculief or your own two hands, acupressure is a safe, simple and drug-free way to help alleviate pain. Try stimulating these six points to see if they help with your neck pain.