Say Goodbye to Shoulder and Neck Pain
It is a common experience to feel some pluses of pain in the head after using a computer or mobile phone for a length of time. This experience is not one of a typical headache—rather, it is due to the head being tilted forward for a long time, resulting in stiffness of the shoulder and neck muscles.
Let me teach you a few tricks of acupoint massage, medicated diet, and exercise to eliminate the shoulder and neck pain, and the headaches will soon disappear.
1. Fengchi acupoint
Location: Under the occipital bone behind the ear, in the obvious depression between the two large tendons in the hairline.
When pressing the Fengchi, first pinch the muscles at the back of the neck to let the muscles relax a little, and knead and press on it with your thumb.
Pressing the Fengchi can relax the muscles, sharpen eyesight, and relieve the dryness and soreness of the latter caused by continuous focus on mobile phones and computers.
Fengchi is the point where blood must pass on its way to the head and eyes. When blood circulation is good, a sufficient blood supply to the brain and eyes is guaranteed, and vision will not be easily impaired.
Massaging Fengchi can also improve insomnia.
2. Jianjing acupoint
Location: At the midpoint of the line connecting Dazhui (the depression below the protrusion at the back of the neck when the head is lowered) and the acromion.
Put one hand on the other side of the shoulder and neck, and press the Jianjing with the index finger to relieve the discomfort of the shoulder and neck muscles.
3. Chize acupoint
One more magic acupoint—Chize. It’s nowhere near the neck—it’s on the arms.
Location: On the transverse crease of the elbow, in a depression one finger’s width inward from the outer end.
Shrug your shoulders a bit when pressing the Chize. This gives you an immediate magic feeling of relief from the stiffness of the shoulders and back.
Following is a recommendation of two recipes with herbal medicine, allowing you to relax the tendons and relieve pain.
1. Salmon Soup for Tendon Relaxation
Ingredients: 250 grams (8.8 ounces) of salmon, 200 grams (7 ounces) of broccoli, 1 piece of soft tofu (bean curd), 30 grams (1 ounce) of ginger, 5 green onions, 30 grams (1 ounce) of miso, a little rice wine and mirin.
Medicinal content: 15 grams (0.5 ounces) of Radix puerariae (kudzu root), 10 grams (0.4 ounces) of white peony, 10 grams (0.4 ounces) of licorice.
There is one prescription in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) called “Kudzu root decoction,” which is effective for relaxing muscles. Radix puerariae soup can not only relieve shoulder and neck pain but can help reduce muscle soreness and cramps after exercise.
2. Soup Made of Beef With Cinnamon and Red Dates
Ingredients: 120 grams (4.2 ounces) of beef, 1 medium-sized tomato, 4 slices of ginger, and 4 segments of scallion.
Medicinal content: 20 grams (0.7 ounces) of ramulus cinnamon, 6 red dates.
Cinnamon has the same effect as kudzu root, both can relieve muscle stiffness. This medicated diet can also alleviate shoulder and arm pain.
Maintaining a correct posture can keep you from becoming sore. When the posture is correct, the whole spine becomes as neat as a stack of blocks, with the muscles and ligaments near the spine being able to stabilize the spine with much less effort, and thereby avoid soreness and injury.
For less discomfort, get used to the following correct posture while seated and using a computer: With the body upright, the chin slightly retracted, the head straight but leaned back slightly, the shoulders relaxed and drooping, and the elbows placed in a natural position on the desktop.
Standing posture must be upright and aligned. I know some people who practice singing and always require themselves to be standing upright so that they can sing well.
You can also learn how to stand upright by “standing against the wall”: Stand against a wall, lean your head, neck, and back on it, retract your chin and the lower abdomen, keep in this state for five minutes, and practice at least once a day.
After some practice, you will be able to stand upright naturally. It not only improves shoulder and neck pain but also helps lose weight.
Simple Shoulder and Neck Presses and Swirling Exercises
It is easy to forget to remain in good posture once getting involved in work, resulting in rounded shoulders. Regular shoulder and neck exercises can soften your shoulder and neck muscles, and collarbone, shoulder, and necklines all become more appealing.
- Press the muscles at the root of the shoulder and neck on the other side with one hand, and turn the shoulder back and forth, 10 times forward and 10 times backward.
- Hold the hands still, turn the head in the other direction, and turn back and forth 10 times.
- Repeat on the other side.
Simulated Eagle Posture Stretching the Muscles
One of my friends, a doctor who works in traumatology, taught me a set of exercises called “Eagle Movement.” This simulation of an eagle moves the entire scapula, arm bones, and muscles, allowing the shoulders and neck to relax quickly and the arm muscles to become stronger.
- Straighten your hands like an eagle spreading its wings, palms down, fingers gripping like eagle claws, tightening the muscles from the arms to the shoulders.
- Rotate the shoulder blades and stroke the arms forward and backward 10 times.
- Turn your palms upwards, and swipe 10 times.