Massage for the neck
Many people prefer to get a massage for the neck instead of medications to alleviate their neck stiffness and pain. The neck pain and stiffness often is a result of putting unnecessary pressure on bones, ligaments, and muscles of your neck, while performing activities like sleeping or resting uncomfortably, constantly looking down at your phone or book, sitting or slouching on your desk for long periods, gazing at your computer screen position higher than your head level, and constantly staring at a TV screen installed at a height.
An acupuncturist performing the acupressure massage selects two points in the body: a local point — near the pain area of your neck, and a trigger point –away from the pain area. The therapist, using his or her knuckle, finger or thumb, massages and puts pressure on the trigger point, a point away from the pain area, and the effects reach the pain area in the shape of electrical energy through a meridian, a human electrical channel. The spot to assuage the neck pain is called Gallbladder 21, located on the backside of the upper trapezius. Blood and oxygen along with nutrients then reach the pressure point’s area, providing relief from pain. The process is repeated for a few minutes, four to five times.
You can also choose either a deep tissue massage or a Swedish massage to treat your neck pain and stiffness. While massaging the neck, a therapist usually starts from the upper back and shoulders. With an injury or chronic tension, adhesions can develop in ligaments, muscles, and tendons due to persistent stress which impedes movement, and cause pain and inflammation.
Deep tissue and Swedish massage both are excellent remedies for breaking down adhesion in the muscles, restoring muscle movement, and relieving pain.
Skin rolling is an effective method commonly used during neck massage to help reduce muscle tension by increasing muscle flexibility. The technique is performed by initially grabbing a part of the skin between fingers and thumb, and then rolling the skin forward.
Soft tissue mobilization technique is used to loosen the tight muscles formed after withstanding excessive strain or overuse. The tight muscles restrict movement which can be manipulated by mobilizing them by applying varying degrees of pressure.
A human body contains many lymph nodes beneath the skin in different areas including armpits, on either side of the neck and groin, arms, and back of knees. To soothe the neck pain and stiffness, another kind of massage called lymphatic massage or manual lymph drainage is used. It uses effleurage, which employs long strokes on your body, pushing the lymph in vessels towards the lymph nodes, stimulating lymph circulation, and improving the immune system. The lymph nodes then filter the toxins, ultimately draining them out of the body.
The growing popularity of spas and clinics offering a range of massage therapies is a testament that massage indeed helps alleviate neck pain, among other chronic pains and issues. The above-mentioned types and techniques of massage are widely followed across the globe. While some scientific studies attest to the efficacy of massage therapies, we need more studies to validate the claim. However, followers of massage therapies approve of their efficacy in assuaging chronic pain, stress management, improved fitness, better agility among many other benefits.
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