Necks are quite complex, actually. There’s a lot going on in them in a small amount of distance and space. There are muscles, bones, discs, veins, arteries, lymphnodes, glands, a voicebox and the floating hyoid bone, and of course nerves.
What causes your neck pain? Mostly it is problems with the facets between the vertebra levels. While we don’t needle the facets directly, we have para-vertebral points call the Hua Tuo Jiaji points which help to unwind fascia in the area. The unwinding of fascia, and breakdown of knots is a TCM classic specialty. For example, the use of guasha, or scraping, the use of cups, and of course our tuina-massage style which gets in there as no one else will.
Then there’s acupuncture. How does acupuncture help the various kinds of neck pain (tension, arthritic, knotty, spasmodic, etc.)? Well for one it causes the muscles to relax. That cannot hurt anyone. Then you have the release of old trauma and information (usually stress) from the fibers of the area. After that you have the circulation of blood and nerve energy, which we call Qi. Finally, your glands releasing dopamine, endorphins, and seratonin gives you a relaxation sensation.
By utilizing motor points, we can quickly release and elongate muscles, causing them to fasciculate (twitch) and return to more normal lengths and shapes. This is key in the neck because so many muscles oppose one another, and when they are aggravated, almost certainly the trapezious will become involved. It is a large muscle with three groups that can actually aggravate and oppose one another. So needling it is pretty key to relaxing the neck in almost all cases. In some acute injuries there is also a nerve blockage which will require an energy drain by needling the hand point “Luo Zhen.”
Chronic Stress and Sleep Related Pain
Relieving neck pain associated with sleep issues, which are usually associated with stress is a key aspect of acupuncture. By causing the Sympathetic Nervous System to shut off (to make you twitch on the table), causes the body to relax on a deeper level, and enables better thought and emotional energy states during sleep. By having deep muscles relax, the body can elongate. If it elongates, the back and neck are not compressed, and the nerves are not pinched. From there, it’s only natural that over time you will heal and get stronger and healthier as your parasympathetic nervous system takes over.
The thing is, you probably didn’t get chronic neck and back pain overnight, and you’re not going to get rid of it in one treatment in 98% of cases. So for that we have chronic care plans. Now, most people buy 1x/week acupuncture but they are missing out on the full benefits of TCM. If you buy a 2x/week not only will you get a much cheaper rate per session, but for one of those sessions each week you can choose to do a cupping, tuina, guasha, or do something different for your body. Of course you can just get your chronic pain worked on twice a week. Endorphins fade after about 3 or 4 days anyhow, so this is a good option.
And as usual, we provide superbills at the end of a course of treatment so you can go to your insurance provider and get reimbursements.
People ask what kinds of things they can do for chronic neck pain, outside of massage. Well do you have an inversion table? Do you have heated pads and devices to help break down fascia? Do you have a microstim device? Have you thought about an IR therapy device in home? Are you going to therapy and talking about your stresses? The point is that there are many home care remedies, and usually it’s just that people sit back and wait til the neck is already in a much worse position, then only act later. When you wait, you pay, either with pain or more money at length of treatment.
So stop waiting, and get in here and get treatment! Call up 859-533-0914 or book online today!