Neck and shoulder pain is one of the most common conditions that someone will come in to see an acupuncturist for. This is partly because neck and shoulder pain is so common in our society. There are a number of reasons for this. The most common reason for neck pain is the daily stress we encounter. Being in traffic, in crowds, loud noises, stress, disagreements between people, co-workers. The first line of defense for these injuries will take place in the neck and shoulders. Also, our necks are somewhat fragile, needing to support our heads and attach our head to our shoulders. In this blog we’ll discuss some of the ways in which natural, holistic medicine is effective at treating neck and shoulder pain.
There are two types of treatment for neck pain. One, that reduces the symptoms. And the second that heals the problem at the source of the issue. Often times patients will tell me that they go to see a holistic provider, like a chiropractor or an acupuncturist, they treat the neck, feel better, but within a few days the pain comes back, just like it was before. The reason for this is that they are treating symptoms, not the underlying cause. This is helping to stimulate blood flow and reduce inflammation, but more stress will just create more inflammation and reduced blood flow. This type of treatment will be more effective in a whiplash or injury type of case, but for long term chronic issues, we need to go deeper to the sources of stress.
Our sources of stress is unique to each person, but we all know what our stresses are. If this is properly understood by the health care provider, we have and open a doorway into treating this problem at the source of the issue. Therefore, When we experience this same stress again, we have a different response, and instead of tensing up, we relax more.
In a lineage of East Asian medicine, called the nonsomatic extroardinary vessels, of which I am a certified practitioner of, this is how I have been taught to treat neck pain and the results are excellent. The treatment is geared so that the REACTIONS that people to have to stress and tension are changed. Patient’s will commonly report “That thing or person just doesn’t bother me in the same way”.
When our reactions are changed, our stress is reduced. As a result,the body holds less tension, blood flow increases, inflammation reduces, pain goes away and we feel better! The first area of improvement of our reaction to stress, is the Neck and shoulders. Then the scapula, rib area, and then the abdomen.
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