What is Acupuncture and how can it help your tight neck and shoulders?
Acupuncture utilizes fine needles that are inserted into specific points in the body and left in position for anywhere from 5-15minutes.
Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago and is based on the belief that we have twelve major pathways (meridians) in or body that link everything together. By inserting the acupuncture needles at specific spots along these meridians, we can redirect the flow of energy with the purpose of relieving stress, tension and pain.
Can acupuncture alleviate neck/shoulder pain and headaches?
A study was carried out to examine whether acupuncture treatment would reduce chronic pain in the neck and shoulders from sitting as well as headaches associated with this pain. Researchers also wanted to examine whether treatment effects would be long-lasting. The study involved 24 female office workers who had preexisting neck and shoulder pain. Two groups were formed, a control group and a group who had acupuncture applied 10 times during 3 weeks. A physician measured the pain threshold in the neck and shoulder regions before the first treatment and after the last treatment, as well as six months after. Questionnaires on muscle pain and headaches were answered by participants directly after the study and again 3 years after the last treatment. The intensity and frequency of pain fell more for the group who received acupuncture. Three years after the treatments the group who received acupuncture treatment still reported less pain than before the treatments. Researchers concluded that adequate acupuncture treatment may reduce chronic pain in the neck and shoulders and related headaches.
Veiersted KB, Hostmark (2004). Effect of acupuncture treatment on chronic neck and shoulder pain in sedentary female workers: a 6-month and 3-year follow-up study. Pain, Jun;109(3):299-307.