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Pain In The Neck

When something is a “Pain in the neck” you’re usually describing a bad situation. For some the phrase can be taken literally.  With only seven vertebrate and 26 muscles supporting the weight of a human head, the neck is vulnerable, yet tolerates huge movements.

The pain can come from so many daily tasks, like carrying heavy shopping bags, walking with a laptop in a rucksack, picking up baby each day to cradle and comfort, driving long hours, shoulders hunched from the cold. Sometimes the jaw feels tension and headaches can occur.

How a massage can help

Having a regular massage helps keep your joints supple, this reduces your chances of pulling a muscle. It’s good for improving your posture and flexibility, increases range of motion, lowers blood pressure and heart rate. You will then find your body more at ease and stress is released.

How I would massage you

When you’re suffering from neck pain in particular, the massage will focus first on your shoulders and upper back, using a blend of acupressure (trigger points) and deeper tissue massage. Then applying acupressure again working the arms, chest, legs and back will help to reduce pain in the neck.

You may feel the benefits of a facial massage around the jaw in particular as this could contribute to release neck tension or visa versa. Remember each body part is connected so I don’t work in isolation.

How to help yourself

Grasp the back of your neck with one hand placing the heel of your hand into the space just behind your ear at the base of your skull and your fingers wrapped around the opposite side of your neck. Squeeze, applying pressure with the heel of your hand only (using fingers just for leverage). Work your way down your neck to where it meets your shoulder. Repeat several times. End with some gentle neck stretches, tilting and rotating your head from side to side.

 Shoulder Shrug

Lift the top of your shoulders as close to your ears as you can get. You should feel tension in your shoulders and neck. Hold the lift for three to five seconds, and then drop your shoulders back down.  Using this exercise when you first notice neck muscle tension developing can help prevent it from worsening

Coming to have a session with me doesn’t end after the treatment. I will always try to offer safe aftercare advice and some self help tips to keep that neck tension at bay.

Labour Pregnancy Acupressure Points

Is this you?

Swollen ankles puffed up like oranges, feeling like there are shooting pains running up your back, you cant bend down to put your socks on anymore.   40 weeks and your baby is so comfy and wont budge. (Due dates are, of course, just estimates and it’s common for most mums to go into labour one to two weeks before or after their projected due date).

Using acupressure techniques has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The West is slowly accepting this technique and now some hospitals also have as part of its plan of integrative medicine. One of the best parts of acupressure technique is that it can be self-administered. Here are some of the acupressure points to induce labour techniques and maternity acupressure.

* HOKU  or L14*

 

If you are planning to use acupressure to induce labour then stimulating the Hoku point will help. It is located in the membrane between the index finger and thumb. This point is just above the region where the bone of the index finger is attached to the bone of the thumb. Massage this point with the thumb and index finger of your other hand to stimulate contractions.

Please read this study on its effectiveness.  The Effect of LI4 Acupressure on Labor Pain Intensity and Duration of Labor: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

* BL32 *

This point is just above the crease of the buttocks and can use the thumb to press and massage in circular motions. The way to locate this point is swipe your finger along the spine and stop as soon as they hit the depression in the lower back region just above the buttocks. Stimulation of this point by applying pressure and massaging it will help induce labour.

* SPLEEN 6 *

spleen-6

Place four fingers on the inside of the ankle just above the ankle bone to locate the spleen 6 point. This is where the finger is farther from land ankle. To induce labour, massage this point for a couple of minutes, keeping the pressure. By massaging this point in a circular motion and repeat the movement with the other leg.

* K1 * k1-solar-plexus

The K1 point is used during labour to help relieve some of the anxiety and nausea associated with pregnancy. This acupressure point is located at the base of the foot, just behind the ball of the foot. To be more specific, it’s right in the middle of the sole and you need to put pressure on this point, pushing the big toe. You can massage this point at any stage of pregnancy, helping to alleviate some of the work stress and nausea.

* P6*

p6Pressure point massage will help reduce nausea and vomiting associated with motherhood. To find this point, place three fingers on the wrist crease and feel the area between the tendons with the finger that is furthest from the wrist crease. Massage this point with the tip of the index finger for 1-2 minutes and repeat the action on the other hand.

* BL60 bladder-60

This acupressure point is used to help the baby descend into the pelvis and induce labour naturally during childbirth. The BL60 is located between the Achilles tendon and the lateral malleolus, in simple terms found in depression near the ankle. Grasp the area and apply pressure with your thumb, do this for 1-2 minutes at regular intervals to induce labour.

These are some of the points I press during Reflexology and Massage treatment to support my mums. I will always offer support and guidance after your session so that you can show a willing partner to do these for you at home.