Acupuncture for Neck Pain,
Stiff Neck & Headache

Acupuncture for neck pain, stiff neck and headache is safe and generally very effective. Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has been in use for at least 2000 years in China.

Over the past 20 or so years in the West, especially in North America, Australia and the UK and also in Germany and France acupuncture has become popular. It is particularly good for pain relief.

Matthew Scott, site owner, was an acupuncturist in Australia for ten years. He successfully treated many cases of neck pain, i.e. chronic neck pain and acute stiff neck, with acupuncture. Here, he shares with you what happens when you receive acupuncture for neck pain.

Number of needles and location

When you have acupuncture for neck pain you will usually be required to lie face down on the treatment table. Therapeutic massage may be applied first to help relax the soft tissues around your neck and to stimulate blood circulation in the area. Up to 10 or 12 acupuncture needles will be gently inserted in your neck, shoulders and upper back. The precise location of the needles depends on the location of the pain and whether it's sharp or dull, constant or intermittent, and other factors. Acupuncture points on your arms and legs may also be needled.

Length of treatment

The needles usually stay in place for 20-30 minutes. All you have to do is lie there and relax. Acupuncture has a relaxing effect on many people and some even fall asleep during the treatment.

Acupuncture can also effectively treat related problems like chronic neck pain and headache and acute stiff neck and headache.

Other therapies combined with acupuncture

Apart from therapeutic massage, acupuncture for neck pain may also include other TCM therapies like moxibustion and cupping, which most traditional acupuncturists are trained in. Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy and cupping is a technique that helps circulate blood. A Chinese herbal liniment for pain may also be rubbed into your neck and upper back muscles once the needles have been removed. You may also be given a Chinese herbal formula to help address the underlying cause of your neck pain, as well as neck exercises.

This above information is a general outline only of what happens when you have acupuncture for neck pain. TCM views each of as a unique individual - no two people with neck pain will receive exactly the same treatment. How many treatments you need also varies from person to person, however you can expect relief from acute stiff neck after one or two treatments, while chronic neck pain may take several or even a dozen treatments.

Consult an acupuncturist

For specific advice on acupuncture for acute or chronic neck pain and related headaches it is recommended that you consult a licensed acupuncturist. He/she will diagnose you according to TCM principles and prescribe a combination of acupuncture and one or more related TCM therapies, as mentioned above, to suit your particular problem.

Unsure about acupuncture? Try neck exercises first

If you are not sure about trying acupuncture for your neck pain, Matthew has a Neck Exercise Program on downloadable video. The program loosens and stretches your neck and upper back and is effective for stiff neck and neck tension from stress, work, sports and other factors. Matthew used the techniques twice himself to stop severe stiff neck from surfing. He also passed them on to scores of people when he was an acupuncturist in Australia.

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