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3 Ways to Fix a Stiff Neck

Woke up with a nagging ache at the back of your neck? Can’t turn your head past your shoulders without feeling the pain?

You are likely to be suffering from a stiff neck. Stiff neck is a condition that typically develops when the head and neck muscles remain in a fixed position for extended periods, it can occur due to an awkward sleeping position.

However, it is becoming increasingly common among the young and middle-aged who spend long working hours hunched over their laptops in air-conditioned spaces. From the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, the stiff neck experienced under such circumstances is due to the dominant pathogenic factor of cold causing an obstruction to blood flow, resulting in pain.

Instead of suffering in pain, here are some quick remedies to alleviate the discomfort:

1. Apply heat or ice

Taking a warm bath or applying a heating pad can help to improve blood circulation. Ice, on the other hand, can aid in reducing inflammation and swelling.

2. Do some light stretching

Gentle and slow stretching can help relieve the stiffness or prevent a stiff neck. Some of the stretching exercises include:

  • Rolling your shoulders backward and forward in a circular motion
  • Lightly pressing your shoulder blades together and holding the position for a few seconds
  • Slowly turning your head from side to side, as far as you feel comfortable

3. Go for TCM Pain Management Treatment

In TCM, a meridian (经络)is a channel through which qi flows. Pain is an indication that the channel is blocked and receiving TCM Pain Management Treatment at our TCM clinic can help to restore the flow within the meridian channel.

This article will introduce our 3 most popular TCM Pain Management treatments and how they are used together to relieve the pain in your neck.

i) TCM Tuina (TCM Massage)

TCM Tuina (TCM Massage 推拿) literally means “push and grasp” aims to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi (life energy) through massage and hand manipulation techniques applied on various pressure points on the body to heal itself naturally.

TCM Tuina (TCM Massage) is gaining popularity in Singapore TCM clinics due to its non-invasive nature and the wide array of benefits that it brings to the patients. In fact, TCM Tuina (TCM Massage) has become the “go-to” TCM Pain Management Treatment for individuals who are looking to address various pain related ailments effectively.

TCM Tuina (TCM Massage) works directly on the problem area and is especially efficacious in the treatment of muscle related injuries or pains when used in conjunction with TCM Cupping Therapy & Skin Scraping (Gua Sha). In fact, one can hardly avoid TCM Tuina (TCM Massage) as a treatment option when it comes to such problems.

TCM Tuina (TCM Massage) therapists at our TCM clinic are skilled at identifying specific acupoints and use various techniques to relieve the tension in the muscles while promoting blood flow to achieve pain relief.

ii) TCM Cupping Therapy

TCM Cupping Therapy is an ancient form of TCM pain management treatment in which a local suction is created on the skin. TCM Physicians believe that this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing.

TCM Cupping Therapy is used to treat various forms of pain Eg. Stiff Neck. TCM Cupping Therapy can be used for back, neck, shoulder and other musculoskeletal conditions. It is worth noting that Olympic athletes such as Michael Phelps are using TCM Cupping Therapy to improve their performance.

Patients are advised to drink plenty of water after doing TCM Cupping Therapy to help move blood and other fluids through the affected area. The discoloration left by the cups is normally caused by the painless bruising due to the dispelling of stagnant blood and will dissipate after a few days.

In Singapore TCM Clinics, TCM Pain Management Treatments typically combine TCM Cupping Therapy with TCM Tuina (TCM Massage) & Skin Scraping (Gua Sha) to achieve maximum result in pain relief.

iii) Skin Scraping (Gua Sha)

Skin Scraping (Gua Sha) is an East Asian healing technique. After a Gua Sha session, a person's skin might show red, black and blue spots like sand, and there comes the name “Gua Sha”. Typically the Sha bump should fade within 2 to 4 days.

Gua Sha is usually used when a patient is feeling pain. There may be aching, tenderness and/or a knotty feeling in the muscles. Palpation reveals Sha when normal finger pressure on a patient’s skin causes blanching that is slow to fade. In addition to resolving musculo-skeletal pain, Gua Sha can be used to treat any chronic disorder involving pain, congestion of Qi and Blood.

In Singapore TCM Clinics, Gua Sha is commonly used in conjunction with TCM Tuina (TCM Massage) and TCM Cupping Therapy as a part of the TCM Pain Management Treatment as it will help to alleviate pain with greater efficacy.

There is no need to suffer in pain when you are afflicted with a stiff neck. Early treatment at our TCM clinic can help with a speedy recovery. Reach us at 6474 0869 to make an appointment with us today.

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