BY: Sunny Jaspal

Acupuncture / Blog / Conditions

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Acupressure massage for painful shoulders using a tennis ball

Back pain? Stiff neck? Painful shoulders? These problems seem to be affecting many people now, and it is no surprise. As many attempt to work from home due to coronavirus your desk set-up may be less than perfect. A combination of poor posture, incorrect desk set-up and insufficient breaks all lead to pain.

You can read about the correct ergonomics for desk work in a blog I wrote about acupuncture, massage and posture for neck, shoulder and back pain. If you work from a laptop and do not have a laptop riser, why not use a stack of books to raise your screen up to eye level? If you can, invest in an external keyboard and mouse if using a laptop. A height adjustable chair is also important.

GB20 is located under the occipital in the tender depression between the muscles
GB20 Fengchi

There are two acupuncture points which I find vital for neck and back pain, and both can be massaged by using a tennis ball, or other hard ball. GB20 Fengchi and GB21 Jianjing:

GB20 Fengchi is located below the occipital bone, in the depression between the sternocleidomastoid muscle and trapezius muscle.

GB21 Jianjing is located at the highest and most tender point of the shoulder, between the spine and tip of the shoulder.

To use acupressure on these points, lean back against a wall with a tennis ball between you and the wall (see image at top). Push gently, release and repeat. To access GB21 start by standing side on and leaning into a wall and tennis ball. Then roll the ball down the back by turning 45 degrees. You can apply static pressure or roll on the ball, but do not roll on the spine.

Acupuncture point GB21 is located on the top of the shoulder
GB21 Jianjing

Yoga postures I often recommend for back pain are Cat Pose and Cow Pose. If you’re used to yoga, you can flow from one into the other and repeat as many times as you like, articulating through each vertebra as you transition.

I hope these tips will help you to manage any pain you are experiencing. Do you want more advice on this issue? I am currently offering online appointments via Zoom. Contact me to find out more.

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