Five Acupressure Points to Relieve "Tech Neck"

by Emily Bartha, LAc, MSAOM |

Five Acupressure Points to Relieve "Tech Neck"

Working from home offers numerous benefits – no traveling, staying in sweatpants all day, etc. But at the same time, it comes at the cost of bad posture and ergonomics, especially if you keep working from the couch all day round. Over time poor posture can lead to what is known as Upper Cross Syndrome, which basically means your shoulder, upper back, chest and neck muscles are out of balance, thus leading to muscle stiffness, pain, and possibly triggering tension headaches.

My Favorite Acupressure Points to Release Neck and Shoulder Tension - And Headaches

To perform acupressure, you simply apply pressure to these points using your fingers, thumbs or a tennis or lacrosse ball. Make sure to take deep belly breaths while massaging and activating the points, and ease your jaw and close your eyes.  Aim to take five minutes to do all of the five points, spending 30 seconds to a minute on each point. If possible, repeat three times during your workday.

The Hegu Point (translated as Joining Valley) for Stress, Necks Pain and Headaches

Hegu is on the Large Intestine channel and is located between your thumb and index finger. The point is very fleshy and muscular at the same time, and feels tender when pressure is applied. Hegu is commonly used to manage stress, facial stiffness, headaches and neck pain. (*Note: avoid stimulating this point if you are pregnant).

joining valley acupressure point
Tai Chong (translated as "Great Surge") for Stress, Menstrual Cramps, Anxiety and Insomnia

Tai Chong’s located similarly like Hegu’s but right next to foot in between big toe and second toe. Apply pressure between the toe webbing, by moving up by around 1-1.5 inches until you find the tender spot. Tai Chong is commonly used for stress, menstrual cramps, insomnia and anxiety. Together, Hegu and Tai Chong are a powerful point combination called the Four Gates, which strongly move Qi and blood throughout the body to reduce stagnation and pain.

tai chong

Jing Jian (translated as Shoulder Well) for Shoulder Tension & Headaches

Jing Jian is located on the "Gallbladder channel". It is situated at the highest point of the shoulder, between the muscular tissue of the upper trapezius region. Try pressing down firmly with your fingers while gently stretching your neck toward your opposite shoulder. You can also pinch this area between your fingers and gently tug to release the trigger points within the muscle. Jing Jian is meant to cure pain, reduce neck and shoulder tension and headaches

(*Note: avoid stimulating this point if you are pregnant).

jing jian acupressure point

Feng Chi (translated as Wind Pool) for Headaches, Migraines and Eye Fatigue

Feng Chi is located on the Gallbladder channel, beside the insertion of the upper trapezius. It is situated deep at the base of the skull behind the mastoid bone. Keep massaging this area while breathing deeply for maximum 30 seconds. You might feel a radiating sensation in your jaw or shoulders. Feng Chi is applied to address headache, migraine, eye tiredness and problems of cold and flu.

feng chi

Zhong Zhu (translated as Central Islet) to Activate Your Brain

Zhong Zhu can be found in groove shape near the tendons of the pinky and ring finger right behind the knuckles. It is commonly used for temporal headaches, shoulder and neck tension and upper back pain. In studies this point has been shown to activate different parts of the brain, which may promote circulation and tension release.

zhong zhu

This article was originally published on the Turning Pointe Acupuncture blog and has been republished here with the permission of the author.

Emily is an NCCAOM Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist with a focus on chronic pain, orthopedics and sports medicine. She is recognized as a Top Acupuncturist in Portland by Portland Monthly in 2020. She has over five years of experience working in an integrative healthcare environment — including a sports medicine clinic, an interdisciplinary pain management clinic and a teaching clinic. She is a member of Oregon Ballet Theatre's Allegro Society, acting as the acupuncturist for the ballet company’s dancers.

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