Massage is as old as the mountains. And there is good reason it has stood the test of time.
Today’s fast-paced generation live with a lot of work-related anxiety and stress. Hunching over a desk from nine to five all week takes its toll.
The neck, in particular, suffers a lot of pressure from bending or craning at the computer all day. Add to that sleeping on the wrong type of pillow and you’ll wake up with a stiff neck.
A neck massage can relieve the tension in your neck and shoulder muscles, relieve headaches, improve blood circulation, and generally lift your mood.
Symptoms Of A Stiff Neck
Stiff necks vary in intensity, from dull discomfort to excruciating pain. It them becomes extremely painful or uncomfortable to move the neck.
The only thing to do it to take it easy for a few days, and that’s when a message comes in handy to alleviate the pain. If the pain lasts for more than a week, even after a massage, make an appointment with a doctor, as it could the symptom of:
- Cervical herniated disc.
- Cervical degenerative disc disease.
- Cervical osteoarthritis
Rule out any of these before continuing with massage therapy.
Once you are happy your stiffness is due to no more than the tensions of modern life, regular massage and exercise can give you some well-needed relief.
Various neck massage techniques are used to bring relief to stiff and aching necks:
Shiatsu is an ancient massage therapy originating from Japan but incorporating principles from ancient Chinese medicine. Shiatsu massage therapy is the application of pressure to the neck and other areas of the body, using fingers, thumbs, and the palm.
This type of massage is used to promote energy flow to the whole body and correct any disharmony, at the same time relieving tension. Shiatsu can work well in relieving chronic neck pain.
Hot stone Massage
Hot stone massage therapy involves using smooth, heated stones. The therapist places heated stones on specific points of the body.
The therapist may press the stones down while massaging for maximum effect. The weight and the heat from the stones relaxes the muscles, allowing the therapist to put more pressure without making you feel uncomfortable.
It is very effective for neck stiffness and pain.
Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage is used to care for musculoskeletal problems such as sports injuries and muscle strains.
It involves the application of a lot of pressure and the use of deep strokes aimed at targeting the inner muscle layers and their connective tissue.
Swedish massage therapy is the most common type of therapy. It is done using soft kneading and rhythmic, light tapping strokes on the top layer of muscles.
Swedish therapy is very relaxing and energizing, and works well to reduce neck and body pain.
Neck massagers help to improve neck mobility and alleviate pain. The massagers can improve your muscle flexibility and using one regularly can improve blood circulation.
There are many types of neck massagers with different features, some having a heat option. If you have regular stiff neck problems, buy a neck massager and massage your neck regularly within the comfort of your home.
If you don’t have a neck massager, you can give yourself a massage at home using these methods:
- Hot towel massage: This massage is easy to do and you only need a towel. Warm the towel and while hot, twist it into a roll. Place it behind your neck and hold each end firmly. Rub the towel up and down your collar, using a firm pressure. Do this several times.
- Nape of the neck: The muscles at the nape of the neck work hard and you can relieve tension here by:
- Standing straight.
- Pushing your left arm downwards and applying pressure to the painful area.
- Keep applying pressure for 30 seconds until you feel some relief
Neck pain can be a nuisance but massage can solve most of the common issues. Trained therapists have the required knowledge about pressure points, and with their expertise, most often than not massage will solve your neck pains.
If you don’t have time to visit a massager, buy a neck massager, which will do for most stiff neck discomfort. You can also massage your back using DIY methods.
However, for any continuous, severe pain, you are advised to see a doctor to rule out chronic illnesses.