Shoulder Pain and Tension Relief

When your shoulders ache from stress or tension knowing how to use these acupressure points can effectively relieve it. Since this is a stress related problem almost everyone has, I want to cover details on how to use the acupressure points for both self-care and for helping others. Tightness in your shoulders is often a reflection of stresses in your life. When you know how to use the acupressure points illustrated, you’ll be able to relieve shoulder pain and stress. My intention is not to just lecture on and on about the causes of this problem — but instead give you practical ways to get relief. First, I’ll describe where the points are located. Then, give you a couple of self-acupressure techniques for relieving shoulder pain and tension. Third, I’ll provide detailed instruction on how to help others.

Location: Draw a straight line down from the side of your ears to the tops of your shoulders. Of the three points illustrated on each side, the point known as GB 21 on an acupressure chart is the mid point on both sides. It lives on your shoulder, beneath the sides of your ears and is the most potent acupressure point for relieving shoulder tension and pain. When it’s tight or blocked, we tend to feel irritable, frustrated, uptight and can easily become impatient. Know anyone like that? Well then, I have a few acupressure techniques to help loosen your shoulders.

Self-Acupressure: For your left shoulder, use your right hand. Curve your right fingers in the shape of a coat hanger hook and place your right index, middle, and ring fingertips on the top of your left shoulder to firmly hold the points as illustrated. Be sure to take at least five slow, deep breaths as you continue to allow more pressure to hook into the points. Hold these potent acupressure points for at least one to two minutes. Then switch sides, holding for the equivalent amount as time as you continue breathing deeply.

Other Self-Care Tips: You can also firmly grasp and knead these points on the top of your shoulders. Spend a lot more time on the side that is tightest or aches. Also use tapping or if you like deep pressure, pound the top of your shoulders, right on these three points. End by squeezing firmly down your arm. If your right shoulder is tight, work on it using the acupressure techniques above, then squeeze down your right arm, making each squeeze “hurt good”. Finish by firmly pulling each of your fingers outward, starting firmly on the base of each finger — slowly and firmly pull the finger outward, sliding off it. If you do this finger slide and pull vigorously, each finger should tingle for a few seconds, resulting in a relief of your shoulder pain or tension.

For Partners, Friends, and Lovers: Like the photo above shows, stand behind your partner, who is seated in a chair. Rest your fingertips on his or her shoulders for a minute. Then with your thumbs or the flat part of your fists, gradually increase the pressure by bringing your chest closer to your hands. As you increase the pressure gradually, encourage your partner to close their eyes and breathe deeply. Bring your elbows upward and lean your weight down and inward toward your partner’s spine. Do this while you squeeze the shoulder muscle using your fingers and thumbs in a kneading, super slow massage to squeeze out any tension. If your partner needs more pressure, slowly get on your tip-toes and begin to use your knuckles to apply pressure to the acupressure points as illustrated.

Going Further: For more instructions, more shoulder and neck acupressure techniques, and tons more visuals showing you how to relieve your neck and shoulder tension, I recommend the DVD entitled Acupressure Stress Relief which I narrated, giving you detailed guidance for relieving your tension and pain, including headaches resulting from neck and shoulder tension.



Shoulder Pain & Tension – Acupressure Points — 19 Comments

  1. Very useful information and very effective too. I have already tried and it gave very good quick results. I would be happy to get some info on treatment of diabetes also.
    Please keep up this good work of enlightening us with this knowledge.

    • I am thrilled you actually tried the shoulder points and got such quick results. Diabetes is a medical condition and should involve your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Acupressure would be helpful, but is secondary to the medical treatment. Use any and all of the Sp points on an Acupressure Chart, especially acupressure points: Sp 4, Sp 6, Sp 12 and 13. Also use acupressure points: CV 4, CV 5, and CV 6. In addition, roll up a couple of tennis balls on a towel. Use this roller to press your mid to lower back region. Although I do not consider these Acupressure points and methods a cure for Diabetes, I hope this helps you.

  2. Michael, you are a blessing on this earth. Thank you so much for passing along your wealth of knowledge with goodwill and generosity. Peace to you.

  3. Hi Michael,
    I have a new client who I am massaging but need to use and recommend acupressure points to better assist her.
    She had a tumor removed on her left jaw which has been replaced with metal. She sometimes has difficulty speaking. Also she loves cranial work, but I would love to teach her some points so she can use on herself, and that I can assist in healing.
    Please advise.

    • I would teach your client hands-on how to hold B 10 and GB 20 on the upper neck, under the base of the skull. I’d also show her how to hold these points with St 3, underneath her eyes. You can see all of these points and photos of how to do the self-acupressure techniques for holding these points in my acupressure books

  4. The acu points given to relieve shoulder pain, though very simple to look at, are very excellent and highly effective. We deal with acupressure points embedded in our palms and soles, as discovered by Dr.Devendra Vora, the pioneer in acupressure in India. Acupressure and natural remedies can together address any disease/disorder including the most dreaded, namely cancer, HIV/AIDS, Thalasemia, Muscular Dystrophy, Autism, etc., etc.

  5. I have read you write-ups and benefitted. Thanks will be an understatement. Do you have anything on prostrate? I’d appreciate that.

    • The prostrate is vital and there is a major, very private acupressure point that directly benefits the prostrate gland. This is a major issue for all men and their partners. The finger pressure on the prostrate acupressure point CV 1, midway between the anus and genitals, is very effective for prostrate problems and preventing them. For more info on how to use this point for the prostrate, see my book and DVD entitled Acupressure for Lovers.

  6. Tried this in the office and it gave my stiff and aching shoulders immediate relief. Thank you so much for this unbelievably easy and effective remedy.

    • Great, now you can do it to prevent your neck and shoulders from getting stiff or tight in the future. Being able to heal yourself is a very good feeling.

  7. I’m extremely inspired with your writing abilities as neatly as with the structure to your weblog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it your self? Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  8. Hi Michael. I refereed to your site after having sudden shoulder pain on right side. This is not often. It happens rarely. But as I already use acupressure to relieve myself of hiccups so i thought of referring to acupressure once again. I read your method how to do it but it didn’t help me much. Although pain relieved but only for a minute. Rest all it was all agonizing. Can you help me through it?

    • There are many good acupressure points and routines for relieving shoulder pain. I am not surprised you only got relief for a minute, and it came back. The acupressure point routines need to be repeated 2 or 3 times daily to retrain your shoulder muscles for long lasting relief. If you have a good acupressure chart, I suggest you use acupressure point SI 10 (which releases shoulder muscles and pain), GB 21 (the major acupressure point for shoulder pain) and GB 20 which is the key point that releases both of these acupressure points. I created a special DVD to show you how to use these points, and do it yourself with the Acupressure Stress Relief DVD. This program will show you and guide you step by step how to work through it!

  9. Thank you so much for this! As a college volleyball player I struggle with shoulderpain and this made them feel so much better. I have almost no tightness anymore. Thank you so much, this saved me a lot of time and money instead of going to physical therapy again.

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