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.