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Massage therapy can help to decrease pain and muscle aches, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall wellness and relaxation.

For neck shoulder pain from stress, what can I do to release this heat and pain?

Krystina Morris (Louisville, GA) on Oct 10, 2014
If you suspect that your neck pain is stress-related, relaxation techniques can be helpful. Meditative yoga, or other forms of meditation, can assist in relaxation. This is especially true if you tend to clench your jaw or tighten your muscles in response to stress. Try to be aware of times when you are tensing up, and when this happens, immediately loosen your muscles. Managing your tension can help prevent a return of neck pain. Your best bet for preexisting neck pain is to use slow range-of-motion exercises, such as gentle head movements up and down, looking side to side, and tilting your head with your ear towards each shoulder. These can loosen the muscles and provide a gentle stretch.
Kexin Bao (Rosemead, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Dear Friend: Thank you for your question. I am Dr. Kexin Bao, Licensed Acupuncturist in California. I have been practicing acupuncture both in China and United States for 36 years. I have the highest postgraduate medical degree in China and postdoctoral training at Medical University of South Carolina, USA. I was an acupuncture specialist & teacher in Medical University of S.C., USA, and a physician & professor at medical schools in both China & USA. I use acupuncture, herbal medicine and Chinese massage to treat medical problems, it include but not limited to following medical conditions: any types of pain, arthritis, sprain and trauma, paralysis, asthma, cough, allergies, dizziness, insomnia, psychological disorders, neurosis, impotence, female problems, bedwetting, gastrointestinal problems, etc. We also have weight control, smoking cessation and health maintenance programs. We Apply acupuncture therapy (using disposable needles) & traditional Chinese medical therapies, Oriental / Asian / American herbal medicine and Tui Na massage therapy. For your specific conditions you may call me to discuss, my phone number is (626)288-1199. Also, the following information might help you to contact me in various ways: my email is, , my fax number is (626)288-4199, and my mailing address is 2712 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770. Sincerely, Kexin Bao, L.Ac., Ph.D. Attached is my flyer for your reference. ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTER, INC. 2712 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770 Tel.: (626) 288-1199 Fax: (626) 288-4199 ACUPUNCTURE, HERBAL MEDICINE & THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE SERVICES COMBINATION OF ACUPUNCTURE/HERBAL AND AMERICAN ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES (To better serve you, we offer the expertise of both an American and Chinese Health Professionals in 1 convenient location). Range of Symptoms with Best Results: ï'¬ Any pain, arthritis, sprain and trauma, paralysis, asthma, cough, allergies, dizziness, insomnia, psychological disorders, neurosis, impotence, female problems, bedwetting, gastrointestinal problems, etc. ï'¬ We also have weight control, stop smoking and health maintenance programs ï'¬ We specialize in diseases of the elderly with treatments combining therapies from traditional Chinese medicine and alternative medicine Advanced Assessment & Comprehensive Treatment: ï'¬ Dozens of years experience in combination of traditional Chinese medicine with modern medicine in hospitals ï'¬ Apply acupuncture therapy (disposable needles) & traditional Chinese medical therapies, Oriental / Asian / American herbal medicine and Tui Na massage therapy, etc.; refer to medical doctors for west medicine therapy or treatment if patient needs ï'¬ PPO and Some HMO medical insurance, workers' comp., auto injury are acceptable; Affordable payment plans Treating Acupuncturist: Kexin Bao, Ph.D., L.Ac. ï'¬ Postdoctoral Training in Medical University of S.C., USA ï'¬ Highest Postgraduate Medical Degree in China ï'¬ Acupuncture Specialist & Teacher in Medical University of S.C., USA ï'¬ Physician & Professor in Medical School in China & USA Medical consulting and herbal medicine ordering through telephone, fax and E-mail are available. If you would like to have our services or order our products, please e-mail to or call 1-626-288-1199.
Adi Barad (Winnetka, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Acupuncture has the ability to alleviate pain by facilitate the movement of energy and blood Every situation is unique Ask your local licenses Acupuncturist
Katalin Csoka (Mission Viejo, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Acupuncture and herbal medicine together are your best option.
Kevin Franklin (Brandon, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Stress usually causes tension and trigger points in the body. Massage and stretching will help. Use ice to cool down the inflamed area and then apply heat. Always drink plenty of water.
Aram Akopyan (Glendale, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Most people carry stress in their shoulders. The heat you speak of is actually what happens when muscle groups get tense and hold the heat in. There are wonderful techniques, including Gua Sha, an Asian rubbing treatment, that can release those muscle layers and help reduce the stress, Of course acupuncture combined with cupping is the most rapid treatment mode. For prevention, I recommend the following simple trick. On several small Post-it notes write the word "shoulders" and place these in conspicuous places around your office. Try the monitor, the front door, the bathroom mirror and other places. Whenever you see the notes, your mind will remember your shoulders and you will automatically lower them and prevent stress.
Leslie Wilcher (Naperville, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
You need a massage pronto. For now, use an ice pack on the neck and shoulders, stretch, and keep hydrated.
Mary Jo Smiley (Warrendale, PA) on Oct 10, 2014
Addressing the trigger points that have been activated by the stress would be the best bet.
Joseph McCoy (Muenster, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Get a massage. You will be a new person for it!
Ashley Hiatt (Austin, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
I would definitively recommend massage for this condition. Visiting a great therapist frequently will help to alleviate the pain. In the mean time, a topical analgesic like Icy Hot or Tiger Balm will help. Also, when you are are around the trigger for your stress, notice your shoulders are they hunched up near your ears? Take a moment to lowers your shoulders away from your ears. This will keep your muscles from being in a constant state of flexion, which should provide some relief.
Bharat Kalra (Wheaton, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Proper sitting and sleeping postures are very important. Craniosacral therapy is the best treatment, followed by suitable stretches.
Peter Proto (Meriden, CT) on Oct 10, 2014
Ice the area for 20 minutes and don't burn the skin.
Norma Segovia (San Antonio, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Usually I recommend heat to loosen tight neck muscles, but if you are feeling heat in your neck there is probably some inflammation. Apply ice packs to reduce the inflammation, but alternate with heat to keep muscles loose. Try to find someone to work out the tight muscles as well.
Vanessa McKay (Orangeburg, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
I'e found acupuncture, cupping and gua sha, which are Chinese Medicine techniques, to be the best for neck and shoulder pain. If the pain is being caused by stress, find a way to reduce stress.
Rosemary Rickard (Tampa, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Address the stress head on. Many times massage therapy will help you get through pain caused by emotional stress, however, if you do not take care of the cause of the pain, it will return. Pain in the body is a sign that something is wrong. Once you work through the problem the pain will most likely subside.
Matthew Enright (Davie, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
One of the most effective at home therapies available for stress management is soaking your feet in hot water. There are numerous Acupuncture points located all over your feet that are strong enough to induce labor in expectant mothers (example used to illustrate the efficacy). By soaking your feet in hot water (hot enough to take, does not have to be a set temperature, simply needs to be hot enough for your liking for roughly 12-15 minutes until the water starts to cool), the water will trigger or activate the points in a similar fashion that an Acupuncture treatment would essentially pulling energy in a downwards motion, eliminating associated signs and symptoms of stress. Any of the following can be used to administer: - foot massager with jets - bucket - bathtub - anything you can submerge your feet up to your ankles It also helps to calm or soothe patients and quite frankly, it feels good.
Jacqueline Cole-Wright (Lehigh Acres, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage (Swedish and deep tissue) done regularly will certainly help this. Additionally, your body mechanics contribute to the tension in your neck and shoulders.
Lara Aitken (Orlando, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage and acupuncture can definitely help you with that. It will help alleviate the pain and eliminate your stress.
Christine Gross (Grand Rapids, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Deep breathing exercises and icing the area will help to relieve the stress. Massage can take care of it too.
Brian Wah (Herndon, VA) on Oct 10, 2014
Shiatsu and some simple movements I can show you will ehlp.
Nicolle Cobell-Williams (Acworth, GA) on Oct 10, 2014
Neck and shoulder pain are often a result of poor posture, mainly rounded shoulders and forward head due to sitting at a desk or looking a computer. As the shoulders round forward, this lengthens the trapezius muscles of the back and shortens the pectoralis muscles of the chest. Focus on stretching the front of the chest (doorway stretches) and strengthening the trapezius muscles and rhomboids (pull downs).
Carin Piacente (Putnam Valley, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Get a massage that focuses on the neck and shoulders. Stretching of the upper traps will help with the tense shoulders.
Sal Anzalone (East Patchogue, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Shoulder and neck pain is easily affected by massage and stretching.
Zahava Czara (Honolulu, HI) on Oct 10, 2014
First, try ice for ten minutes on and ten minutes off. To reduce swelling, take an aspirin or ibuprofen. You can also take magnesium and B complex to reduce inflammation as well! Eating food that hydrates and cools your body is also a plus. Make sure you have a good mattress and pillow. Get a massage or acupuncture treatment as needed to re-balance your body!
Mark Carlson (Costa Mesa, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Try this simple stretch. Put your arms behind your back, palms up. Find a counter or other flat surface that is waist high. Place your arms on the surface about an elbow length back, bend your knees and get your butt as close to the floor as possible while keeping your back straight. Hold for about 20 seconds, then stand back up slowly. This is what I call the stress buster. It works very well.
Stephanie Sunderhaus (Mesa, AZ) on Oct 10, 2014
You can do some or all of the following. Stretch well. Massage aching spots with tennis balls. Use a heat pack on the area before tennis ball massage, and ice afterward to reduce inflammation.
Sandy Rabolli (Coral Springs, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Ice is helpful.stetching and massage
Tom Chancy (Reno, NV) on Oct 10, 2014
One thing that I like to do is ball grabs with my palms up and down, 10 to 15 reps, three times a day. This relieves pain in the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck. This routine is helpful for the relief of golf and tennis elbow symptoms.
Paula Reeder (Katy, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Let me give you a PRRT technique. Lie supine on the floor (face up) in a hook position (knees bent, feet flat on floor). Extend your arms overhead and let them rest on the floor. Keep your face and chin pointing toward the ceiling and do not let them move. Using your eyes only (do not move your entire head), look upward toward your fingertips. Do your best to hold this position for two minutes. You will generally not be able to do this for a full two minutes, but your pain will release long before that time.
Rob Hundley (Broomfield, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
Most people hold their stress in their upper back. But is is hard to massage this area yourself. The best way to treat it is to work with a trained massage therapist who can release the tension. They can also show you gentle stretches to keep the pain from returning.
Nicole Solano (Hammond, LA) on Oct 10, 2014
All you need to do is get a foam football, lie on the floor with a pillow under your knees, put the football in between your shoulder blades and press down. Put your hands underneath your head and let your elbows fall to the floor. Stay in this position for 10 minutes a day for five days straight and you will notice a huge amount of pain relief.
Leah Nelson (Salt Lake City, UT) on Oct 10, 2014
Well, usually stress just exacerbates an already occurring issue. And most likely, you are getting that neck pain from a postural imbalance, or possibly an old injury that hurts when you are stressed. I'd recommend finding a massage therapist that practices myofascial techniques or does Structural Integration. Many of us have a head or shoulders that are pushed too far forward, placing the muscles along the back of the spine in a lengthened (inefficient) position that creates trigger points that cause pain. Stress can bring this pain to the forefront. What myofascial techniques do is help lengthen those tight areas to improve your posture and relationship to gravity, so you get lasting relief, as opposed to relief just for the hour of the massage. Hope this helps!
Kimberly Deane (Media, PA) on Oct 10, 2014
Deep tissue massage is often very effective in releasing shoulder and neck pain caused from stress. I have seen hundreds of people feel dramatic differences from one massage. What's also great is that you learn how it feels to be stress-free in this part of your body. You notice when and how the stress creeps back in, and you can learn to breathe in order to reduce physical stress.
Kim Greenlee (El Paso, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
You first must determine what "stress" is causing your neck and shoulders to hurt. Is it physical or emotional or both? Maybe a repetitive movement? Your posture? Many factors can be involved. Once you determine the cause, massage, stretching and modifying or correcting the cause will help you.
Beth Schoon (Hunt Valley, MD) on Oct 10, 2014
Neck pain from stress is relieved by relaxing the muscles and relieving overall stress. Massage is a great way to relax your neck and back muscles. Acupuncture will relax your nervous system, and help you to handle stress better. I would suggest you start a regular program of massage and acupuncture. A regular yoga practice is also a great way to keep your stress levels down, and feel better overall. Beth Schoon L.Ac., M.Ac., LMT, RYT
Shari Auth (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Acupuncture and massage are best.
Stacey Davidson (Scottsdale, AZ) on Oct 10, 2014
As a massage therapist, I would recommend a professional massage to break up the holding patterns that cause stress and discomfort. I recommend hot Epsom salt baths, topical lavender oil and proper hydration. I also love wraps made with flax seeds that you can warm and place over the shoulders. I am a firm believer in the value of an ice pack for ten minutes on any painful area. Exercise and adequate sleep are important too.
Jonathan Liem (Monrovia, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
First of all, if you're feeling heat and pain, especially if the pain is tingling, numbing, or burning, this can be a nerve issue. Usually, for my practice, this is when I would refer you to a chiropractor or your primary care provider (doctor). If you're talking about a muscle ache, with no tingling or distinct electric/burning sensation, I would look at several things. Get your current pain level down. This can mean hot packs, cold packs, and some stretching - we're talking about stretching for at least 30 seconds without "bouncing" during the stretch. Address the source of your pain. This can be with clinical massage, kinesiotape or Active Release Technique with a qualified individual. Factor in how long this pain has been going on, where you feel it exactly, whether it hurts when you move, and many other details that aren't mentioned here. Are you sure this pain is from stress? Could the pain be caused by sitting and working at a desk for too long? If the problem has been building over time, it may take more than one session to fix, along with a good honest look at how you are working, sitting, moving, and exercising. Most likely, there are multiple factors causing the problem, and it's best to address all of them. Again, without knowing more about your problems, it's hard to suggest options. I hope this helps, though.
Josee Knecht (Memphis, TN) on Oct 10, 2014
As a massage therapist, I know that the right massage techniques over several sessions will help you deal with the symptoms of your pain. However, to address the source of your pain, you'll need to take several steps. First, I'd look at your work environment and analyze what repetitive actions you're doing each day. Is your workstation not set up well? Your monitor should be eye level, your feet should be elevated off the floor, the backs of your knees should not be compressed on your chair all day. Do you have lumbar support? Are you carrying a heavy bag or purse on one shoulder? Is your mattress firm enough? Are you sleeping with your arms under your head all night? Take a look at those things. Second, see an LMT for a light to medium massage. A good therapist can help you pinpoint problems. Third, see a chiropractor to make sure your spine is properly aligned. Use alternating heat and cold packs to help alleviate the pain. Do not use heat only, as heat restricts circulation to the affected area. Good luck and feel better soon!
Julie LaFrano (Breckenridge, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
If you feel there is inflammation, always a use ice or a cold pack on the area. When using ice, you will first feel cold, then kind of a burning feeling, then tingling, then numbness. Remove the ice when the tissue goes numb or after 15 minutes, whichever comes first Then get some bodywork and have the therapist work on loosening the SI joints and the opposite side if the neck.
Geraldine Macinski (Sandy Hook, CT) on Oct 10, 2014
An upper body massage, both prone and supine, would help. You will likely need a few massages per week for several weeks. Then go at least once a month for maintenance.
Geraldine Macinski (Sandy Hook, CT) on Oct 10, 2014
An upper body massage, both prone and supine, would help. You will likely need a few massages per week for several weeks. Then go at least once a month for maintenance.
Meg Richichi (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Once or twice a week, I'll get a frantic call from a client with severe neck and shoulder pain. They just can't turn their head. Many people are parked in front of the computer for at least 8 hours a day at work. New Yorkers do this funny "thrusting" of the head forward as if they're going to reach inside the computer screen while sitting at their desk. This puts way too much stress on the cervical spine and all the muscles involved in keeping our head free and mobile. What I love about treating neck and shoulder issues is that people usually find relief within one or two sessions of acupuncture. This makes my clients very happy. As they blissfully leave my office, I remind them that the computer screen is not an extension of their head.
Deborah Gilmore (Golden, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
A good neuromuscular or myoskeletal massage therapist will help.