top of page

Acupressure Points for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Learn the Secrets to Pain Relief By Using
Pressure Points, Movements, & Stretches together

Do you or your clients suffer from neck, back, or shoulder pain that just won't go away? Have you tried countless treatments but nothing seems to work? Well, there's a solution that you may not have considered yet - pressure points.


Acupressure is an ancient healing technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to relieve pain and tension. While acupressure can be incredibly effective, it is necessary to know how to use pressure points properly, and that is what I want to share with you on this webpage. 

A woman massage her neck for pain relief

Let's explore some of the secrets about how to use
acupressure for neck pain and shoulder pain. 

Secret #1 - Combine the Use of Pressure Points with Movements and Stretches to Get the Best Results

While acupressure can - and often - produces quick and effective results, it is best to combine acupressure points for neck and shoulder pain with simple movements and stretches. For instance, when using acupressure for shoulder and neck pain you can alternate the pressure with head and neck movements such as neck extensions, rotations, and tilts. These movements can also help to restore good balance to your posture and alignment. Fill out the form below to see a video about how to do this. 

Watch a Free Video and Learn My Favorite Fast Acting Points for Neck, Shoulder, and Upper Back Pain.

Secret #2 - Neck and Shoulder Pain are Often Related & Similar Pressure Points are Used for both Disorders

Understanding Neck and Shoulder Pain

Neck, shoulder, and back muscles for massage

Neck, shoulder, and upper back pain are common complaints that affect many people, especially those who spend long hours sitting at a desk, working, or using electronic devices. Poor posture, stress, muscle tension, and injuries are some of the main causes of this type of pain. The neck and back contain many muscles and nerves that can become strained or irritated, leading to pain and discomfort.


Pain in the neck can vary in intensity and duration. Some people experience occasional pain that lasts for a few hours, while others have chronic pain that persists for weeks or months. In severe cases, this can be debilitating, affecting a person's ability to work, sleep, and engage in daily activities.

How acupressure Points Relieve Neck pain & Shoulder Pain

Acupressure works by stimulating points and regions on the body that affect our nerves and muscles. By applying pressure to these points, acupressure can help release tension, increase circulation, and promote healing. Acupressure has been shown to be effective in relieving pain, reducing stress, and improving overall health and well-being.

Acupressure points for neck and shoulder pain are located along the spine, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and even on the legs. These points can be stimulated with your fingers and hands, or with specialized tools such as an acupressure mat, roller, or chargeable electric acu-pen. When pressure and stimulation are applied to these points it can help release tension in the muscles and promote blood flow. This helps to reduce pain and promote healing. Acupressure works similar to both massage and acupuncture. 

Acupressure for neck pain and shoulder pain, LI 4 and trapezius

This image helps us understand many things about how acupressure works. We can see from the picture that all the muscles in red are connected through the fascia. When stimulation is applied to points and regions on the forearm and hands (in red) it also affects the upper back, neck, and trapezius muscle. The well-known point LI 4 is located on this myofascial line, and can be useful for some patterns of pain in the shoulders, upper back, and neck.

Secret #3 - Use Acupressure Points on the Hands & Arms for Neck and Shoulder Pain

There are many acupressure points on the hands and arms for shoulder and neck pain, and in many cases they are even more effective than the pressure points on the back and neck. The points on the arms and hands are easy to reach on yourself and often produce fast results. Therapists can also use these points to get extra benefits for their clients.

Acupressure Points on the Hands for Neck & Shoulder Pain 

Acupressure points for neck pain, SI 3, LI 4, Luo Zhen, SJ 3
Acupressure points for upper back pain, arm muscles, LU 6

The pressure points on the hands and arms can be very good for stopping discomfort and pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. There are over a dozen acupressure points for shoulder and neck pain on the arms, and they each work in slightly different ways. These points are also easy to use on oneself but many of them require the use of tools. This is because many of them cannot be reached with pressure alone. However, the point LI 4 is easy to use with pressure as you can grasp the area between your thumb and index finger with the thumb and index finger of your opposite hand.  

Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) - Union Valley

LI 4 is one of the most well known points pressure points for pain. It is well known for alleviating headaches, but it can also effective for neck and shoulder pain. Additionally, it can relieve menstrual pain, sinus congestion, and more. Though many people know about this point, it takes some practice to get the most beneficial results from it. This point should also be used with other nearby points to be most effective. 


This point should not be stimulated in pregnancy!

LI 4 .png
Watch this actual video from the course to see the difference.

Learn more and get access to free videos about acupressure points for neck and shoulder pain. 

What pressure Points are used for Neck, Shoulder, and Back Pain?

Let's explore some common and well-known acupressure points for relieving shoulder and neck pain. These points are often used by massage therapists, acupuncturists, physical therapists, and other doctors.

GB 20 - Wind Pool

This point gets its name Wind Pool from the way in which cold and wind on the neck and shoulders can cause us to tighten up in these areas. The point is located at the base of the head in the small holes about two inches from the midline. 


These points can easily be massaged by using the thumbs and making small circles in the area. It is often good to use these points with gentle neck movements.

Acupressure point GB 20 for neck pain
Acupressure on GB 21 for shoulder pain

GB 21 - Shoulder Well

Gallbladder 21 is located at the top of the shoulders and in the middle of the trapezius muscle. This point is one of the most effective acupressure points for relieving upper back, shoulder, and neck pain. 


This region is also one of the most common areas where people hold stress and tension. Pain in this area is often related to stress and tension headaches. This is also a common place for a trigger point to develop.


To stimulate GB 21, use your fingers and thumb to grasp the area where the neck meets the shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and release.

Combine GB 21 Grasps with Shoulder Shrugs & Rolls

While you can easily grasp GB 21 and get an affect, it is useful to alternate grasping this area with shoulder shrugs and rolls. To shrug your shoulders, simply lift them up towards your ears and then drop them down with some force. This causes the shoulder muscles and trapezius to contract and relax which can be helpful for releasing tension in this area. You can also roll the shoulders in a backward direction while squeezing the shoulder blades together. When the shoulders reach the bottom of the circle, lift them as you roll through the forward arc of the circle. Do 10 repetitions each of shoulder rolls and shrugs, and then grasp GB 21 on each side for 30 seconds. Repeat these exercises so that you do a total of 3 -5 sets of each technique. 

Governing Vessel 14 (GV14) - Located in the middle of the base of the neck, GV14 is another effective acupressure point for relieving tension in the neck. To stimulate this point, use your fingers to apply pressure to the base of the neck, just below the hairline. Hold for 30 seconds and release.

Bladder 10 (BL10) - Located at the base of the skull and to either side about 1/2 an inch, BL10 is a powerful acupressure point for relieving tension headaches and neck pain. To stimulate this point, use your fingers to apply pressure to the base of the skull, just behind the ears. Hold for 30 seconds and release.

While the above points are useful for neck pain and discomfort,

it is necessary to know how to stimulate them properly. 

How to Locate and Stimulate Acupressure Points
for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Acupressure points can be located using a variety of methods, including visual cues, anatomical landmarks, and palpation. Once you have located the acupressure point, you can stimulate it using your fingers or with a tool.

To stimulate an acupressure point with your fingers, apply firm pressure to the point using your thumb, index finger, or middle finger. Hold the pressure for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and then release. You may repeat the process 2 or 3 times a day, as needed. For some points is also best to use two or three fingers. The palms of your hands, fists, and elbows may also be used to work on the points.

To stimulate an acupressure point with a specialized tool, such as an acupressure mat or roller, simply place the tool on the point and apply gentle pressure. Roll the tool back and forth over the point for several minutes, or until you feel a release of tension.

Secret #4 - Use Acupressure Tools on Some Points

Acupressure tools and techniques can be helpful for those who have difficulty reaching certain points or who prefer a hands-free approach. Some of the most popular acupressure tools and techniques include:

1. Acupressure Mat - An acupressure mat is a mat covered in small plastic spikes that stimulate acupressure points on the back and neck. To use an acupressure mat, simply lie on the mat for 10 - 20 minutes a day.


2. Acupressure Roller - An acupressure roller is a handheld tool that can be used to stimulate acupressure points on the body. To use an acupressure roller, simply roll the tool over the acupressure point for several minutes.

3. Acupressure Massage Ball - An acupressure massage ball is a small, firm ball that can be used to stimulate acupressure points on the body. To use an acupressure massage ball, simply place the ball on the acupressure point and apply gentle pressure.

4. Electric Acu-Pen - This is one of my personal favorite tools as the electricity produces quick results. They are easy to carry with you and can be used anywhere. I also like these because they can reach many points that cannot be adequately stimulated with mats, rollers, or massage balls. In my class Acupressure for Neck and Shoulder Pain I talk about how to use these electric pens to get pain relief. 

Other Natural Remedies for Upper Back and Neck Pain

In addition to acupressure, there are many other natural remedies that can help relieve upper back and neck pain. These remedies include:

1. Stretching - Stretching can help relieve tension in the muscles and improve flexibility. Some of the best stretches for upper back and neck pain include neck rolls, shoulder rolls, and the cat-cow stretch.

2. Heat and Ice Therapy - Applying heat or ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. Try using a heating pad or ice pack for 10-20 minutes at a time.

3. Massage Therapy - Massage therapy can help relieve tension in the muscles and promote relaxation. Consider booking a professional massage or using a handheld massager at home.

When to Seek Professional Help

While acupressure and other natural remedies can be effective for relieving upper back and neck pain, it's important to seek professional help if your pain persists or becomes severe. A healthcare provider can help diagnose the underlying cause of your pain and recommend appropriate treatment options.


Frequently Asked Questions about Acupressure for Neck and Shoulder Pain

1. Is acupressure safe? - Yes, acupressure is generally safe when performed by a trained professional or practiced at home using proper techniques.

2. Can acupressure cure my pain? - While acupressure can be effective for neck and shoulder pain, it may not cure the underlying cause of your pain. It's important to seek professional help if your pain persists or becomes severe.

3. How often should I practice acupressure? - You can practice acupressure as often as needed, but it's important to listen to your body and avoid overstimulating acupressure points.


Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Acupressure is a powerful natural remedy for relieving shoulder, upper back, and neck pain. By stimulating specific acupressure points on the body, you can release tension and promote healing. Whether you choose to use your fingers or a specialized tool, acupressure is an easy and effective way to relieve pain and improve your overall well-being. So, the next time you're feeling tension in your upper back and neck, give acupressure a try and unlock the secret to pain relief!

bottom of page