Acupuncture for shoulder pain is most effective when it is combined with acupressure. Acupressure, also called Tui Na or Chinese medical massage, has a wide range of styles. I studied in China with Dr. Xiao, who was famous for his unique Tui Na technique. He focused on the rolling technique which has a particular ability to relieve shoulder pain.
Tui na, as part of Chinese medicine, uses massage techniques to stimulate acupuncture points and channels. Dr. Xiao’s technique is unique, because it not only uses his hands in the rolling, but he also make the wrist very flexible. This unique twist on rolling technique is a revolution, allowing the technique to be used almost anywhere in the body, and to address many different physical aliments.
These are the 3 major reasons why Acupressure is effective.
1. By moving the wrist and keeping it flexible, the knuckles gently contour to the muscles beneath, addressing all sides of the muscle as well as adding a softness to the technique. For shoulder pain, this allows the hand to pass over many large muscle groups, relaxing them very quickly.
2. When addressing shoulder pain I move the arm into different positions, and often do the massage while my patient is sitting up on a bench. By stretching the arm across the body, it allows me to reach deep hidden muscles under the scapula that are often tight and causing pain.
3. Rolling technique embodies the concept of yin and yang. While it is gently and soft, it is also very strong and powerful to stimulate circulation, move qi, relax the muscles. Although the technique moves the hand laterally, it has a remarkable ability to penetrate and effect deep muscles that are stiff and tense.