Since the past year or so, I suffer from stiff neck. Perhaps it was due to the hours I spend sitting in front of the PC and laptop, or perhaps it was due to shortage of certain vitamins and minerals.
Anyway, it started as a creaking sound that comes about whenever I turn my neck at certain angle. If you google around, most websites may say that it is ‘nothing to worry about’.
But my ‘nothing to worry about’ went on to progressive neck stiffness and surceptability to pain. Endless stretching exercises and yoga offer little relief (but still better than nothing). Wai tan kung exercises that I do almost daily helped as well. Once I had a muscle twist around my shoulders and neck and wai tan kung helped to speed up the recovery. I’ve also written a post on how a senior cured an irreversible neck pain.
Chi/ qi or invisible energy channels do exist within our body. Whether we can see it or not, we can feel the pain in our joints and muscles when these energy channels are blocked. The Chinese healing system would mention about ‘wind dampness’ that lead on to arthritic type of pain that usually began as stiffness and progressively made the joint more painful.
After trying all types of neck stretches and not really seeing the helpful effect, through trial and error, I managed to find a method that works, at least for me. It’s not expensive and you can try this at home too:
I started doing guasa along the areas in my neck – using a guasa board (made from buffalo horn), I stroke the area in the neck downwards on both sides and then the middle. If my head feel tensed, I also stroked with the gua sha board to remove the tension in the area. You can follow the direction of your hairline in movement similar to combing your hair.
If you want stronger effect, apply heaty massage oil to your neck before starting the guasa. After finishing, drink a cup of warm water and do not bathe at least for the next 30 minutes. Using in a hair brushing manner may even help to improve your sleep as it relief the tension energy build up in your head.
Don’t worry if you do not have guasa board- you can use a smooth edge ceramic spoon (no cracked edges as it could cut into your skin) or a clean coin/ penny that you find it comfortable enough to hold between your fingers:
Do NOT use a plastic spoon as it can cause static.
For better illustration, view the YouTube video that I put together on this either here or watch below:
You can see from the video that even though the pressure applied is not strong, the skin surface was quite red. It indicates energy blockages- and this person always gets headaches easily when the weather is hot.
The video only show the guasa done on the neck. But as mentioned earlier, you can massage in a stroking style along your head in movements as if you are combing your hair. Then from the neck, run down along your shoulders and through the arms (turn your hands to ensure guasa is done on front and back surfaces).
You should apply pressure that you are comfortable with. For me, I do guasa almost on hard pressure as I am quite used to it. Initially when I first started doing, my neck area was blue black (considered severe case) and that time my neck was very stiff. Now for me it is reddish.
It is not something you would see results overnight. This is the thing about complimentary healing. You need to do it consistently to see improvement along your neck and shoulders.
I feel sad when I see people taking painkillers for their unbearable pain when there are actually remedies that they can do with literally no side effects. The method I suggest is literally free of charge ….and is something you can do when you are watching TV, driving a car or at office suffering from a stiff neck. Do this also if you feel a headache building up (I carry my guasa board with me in my bag at all times and take it out to guasa my head, shoulders, knees while waiting at the traffic light).
Hope this can help you as it did for me.