Neck Pain

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

"Neck Pain" Issue / Symptom Connections

Below you will find various relationships to, and potential clinical treatment approaches for neck pain.

It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine, treatment for "neck pain" is rarely focused on the symptoms exclusively. Alternatively, a practitioner is looking at the factors that led to the development of "neck pain" - i.e. the "cause(s)".

For non-practitioners, we recommend reading treating the "cause" and not the "symptoms" for more on the overall approach and the importance of the TCM diagnostic system in formulating treatment approaches.

Related Acupuncture Protocols

When developing an acupuncture protocol a practitioner is very often focusing on the causal diagnoses in Chinese Medicine terms, not on the condition itself. To illustrate and guide developing an acupuncture treatment for someone experiencing neck pain, this issue is referenced in the following acupuncture protocol section:

Some acupuncture points are considered "empirically" related to a specific condition or diagnostic pattern. While this would rarely, if ever, dictate the entire composition of a treatment, the following points should be considered, possibly even more so within the context of acupressure:

  • View EX Huatuojiaji at C4 (Sides of Spine at C4)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of C4

        C4 innervates the areas of the mouth, jaw and chin.  May be used for a range of dental issues, bell's palsy, tmj as well as shoulder tension and/or neck issues due to holding tension in the upper parts of the body. Used extensively within…
  • View EX Huatuojiaji at C5 (Sides of Spine at C5)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of C5

        C5 innervates the areas of the larynx and pharynx, area is used for cough, tonsilitis, asthma, neck pain, snoring (often with C3 huatuo), vocal issues (loss of voice, etc.). Used extensively within the Tam Healing System and Tong Ren Ther…
  • View EX Huatuojiaji at T1 (Sides of Spine at T1)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of T1

        T1 innervates the windpipe and affects the bone marrow, used for a range of lung and immune issues (with T2 and T3), a range of neck issues, releasing exterior heat (colds/flus/fever), neck and shoulder problems.  T1, T2 and T3 are used fo…
  • View KD 27 (Shu Mansion)

        In a depression on the lower border of the clavicle, 2 cun lateral to the CV line.

        Opens & relaxes the chest - asthma, constricted breathing, cough, chest tightness. Tonify KD Deficiency leading to adrenal exhaustion - fatique, lowered immunity. Local point for neck a/or jaw issues - pain, tension
  • View LU 7 (Broken Sequence)

        1.5 cun above the wrist crease, superior to the styloid process of the radius (not on the LU 5 - LU 9 line in TCM). Jap…

        Exterior Wind - body aches, chills/fever, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing. Internal Wind - bell's palsy, twitching, spasms, lockjaw. As Master Point of the CV, paired with KD 6 of the Yin Qiao Mai - treats genitourinary and gynecol…
  • View SI 3 (Back Ravine)

        When a loose fist is made, at the ulnar end of the distal palmar crease proximal to the 5th metacarpal phalangeal joint…

        Master Point of the GV, effects entire pathway. Pain in the scapula, arm a/or hand combine with local points. Stiff neck, cervical strain/sprain, pain of the back or neck. Occipital headaches, combine with local points. Night sweats, c…
  • View SI 4 (Wrist Bone)

        On the ulnar side of the palm in a depression between the base of the 5th metacarpal joint and the hamate bone.

        Local point for shoulder, arm, hand and wrist problems particularly along the course of the meridian. Useful point to treat problems with all fingers - contracture, pain, swelling, stiffness. Headache, neck pain. Jaundice.  
  • View SI 5 (Yang Valley)

        On the ulnar end of the transverse wrist crease in a depression between the styloid process of the ulna and the triquet…

        Local point for the hand and wrist. Neck and shoulder pain and/or swelling. Toothache, lockjaw. Clears heat from the hearts - calms the spirit, manic behavior.  
  • View SI 6 (Nursing the Aged)

        Dorsal to the head of the ulna in the body cleft on the radial side of the styloid process, found with the palm facing …

        Acute and Severe Pain, in the neck, shoulder a/or arms. Useful point for treating elderly patients, deafness, tinnitus, failing vision, upper body/limb stiffness. Overwork a/or overstrain, fatigue in the extremities.  
  • View SI 7 (Branch to the Correct)

        5 cun proximal to the dorsal crease of the wrist on the SI 5 to SI 8 line.

        Local point for pain and/or strength/control issues in the elbow, arm, and fingers.  May be helpful for weakness of all the limbs as well. Stiff neck, headaches, vision issues - blurry, obstructed. Useful with onset of exterior wind-heat…
  • View SI 8 (Small Sea)

        Between the olecranon process of the ulna and the medial epicondyle of the humerus, found with the elbow flexed.

        Elbow problems, swelling, trembling, pain, numbness, weakness - channel issues with excess wind a/or heat. Submandibular region swelling or pain, toothache, gums, cheek, neck, scapula, axilla. Epilepsy  
  • View SI 14 (Outer Shoulder Shu)

        3 cun lateral to the spinous process of T1 (GV 13).

        Local point for shoulder and scapular region pain. Neck pain and/or rotation issues, and pain of the upper back.  
  • View SI 15 (Central Shoulder Shu)

        2 cun lateral to the spinous process of C7 (GV 14).

        Asthma, cough, coughing up of blood (hemoptysis). Local point for shoulder, neck and/or upper back pain.  
  • View SI 16 (Celestial Windows)

        On the lateral side of the neck, posterior to the SCM and LI 18, level with the Adam's apple.

        Both SI 16 & SI 17 are Window of the Sky Points and are useful for throat distention, swelling, goiters, lumps in neck a/or throat, voice issues. Ear issues - tinnitus, deafness, pain. Local point for neck and/or shoulder problems. …
  • View ST 11 (Qi Abode)

        At the superior border of the clavicle between the sternal and clavicular heads of the sternocleidomastoideus muscle.

        Local point - sore/swollen throat - counterflow qi, cough, hiccups, reflux. Neck pain - pain, inability to turn neck. Tong Ren/Tam Healing System: Main point to open the circulation of the common carotid artery.  Useful for conditions su…
  • View ST 12 (Empty Basin)

        In the midpoint of the supraclavicular fossa, 4 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

        Shoulder pain (esp. that radiates to neck). Neck/throat issues - tightness/pain. Cough, counterflow qi, sore, swollen throat (rebellious lung qi). Internal branch of the ST meridian connects here directly from the Stomach, Spleen & …
  • View ST 13 (Qi Door)

        4 cun lateral to the AML at the lower border of the clavicle.

        Asthma, cough, wheezing, chest distention, hiccups. Local point - rib pain, inability to turn head, neck pain.
  • View UB 7 (Celestial Connection)

        1.5 cun posterior to UB 6 or 4 cun above the AHL and 1.5 cun lateral to the AML.

        Clear wind and resolve the exterior - important point for sinus congestion, sinusitis, rhinitis, nosebleed, nasal polyps. Loss of sense of smell. Headaches and/or dizziness from wind and congestion. Neck pain and stiffness, throat goite…
  • View UB 10 (Celestial Pillar)

        1.3 cun lateral to GV 15 in a depression or .5 cun above the PHL and 1.3 cun lateral to the PML on the lateral aspect o…

        Relieves pain - neck issues, stiffness, ROM, occipital headache. For stiffness on one-side of the neck combine with SI 3 on the same side & GB 39 on the opposite side.  Upper back pain and/or shoulder pain. Clears wind and relieves ex…
  • View UB 11 (Great Shuttle)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 13, level with T1.

        Wind disorders. Hui-meeting point of the bones, useful with any bone or problem such as osteoporosis, arthritis, inflammation, sensation of heat in the bones, etc. Useful adjunctive point to effect the lungs in cases of infections, colds…
  • View UB 12 (Wind Gate)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV line, level with T2.

        Main point to expel wind from the Wei Qi level of the body, useful for early stages of wind-cold conditions (Common cold, cough, fever, headache, stiff neck). Apply moxa here and on ST 36 to strengthen the Wei Qi (or the defensive layer o…
  • View UB 41 (Attached Branch)

        3 cun lateral to the GV line, level with T2, on the spinal border of the scapula. Lateral to UB 12.

        Useful for dispelling cold and wind from the upper back and neck - neck pain, shoulder problems, arm and/or elbow issues. 
  • View UB 42 (Po Door)

        3 cun lateral to GV 12 and UB 13, level with T3, on the spinal border of the scapula.

        Reinforce the Lung Shu (UB 13) for Lung related disorders: cough, asthma, etc. Drain heat from the Lung - cough with heat, tuberculosis. Local point for shoulder and upper back pain and restriction.

The Tom Tam/Tong Ren Therapy system can be applied via energy healing/medical qi gong methods as well as an acupuncture component. The acupuncture aspect is generally utilized in combination with more standard TCM diagnostic approaches.

For the specific points/areas that would generally be utilized in someone experiencing "neck pain", please read "Tam Healing and Tong Ren Therapy for Neck Pain ".

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