Acupuncture For Neck Pain — (Health Coach's Advice)

As the lead health and wellness consultant at, I’m here to explain to you how acupuncture can significantly aid in the relief of neck discomfort

Acupuncture, an alternative natural therapy, has benefits worth noting. Consider acupuncture for pain relief if you have chronic pain in the neck area, neck pain that comes and goes, or if your job puts you at risk for this problem. 

Let this article serve as your introduction to using acupuncture to treat neck discomfort. Please keep reading to know more!

Acupuncture Points For Neck Pain

The most typical acupoints for treating neck pain are listed below.

Jian Jing (GB21)

Located in the muscles of the shoulder halfway between the neck and where the arms begin, this point is used in many successful acupuncture studies for relief against headaches, stiff neck, and muscle tension.

He Gu (L14)

Reflexologists assert that this acupuncture point, which is situated in the fold of skin between the thumb and forefinger, is useful for reducing pain throughout the body, including in the neck.

Wind Pool (Feng Chi/GB20)

This acupoint, which can be found behind the earlobe and is close to the base of the skull and the top of the neck, is used to relieve headaches and weariness. Stiff neck caused by an awkward sleeping position can also be relieved by stimulating this acupoint.

Zhong Zu (TE3)

This acupoint, which is situated between the knuckles above the pinky and ring fingers, is stimulated to improve circulation and tension release, which greatly aids in the treatment of neck pain.

Heaven’s Pillar

This acupressure point is used to relieve congestion and lymph nodes, which are the causes of painful necks. It is located on either side of the neck, two inches above the top of the skull where the backbone starts.

Keep in mind that the body is a complex mechanism. In order to activate or align the treatment site, practitioners frequently stimulate parts of the body other than the neck.


Acupuncture In The Neck: Benefits

The following is a quick summary of acupuncture’s advantages for neck pain:

  • A reduction in the daily tensions that strain your neck
  • Relieves stiff, fatigued neck muscles.
  • Increases range of motion restricted by tense or strained muscles
  • Reduces muscular spasms
  • Enhances the recovery from severe neck injuries
  • Minimizes or eliminates the need for any painkillers you may be taking for neck pain
  • Provides comfort and relaxation for the entire body.

The following studies demonstrate the benefits of acupuncture for persons who experience neck discomfort:

  • Moderate evidence was found to indicate a reduction in neck pain with acupuncture compared to a placebo and no treatment in a 2020 meta-analysis that included six randomized clinical trials.
  • Systematic reviews conducted in 2021 that examined various types of pain found that participants who received acupuncture reported less severe pain and less disability than those who received no treatment.
  • In 2021 research on patients with cervical spondylosis, acupuncture reduced the neck pain brought on by this condition. The participants either received shallow, optimal, or placebo acupuncture during the course of the four weeks. Those who received optimal acupuncture reported better pain reduction than those in the shallow and placebo groups.

But in general, tinnitus acupuncture focuses on ear points.


Can Acupuncture Help With Pinched Nerves In Neck?

Acupuncture therapy can help with the root cause of pinched nerves in the neck and reduce pain naturally gently and effectively without side effects.

Radiculopathy, often known as pinched nerves, is a medical disorder that develops when the tissues around a nerve compress it too much. The severity of the symptoms varies according to the type of nerve that was hurt. The pain indicates where along the nerve pathway the trouble spot exists.

In some cases, such as a herniated disc, the pressure results from bone or cartilage. Muscles that are irritated or inflamed can also cause a pinching sensation similar to carpal tunnel syndrome. No matter the cause, pain treatment is essential to propel the body and nerves to peak performance.


Acupuncture For Headaches

Acupuncture is useful in the alleviation of tension and migraine headaches along with a range of other problems. The National Institutes of Health acknowledge the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating headaches.

Acupuncturists use needles to stimulate various pressure points on the body, including those in the head and neck, to cure headaches. Endorphins and hormones are released into the vascular system as a result of the needles.

This starts a healing process that lessens headache discomfort and soothes migraines and tension headaches.

Patients are advised to have six to eight weekly acupuncture sessions in addition to dietary adjustments to relieve headache symptoms in order to fully benefit from acupuncture.

From a traditional Chinese medicine standpoint, acupuncture seeks to restore the flow of positive energy throughout the body as well as remove negative energy that causes pain.

Acupuncture In The Neck: Side Effects

The side effects of acupuncture for neck disorders are generally mild. Here are a few of them:

  • Bruising
  • Pain during the session itself
  • Tenderness at the site of treatment
  • Bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache 

Acupuncture is typically a low-risk procedure, but there is a slight possibility of major side effects, especially if you receive treatment from an unlicensed practitioner. Some of the risks include dirty needles and incorrect procedures. On the other hand, licensed acupuncturists are required to use single-use needles. 

Some of the dangers of receiving acupuncture from an unlicensed practitioner include the following: 

  • Injury to the site area including the blood vessels
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Transmission of blood-borne diseases
  • Allergic reactions to chemicals 

Because of this, it is crucial to only get acupuncture from a qualified and trustworthy practitioner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is acupuncture or massage better for neck pain?

Massage and acupuncture are both effective treatments for neck pain. Your personal preference is the best course of action.

A recent study contrasted acupuncture treatment sessions and massage.

A total of 177 participants with persistent pain received acupuncture, massage, or sham treatment laser acupuncture (a placebo)

The recipients of the sham acupuncture laser were told that it stimulated body acupoints, but in actuality, the laser had no effect. To prevent the possibility that the idea of receiving acupuncture would affect the outcomes, sometimes known as the placebo effect, the sham laser is employed as a control.

After a week of five consecutive treatments those who underwent true acupuncture experienced a dramatic improvement in motion related to neck pain compared with those treated with massage but not compared with those given sham laser.

However, in a different study comparing massage and traditional acupuncture for back pain that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, massage was discovered to be more efficient.

According to experts, there is no clear scientific evidence that favors either acupuncture or massage therapy for neck and musculoskeletal pain. Generally speaking, acupuncture is preferable if you want a speedy result; nevertheless, if you’re afraid of needles, a massage is preferable.

What are the side effects of acupuncture for neck pain?

Some side effects of acupuncture needles for neck pain include those listed below in addition to the ones we’ve already mentioned:

Initial worsening of symptoms

Before you start to feel better after an acupuncture session, you might feel worse. A healing crisis is the term used to describe this stage in natural medicine. Your body is agitated as it progresses toward health, which can lead to an aggravation of symptoms and the reappearance of long-dormant illnesses.

Your bodily consciousness is awakened by acupuncture, increasing your sensitivity to things that previously seemed normal. For instance, after acupuncture wakes their physiological experience, a person who reflexively clenches and tightens their muscles during stress may begin to feel discomfort in these locations. The good news is that acupuncture helps your body go from a stuck condition to an unstuck state.


Those who receive acupuncture may feel too exhausted afterwards. Although an energy boost is common, in some cases, the fatigue effects hang on a little longer. It is your body telling you that it is depleted and needs to rest. Feeling weakened and tired after an acupuncture session is no cause for concern. Take it easy and take the remainder of the day off. The morning after, you should be fully rested and reenergized.

Where do you put acupuncture for neck pain?

Acupuncture for neck pain involves inserting needles not only in the site of pain but in other areas of the body as well. A qualified acupuncturist would also insert a needle on a point near the abdomen to reduce inflammation throughout the body. The goal here, from a Chinese medicine standpoint, is to strengthen the Qi and Yang energy.

Remember that acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that addresses health issues holistically. Practitioners will carefully take into account the complete spectrum of symptoms and associated lifestyle choices. In order to prevent the discomfort from coming again, they will focus on the underlying reason. Also, persistent ailments resulting from problems with the vertebrae and discs will be addressed differently from acute neck discomfort and soft tissue injuries.

Does acupuncture help with neck pain?

As mentioned previously, acupuncture significantly reduces symptoms in adults with neck pain.

Children with neck pain can also reap benefits from acupuncture. Practitioners recommend that children must be at least eight years old to undergo acupuncture. Acupuncture for children is used as a remedy for everything from colic, migraines, back pain, and seizures to ADHD and autism.

An experienced acupuncturist might begin with four needles and work up to 12 as the child becomes more at ease. A skilled acupuncturist can perform the procedure, making it comfortable, painless, and incredibly calming. Some kids would take advantage of the sessions to take a midday nap.


Conclusion – Research by

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Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points in the body to promote healing and balance.

It reduces neck pain intensity by releasing endorphins and other natural painkillers in the body. It can also help to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to the affected area.

The neck’s range of motion is also improved with acupuncture, which eases stiffness and tension in the muscles. This may aid in regaining the damaged area’s flexibility and mobility.

Stress is a known cause of neck pain, and acupuncture is a fantastic stress management technique that lowers bodily stress levels and enhances general well-being.

Because it can be tailored to each patient’s needs and changed according to their unique situation, acupuncture is a suggested therapy for a variety of illnesses.

According to Chinese medicine, acupuncture intervention restores the Qi energy, and in addition to the neck and head regions, needles are inserted in the abdominal region and other critical places to calm the hyperactive fire of the lung and stomach, improve blood vitality, and restore kidney essence.

It’s crucial to remember that while acupuncture may be suitable for some people, it may not be for everyone. Speaking with your doctor before beginning a new neck pain treatment is always a good idea.

Thank you for reading, and best of luck to you on your journey to better  health! Please come back for further guidance, as we update.


Find It Health Editor in Chief Luz Chacon Health and Wellness Coach Giving You Advice

Luz Chacon

Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches