Do you feel pain or stiffness in your upper neck and back? Does it feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? As a naturopathic doctor, I see patients experience muscle tightness and pain which typically is a result of stress, posture and nutritional deficiencies. Many people think they have to live with this pain, but there are three key ways to alleviate your tension.
To understand this process, it is important to understand our bodies. Our anatomy is composed of bones and joints that are supported by muscles which help us move. These muscles are surrounded by fascia, which you can imagine as a large saran wrap system that keeps everything stable.
Sometimes the fascia can be overly tight, creating tension for the muscle underneath. Having this tension pushes your joints out of their optimal position.
My naturopathic approach to muscle pain is three-fold:
1) Release the fascia – therapies like cupping and myofascial release are vital to this healing. We need to work on releasing the outer layer of your muscles so the muscles underneath can have space to relax.
2) Release muscle knots using acupuncture – one method of acupuncture that can speed up the muscle softening process is electro-acupuncture. This treatment inputs small electrical currents into the muscle to increase the efficacy of the acupuncture treatment.
3) Spinal manipulation – This is a gentle adjustment, similar to a chiropractic treatment, which works to put the joints back into place. The difference between the two is that spinal manipulation is only done once the fascia and muscle tension is released. This adjustment cannot be used until the prior two treatments have been completed.
If you find yourself struggling with stiffness in your neck and upper back, this three-fold therapy is a great way to start on your journey towards optimal health.
— Dr. Kay Wong, ND
To book an appointment with Dr. Kay, visit our website at theiv.ca or give us a call at 604-974-8999.