Acupuncture for Text Neck: Embrace a Pain Free Digital WorldTechnological evolution has always had its challenges. Even though great leaps in our digital society have enabled us to perform instantaneous tasks beyond the imagination of just twenty years ago, the human body is still trying to catch up. Enter ‘text neck’, the trauma caused to the neck and spine due to constant handheld communication so many do on a daily basis. If you look up from your own texting it is no surprise to see most noses down, thumbs feverishly patting away with minimal, if any, eye contact amongst other fellow human beings. It is as if we have become solo walking pods encased in our own digital world. Text neck even has a website that describes the condition as:

“…repeated stress injury to the body caused by excessive texting and overuse of all handheld electronic devices. The term, and the health condition, is derived from the onset of cervical spinal degeneration resulting from the repeated stress of frequent forward head flexion while looking down at the screens of mobile devices and ‘texting’ for long periods of time.”

Many do not even consider their physical and mental pain to be associated with their digital habits. Headaches, muscle discomfort, stiffness, nerve tingling, gastrointestinal issues, spine degeneration, compromised lung capacity and more send most to their conventional practitioner. Medications are prescribed along with physical therapy and the results are often fleeting. In fact, symptoms may be so far removed from a text neck scenario (i.e. gastrointestinal, lung, etc) that medication can uselessly end up becoming a daily regiment for many years or lifelong. Sometimes even surgery is performed.

Traditional medicine can approach text neck from a completely different angle mainly using acupuncture to open up the stuck energy caused by constant flexion. To compliment acupuncture work, additional remedies may also be implemented such as homeopathy and nutraceutical supplementation to offer a full spectrum protocol that may very well last beyond any band-aid attempt.

Acupuncture: The Text Neck Remedy
Recently reviewed in the October 2012 Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) a study of acupuncture for chronic pain (particularly back, neck, headache, shoulder and osteoarthritis) conducted by a team of medical doctors reported that:

“acupuncture was superior to both sham and no-acupuncture control for each pain condition”. It went on to conclude that “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option. Significant differences between true and sham acupuncture indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo.”

This and many other studies are significant, reliable proof that acupuncture may very well surpass any conventional medical treatment especially in cases associated with chronic pain such as text neck.

Text Neck Points
Specific points that may be used to target symptoms of text neck could include addressing the target area as well as peripheral associated locations. Treatment is usually administered within a four to six week (best results occur with twice per week visits) protocol. It enables the body to gently embrace this energy re-adjustment, alignment and dispersal allowing for continued, relief longevity as well as prevention (maintenance visits once or twice per month thereafter).

Some points that could be targeted include:

  • Gall Bladder (GB) 21 – Jianjing known as Shoulder Well, located on the top of the shoulder just near the bony protrusion known as the acromion. It addresses headache and rigidity neck pain as well as limitation of the upper extremities.
  • GB 20 – Fengchi translated as Wind Pool sits on the nape of the neck just below the occiput (rear skull ridge) in the depression between the medial sternocleidomastoideus (SCM) and the medial trapezius. Used for neck, shoulder and headache pain.
  • Small Intestine (SI) 3 – Houxi or Back Stream also addresses rigidity of the neck and head as well as arm, elbow, lumbar and sacrum. It is located just above the lateral base of the pinky finger (5th metacarpophalangeal joint).

Many other points such as along the ear to relieve pain as well as gastrointestinal relief just above the umbilicus are other considerations. Once the acupuncturist taps into your personal constitution more specific locations can be found and utilized.

Complimentary Text Neck Remedies in Conjunction with Acupuncture
Using additional remedies to compliment acupuncture work can and should be administered by a naturopathic doctor. Self-medicating is not recommended as there may be side effects regarding contraindications due to a current prescription protocol or specific health history.

Some additional remedies include:
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) – This herb is best for headaches and migraines which are common when heavily texting. It inhibits the release of serotonin which has been theorized to cause migraines and it also relaxes constricting blood vessels.

Bryonia alba (flowering vine), Arnica montana (pasture herb), Rhus toxicodendron (derived from the poison ivy plant) and Hypericium (flowering plant) – These are some of the many homeopathic remedies used for shoulder, neck and/or nerve pain.

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) – Excellent for fatigue associated with elongated periods of texting.

Vitamins C, E, B12, B6, D and Minerals Magnesium & Calcium – These all contribute to alleviating/preventing skeletal, muscular and release of body chemicals associated with text neck pain.

As more people step back from their technological tethers and view the big picture of how they may be affected both physically and mentally, a pre-emptive or an active response can be put into practice. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you.  In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or click here to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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