How to use a hair dryer to ease your stiff neck.
Updated: Apr 25
Sore neck? It's pretty common. It may also be accompanied by headaches, shoulder pain and arm pain. Modern life comes with a lot of pressure from work and family. Working in the same position for long hours, endless Zoom calls, going to bed late and waking up early, putting the body's muscles under tremendous stress.
Causes of a stiff neck
The most obvious symptom is pain in the neck when waking up, limited mobility or pain when engaging in specific movement directions. The stiff neck often results from minor muscle strains, possibly due to:
Using a pillow that is not suitable for your spine.
The mattress is too soft.
Sitting still for an extended period of time.
Looking down at your phone, reading on the tube.
Accident or injury
One of the most common victims of a stiff neck is the levator scapulae muscle. It's located at the back and side of the neck and connects the cervical spine with the shoulder. This muscle is controlled by the third and fourth cervical nerves (C3, C4).
Use your home hairdryer for one minute to relieve pain.
Moxibustion is often used by acupuncture practitioners to treat recurring cases of cold soreness. But it is not suitable for people to perform moxibustion at home. However, there is a home remedy, a hairdryer, that can produce similar results to moxibustion. Using a hair dryer to warm each acupuncture point for one minute can relieve the neck and shoulders' discomfort.
Unlike moxibustion, which requires precise positioning of the acupuncture points, the hot air from the hair dryer can warm the skin around the acupuncture points. Like moxibustion, it is a warming concept that improves the meridians' circulation and enhances the body's Yang energy, thus preventing recurrent stiff neck symptoms.
Acupuncture points can be used for stiff neck
Hou Xi (SI 3)
When a loose fist is made, at the ulnar end of the distal palmar crease proximal to the 5th metacarpal phalangeal joint.
Wai Guan (SJ 5)
At the back of the arm, 5-7 cm above the crease of the wrist.
Wai Lao Gong (Ex-UE8)
This point is on the back of the hand, between the second and the third metacarpal bone, about 1-2 cm posterior to the metacarpophalangeal joint.
Feng Chi (GB 20)
In a depression between the upper portion of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and the trapezius, parallel to the lower end of the earlobe.
Jian Jing (GB 21)
Draw an imaginary line between the neck's bony prominence (C7) and the top of the shoulder joint (acromion process). This point is in the midway of this line.
Use a hair dryer to blow hot air along the neck and shoulders until the skin is slightly warm, and rub the points with your index finger and thumb.
When using a hair dryer, make sure to maintain a safe distance of about 10cm and keep the airspeed at a low to medium intensity, not the strongest, for about 1 minute each time. But this method is not suitable for everyone. People who cannot express their sensations clearly, or people with dulled senses, such as diabetics, should not use it to avoid skin damage.
Simple neck stretch
Look straight ahead. Tuck your chin in slightly and move your head backwards, slowly and smoothly, as if you're trying to give yourself a double chin. Do not force this movement, and be sure to keep your head level. Hold for 4-5 seconds. Repeat six times. You can do this a few times a day. If this stretch is too difficult in the beginning, you can use your fingers to gently push your chin backwards. It is useful to watch yourself in the mirror.
If you have more questions, you can visit our acupuncture clinic in South Kensington, Chelsea, London.