Top 5 Acupuncture Points for Shoulder Pain 

 May 31, 2018

By  Steve Hoffman

For the first time in my life I suffered a pretty serious injury this past December. I was snowboarding, hit a patch of ice and fell hard on my elbow, driving my upper arm up in to my shoulder causing damage to some tendons and ligaments. Thankfully, nothing was torn but it was extremely painful, and nothing makes you realize how much you rely on something until you cannot use it. Those who suffer with shoulder problems know that your arm is useless without the use of your shoulder. It can affect everything from your work to your leisure time and even sleep and mood. Acupuncture got me back on a snowboard by March and the top 5 acupuncture points for shoulder pain were always in the mix.

Fan Hou Jue

fan hou jue

This point is located on the back of the hand about a thumb width down from the webbing. A great way to activate this point is by pinching the flesh between the thumb and forefinger. The spot will often be sensitive, especially with patient who have shoulder pain. Massage the opposite side from the shoulder that is affected.

Ce San Li

Ce San Li

About four fingers width below the knee cap and three fingers width to the outside of the shin bone, this point affects nervous and vascular tissues that have a connection to the shoulder. Again, the side opposite of the affected shoulder is massaged.

Lou Zhen

Located in the depression just behind the knuckles of the first two fingers, you may need to use your pinky to get in deeply and massage this point. This point is famous for stiff necks but is also a great point to treat shoulder pain.

Small Intestine 3

Shortened to SI-3, this point is located by making a fist and following the long palm crease to the end, just below the pinky. The small intestine meridian goes right through the shoulder and in Chinese medicine we often treat the one part of a meridian to affect another part. This point would be massaged on the same side as the affected shoulder.

Gallbladder 21

Located at the top of the trapezius muscle about half way between the midpoint and the end of the shoulder, this is a “local” point. Local points will increase the flow of blood to the area helping the injury heal. Note that this point is contra indicated in pregnancy. It is helpful to have someone massage this point for you, just be cautious if there is an acute injury.

Point should be pressed or massaged for two to five minutes and the easiest way to tell if you are massaging the right spot it to move the affected shoulder and see if there is a noticeable difference in your level of discomfort. Follow the point stimulation with 20-30 minutes of heat daily and you will be “raising the roof” in no time.

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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