Typing, mousing, tweeting, texting; technology can be a real pain in the neck. In the U.S., 15 percent of adults who responded to a National Institute of Health Statistics survey say the experience chronic neck pain. New research shows a popular type of massage technique reduces the tension, soreness and anxiety related to neck pain.

Researchers in Japan set out to see if acupressure relieved neck pain, according to a report published on www.pubmed.gov. The researchers’ aim was to investigate the effect of acupressure at local and distal acupuncture points in females with chronic neck pain.

Thirty-three females were assigned to three groups: the control group did not receive any stimuli, the local-point group received acupressure at local acupuncture points, and the distal-point group received acupressure at distal acupuncture points.

The Verbal rating scale, Neck Disability Index, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were utilized, and muscle hardness, salivary alpha-amylase activity, heart rate, heart rate variability values and satisfaction due to acupressure were assessed.

Participants in both acupressure groups reported decreased pain after treatment, and also experienced decreased neck disability, anxiety and muscle hardness. Only participants in the local-point group experienced lowered heart rate after treatment.

“Although acupressure on not only the [local-point group] but also the [distal-point group] significantly improved pain conditions, acupressure on only the [local-point group] affected the autonomic nervous system,” the researchers noted. “Acupressure on local and distal acupuncture points might result in sedation and relaxation, thereby reducing chronic neck pain.”

“Comparative effects of acupressure at local and distal acupuncture points on pain conditions and autonomic function in females with chronic neck pain” was published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2011;2011. pii: 543291. Epub 2010 Sep 23.)