Did you know that pain in your neck and shoulder likely comes from your hand?
According to Jill Miller, Creator of Yoga Tune Up and Author of The Roll Model, everyday activities like typing, writing, holding a child, or even talking on a cell phone, creates tension in the hand that rises all the way up to the neck and shoulders.
In an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Network’s digital series #OWNSHOW, Miller explained how to use a tennis ball to relieve neck and shoulder pain.
Place the tennis ball on a hard surface like a desk or table and press the junction where the thumb meets the rest of the hand onto the ball. Roll the hand repeatedly on the ball to pry the junction open and apart. This may be uncomfortable. That’s okay. You are feeling the stress leave your hand.
After a few moments, pivot your hand as if juicing oranges. Keep this up for a minute or so. Then, standing upright, raise your arms over your head. Notice whether the hand you just exercised stretches back farther than the other side. You will likely be surprised to find that it does indeed. This is a physical sign of increased flexibility.
Miller’s method is a form of acupressure. Bipasha Mukherjee of Modern Reflexology explains there is another pressure point in the hand that when pressed, can help relieve neck pain. Known as the “Hidden Valley,” this pressure point is located in the fleshy skin between the thumb and forefinger. To activate it, cradle your hands, lightly pressing the knuckles of the left hand into the center palm of the right hand. Using the thumb of the left hand, press the soft part of the skin, just below the web between thumb and forefinger for 2-3 minutes. Repeat on the other hand.