I have terrible posture and it's making my shoulders and neck incredibly tense.

Which type of massage would really help loosen up these knotted shoulders, and how often should I get one?
Asked by charleymarley

35 answers

Top answer
Hi Charley,
Even though I am a massage therapist I believe you should first look into the right type of exercise to improve your posture. Massage can then help to release muscles and tendons and improve your overall wellbeing.
Of course Alexander Technique, yoga and Pilates would be the best candidates to improve your posture. You can also look into dance classes which will also give you a bit more "swagger", as sometimes tight neck and shoulders could be a reflexion of tight hips.
The rule of thumb with massage is to have one every 2 weeks, or once a week if one is in a lot of pain. Then once a month as a maintenance programme.
If there are serious structural alignment issues the best solution is to see an osteo or chiro, but you can still have massages in between to speed up the healing process.
Also, if you use a laptop instead of a desktop you may be crouching too much while typing, having the right set up at work/home/while travelling also helps.
One client resolved an issue with her shoulder and wrist just by getting a normal mouse instead of the touchpad on her laptop.
Wishing you all the best,


Thanks for the advice Paola! I definitely have to work on my posture, dance classes sound like a really fun way of loosening up and sorting that out.
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Because of my work i have to carry heavy stuff.As a result i have hunched shoulders.and a little bit bad posture which type of massage you recommend me to fix my rounded sholders and posture
Because of my work i have to carry heavy stuff.As a result i have hunched shoulders.and a little bit bad posture which type of massage you recommend me to fix my rounded sholders and posture
Because of my work i have to carry heavy stuff.As a result i have hunched shoulders.and a little bit bad posture which type of massage you recommend me to fix my rounded sholders and posture
Because of my work i have to carry heavy stuff.As a result i have hunched shoulders.and a little bit bad posture which type of massage you recommend me to fix my rounded sholders and posture
Because of my work i have to carry heavy stuff.As a result i have hunched shoulders.and a little bit bad posture which type of massage you recommend me to fix my rounded sholders and posture
Because of my work i have to carry heavy stuff.As a result i have hunched shoulders.and a little bit bad posture which type of massage you recommend me to fix my rounded sholders and posture
I would recommend you find either a traditional Thai or Chinese therapist and consult with the practitioner about your condition. Your problem sounds like it possibly related to the work you do - guessing that it is a sitting job and most probably using the computer a lot. Many shoulder problems also have a corresponding spinal misalignment or compaction. It is probably a good idea for you to take a back massage or preferably, initially, a two hour total body massage (Thai style) which will work not only the musculature, but also the energy meridians in your body, which will re-balance your overall energy. After that it is probable the condition will persist in your shoulders. In which case, follow-up treatments might suffice with legs, back and shoulder and head massage. Knotted shoulders are usually a symptom of stress. Have you tried yoga? Taking leisurely walks in fresh air also is helpful. Clears the head and sinuses and the lungs and puts the whole body into good use. These are things you can do to help yourself. Good luck with un-knotting yourself.
Most deep tissue massage will help to relieve the discomfort in your shoulders but you really need to address the reasons as to why you are suffering.
Think about a more long term approach to reduce recurrance by adding postural work such as Pilates to your regimen.
Good luck
Hi, sorry for the late response.
Either Holistic body massage or hot stones would be suitable. The hot stones is heat controlled and penetrates deeper. Although I would suggest Holistic body massage as I can concentrate on your stiff and knotted shoulder more with my hands. I would recommend having treatments once or twice per month depending on how much tension you hold in your shoulders. Hope this helps.
If you require any more information please do not hesitate to ask.
Regards, Louise Halsa Healing
hi charleymarley, i also suffer from tension around my shoulders and neck and find a monthly massage really helps with this. i normally go for a deep tissue massage and ask the therapist to concentrate on the top half areas of my back to really get the full benefit. In addition I've found having a proper chair at work keeps my back straight now which has really helped. hope that helps.
I believe in a person centred approach. Firstly I would need to do a thorough consultation with you and then together we would find the most appropriate treatment to suit your individual needs. Sometimes a combination of massage and Chiropractic manipulation can help. There is a new treatment out called Lava Shell massage and I am amazed as to how well they work on treating diffcult to reach knots.
I hope this helps.
Hi ... a lot of good advice already given, but having worked out the cause of the problem, most massage styles can help (but are not a cure for) your problems.
If you decide that massage is the way forward then I would suggest a treatment as often as you feel necessary (and can afford it)...
Most of the treatments mentioned above are beneficial, I am a big fan and believer of Thai Yoga massage, the pressure point work combined with the streches will break down the knots and leave you fealing relaxed and energize at the same time. Findind the right therapist for you is very important. All the best H
Hi Charley - deep tissue or Swedish massage will do the trick but, as is often the case, its a case of getting the right therapist that works for you and someone who really knows their A&P, not just goes through the motions. You would be well advised to address the issue of an appropriate chair if you're spending lots of time on the computer, so that your posture is not deteriorating on a consistent basis, plus get out for a brisk walk every day if you can. Doing some regular exercise that you enjoy will help you improve your overall posture and to be more conscious of it but a good diet would be wise to augment that regime.
Good luck - sounds like you're taking stock of your life ready to move ahead with more vigour.
I would try Alexander Technique
Massage will help with the aches and pains caused by bad posture so my website is
But you need to treat the cause so Alexander technique, Yoga or Palates would be best.
Good luck,
Hi Charley. No type of massage will cure your problem, they will help aleviate the symptoms so you need to look at why your posture is bad and if possible try to correct the issue. Chiropractic treatments may also help with this and it is usually a good idea to follow up a chiropractic session with a massage treatment of whichever type suits you best or gives you most benefit.
As regards to how often, all depends on how much you can spend really. I like a massage every week, when times are hard I let it slide to every two weeks, but I pay for it in discomfort!
So Charley, you need to assess the cause of the pain, rectify the source, realign anything that's not quite where it should be, then take massages to keep thing supple and moving. Good luck ... John
Hi Charley. Thai massage is a wonderful massage and one well worth a try (its my favourite) I have something similar to yours with the knots and I personally find thai massage works best for me and my back. Also lower back issue from a car accident many years ago. Reiki was the only thing which made it bearable and a huge difference that lasted and I've been teaching it ever since. Sometimes pain can benefit from cold being applied rather than heat, try blasting cold water on your shoulder area once you have had a warm shower for a couple of minutes
Thai massage is great for the back, neck and posture and works with the meridians (smaller energy centers of the body) It a great all round massage which leaves you feeling, relaxed, invigorated, refreshed and energised all at the same time - do give it a try and see if it works for you
Have you tried Meridian Psychotherapy / EFT ? Tapping may improve things and in some cases can lower the pain considerable if not remove. You can do this yourself and the key is really all down to the statements you make while tapping and just tapping until you get to the cause. More details and videos can be found at http://www.eftuniverse.com/
If you'd like me to send some distant healing to you just email me your name and location and consider it done. You can find details about all the therapies I do at http://www.simply-wholistic.com You can also receive free reiki right now at my other website through my picture at http://www.wholistic-therapy-consultant.com
Also strengthening the stomach muscles with things such as Taebo (similar to kick boxing) does help with the posture as well as pilates
Neck problems can be refusing to see other sides of a question / stuborness / inflexibility
Upper back - lack or emotional support / holding back love / feeling unloved
Shoulders - represent our ability to carry out experiences in life joyously. We sometimes make life a burden by our attitude
What works for one person, doesn't seem to make a difference for another, so it is trail and error to find what works best for you. Hope things improve for you soon!!!!
Hi Charleymarley,
All of the above will be helpful, so perhaps book yourself one or two to start off with and then if these are not helpful try a different approach. It's also worth thinking about prevention so that you don't become dependent on treatments to loosen your shoulders - Yoga, Pilates & Tai Chi will all help to keep your body in a looser condition.
Good luck!
a massage which deeper pressure is used would be best suited. Depending on your pain threshold would depend on the kind of massage you get. if a deep tissue massage would be sore fo you then there is no point as the muscles would be tense the whole way through and would not benefit you in anyway. the hot stone massage would also be a good massage as the heat would help your muscles.
Hello . Many types of massage ( Thai included ) will loosen your knotted shoulders, But that is the symptom of you say your posture. It is difficult without knowing more but certainly Thai massage which starts from the feet up and where we massage , stretch and kneed the whole body might ease some of your problem areas which manifest themselves in your neck and shoulders. Thai massage is not a miracle cure and it might be that in your case it would facilitate your bodies muscular skeletal realignment with lifestyle changes relaxation and other steps.
How often ? I do not know about other massages but Thai Traditional you can ( after the therapist has discussed your aches and pains with you ) do every week .
Good Luck
Sea ( Nuad Thai Massage Trained Wat Po Thailand)
Firstly what is causing your poor posture? Do you sit at a computer? Do a lot of driving? lifting? Have you thought about the way you walk?
I would recomment Sports Massage to release stuck areas and stretch tight muscles and then some rehabilitation exercises.
Keston Natural Health
Hi Charley, a good massage for tight and tense muscles is the Tuina chinese massage. You can have neck, back and shoulders done while sitting upright in a chair. This way the therapist wil see where the most tension is and will work on this and other areas to release the tension.First you will need a couple of treatments to make a difference , and after that just when you feel you need it. Prevention is better and your therapist will give advice on how to improve your posture. Hope this helps.
Hey I just received your message about posture and tension.
All therapies you stated will help with release of tension.
I am a yoga practitioner and teacher, and also a Thai yoga massage therapist. I found in my experience of giving treatment to people it helps significantly for their body,posture, tension and mind relaxation.
If your interested and would like further information you can email me @
tom@tomsyoga.co.uk ,
or visit my website
mobile - 07939302767
many thanks
Massages help loosens tense areas of the body. For knotted shoulders, swedish massage or deep tissue massage would help with your problem, although Las Stone Therapy is also very good at penetrating into tight areas. Massage is a good way of helping you relax which could a contributing factor as to why you may have knotted shoulders. All the above treatments are very relaxing also and you would benefit from either. Recommendation:- weekly, book for 4 - 6 sessions if very bad. If possible you would benefit from having a massage therapy every month.
Kind Regards
Abate MediSpa Sanctuary
Hi Charley,
I would hardly recommend DeepTissue massage. It's a perfect therapy for those who feel the world is on their shoulders! I offer a Deep Tissue Repair treatment that is design to bring the knots to the surface and dissipate them leaving a feeling of relief and calm.
However, if you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me on 078 303 676 25 and I will be happy to help you select the most suitable treatment according to your needs.
All the best
I believe any form of massage will relax and loosen that tension from your muscles, relieving your tight posture, or you can try the fast chair massages no need to disrobe. you sit in a specialist chair and the therapist massages away tension from your neck, back & shoulders.
All the best Mya from Unwind Mk.
Hi there charleymarley.
I've been a massage therapist for 10 years & now work exclusively with NO HANDS massage because its the most effective massage I've ever had - & I've had a few!
I have a NO HANDS massage at least once a fortnight if not weekly & my back & shoulders love me for it and my clients consistently experience incedible release of tension through out their whole bodies.
NO HANDS uses the soft part of the forearm for the majority of the strokes, which gives a much greater & deeper contact with the body. This feels great but more than that its really effective for massaging big muscle groups such as the back.
NO HANDS also uses alot of compression and release to elicit a systematic release throughout the body as well as teh muscles being massaged at any one time.
I really highly recommend.
You can use the link below to find your nearest NO HANDS massage therapist.
In answer to your posture issue. The first recommendation would be to do some alexander technique. Combine this with a combination of pressure point work and aromatherapy and some gentle stretching within the treatment and this will help loosen te knots but also improve the posture. Your alignment is important to keep the balance within the muscle structure. Stone therapy would also help with the exchange of temperatures but I would recommend this with the stretching.
Each of these treaments will help alleviate the symptoms, but I believe that Sports Massage will be the most beneficial in releasing the knots & tension.
But as others have said, it depends on what is causing the postural issues. Obviously these need addressing so that you don't keep having re-occurring problems. Any decent massage therapist should assess your posture & provide you with some exercises to improve things.
I would recommend booking an initial assessment & treatment and then working on some stretches & exercises whilst having 2 further treatments within a 7-10 day period. Hope you get things sorted soon.
1. For sorting out knots and identified pain the best option is the Deep Tissue modality. Make sure you ask first if the therapist is trained in Trigger Points Therapy.
2. Noone knows how many sessions you will need as we are all different and with so many specific characteristics in terms of posture problems, emotional profile and lifestyle. One thing is sure though, if your therapist is good, you should start feeling far better right from the first session.
3. All of the above don't mean much if you don't change the causes. See a specialist for Posture Asssessment and then change your lifestyle by correcting the way you walk, sit, stand, etc...
Stay well...
I think you should gage how much difference one session makes, and speak to your therapist about how often you should have a treatment. Personally I would recommend 1 a week until your tension had eased to the point where you can live your life without the bother. And after that maybe once a month and in the mean time find some exercises to help with your posture, and once that has been corrected as often as you wish.
I hope that helps :) x


Thanks Amy, the majority seems to be trying out a weekly massage and taking it from there. Exercises sound like a really good way of relieving it too - thanks for the advice!
Hi Charleymarley,
To answer your question, you have to also take into account what is causing the knotting of the shoulders, ie sitting at a computer, carrying bags on one shoulder, carrying too many bags. By changing your routine this will also help when you come to have treatments and the treatment will last longer.
I offer a treatment called Neuro Skeletal Re Alignment Therapy (NSRT), which is non invasive, will not harm you and can also aid with sleep or stress disorders. I can also offer you a massage to release the knots of tension that are in and around your shoulder area. By releasing those knots, and then following on with a NSRT treatment, you will feel much lighter and the treatment lasts as long as you aware of old habits.
Before a treatment would commence I would also complete a full consultation & postural analysis. It is imperative to understand the Client before treating.
Exercises can also be found on the internet if you are a busy person to help stretch your shoulders. I would also recommend visiting a Practitioner in Alexander Technique or have you thought about Pilates or Yoga.
If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to ask or please look at my website http://www.aurora-aromatica.com
All the best to you,
All these massage's will loosen and relieve tension in the shoulders and neck, hot stone massage not as much as the others. Depending how bad you're neck and shoulders are, I think the best one to go for would be sports massage - if your neck and shoulders are really bad as this is the deepest and most intense treatment of them all. Although swedish massage would be very beneficial to you aswell as it is a very vigorous and deep massage but on a slightly lower pressure. A therapist will let you know how often you should get a massage once the treatment has finished as they can exam your needs. If you're neck and shoulder are in a bad way, I would say once a week.
Hope this helps you
I would recomment Hot Stone Massage as the heat from the stones really penetrate the tight, knotted muscles to make them easier to massage out. It is a very warming and relaxing treatment aswell.