Acupuncture is an alternative form of treatment but it has shown to be effective for things like pain and muscle tension. In fact, one randomized study published in the British Medical Journal came to the conclusion that acupuncture can actually do more to relieve pain and tension in the neck than conventional massage.
The process of applying acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into different trigger points. When the trigger point is stimulated, it can create a healing response and it can also stimulate the nervous system in a way that relieves pain. Acupuncture is an effective way to relax muscles and it offers a great alternative for people who deal with chronic muscle tension.
Acupuncture can be used in combination with other treatment options like massage, and you can even supplement it with something like cupping. If you are concerned about the needles, you could also try acupressure as an alternative. Acupressure works on the same principles as acupuncture, but instead of inserting needles, the practitioner applies pressure to the trigger points.