Ever wake up and not be able to turn your neck to one side? The levator scapula is a muscle that attaches from your cervical (neck) vertebrae to your shoulder blade. It's responsible for turning your neck and shrugging your shoulder (to lift a backpack or purse onto your shoulder)
Usually a bout of cold air from an open window, air conditioning at home or on the subway is what causes this muscle to seize up.
While I'm a fan massages, and often recommended them to patients, nothing beats an acupuncture needle to gently release this muscle back to it's full extension so you can turn your neck again.
Of course, there are many different types of neck pain, center of the neck, up by the base of the head, further out towards the shoulder, etc. Trigger point release, dry needling and acupuncture, all the same thing really, can help relieve the pain quickly.