Chinese medicine theory has long disagreed with the notion of icing injuries. According to Chinese medicine, the way to stop pain and improve healing is to stimulate blood circulation through the injured area by keeping it warm. This can be best achieved through gentle movement of the strained area, not by restricting movement and applying cold. Applying ice or a cold compress may decrease swelling in the short term, but it will stop the movement of blood and make pain worse in the long run.
Excerpt: “Topical cooling (icing) . . . seems not to improve but, rather, delay recovery from eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage,” according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
About the author: Rebecca Wong has been working in the herbal business since 2000. She has received her training in acupuncture and herbalism from respected authorities Paul Des Rosiers and Vu Le at the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Toronto, and Michael Tierra at the East West Herb School in California.