Massage Essential’s Hardcore Ice Routine!

To my loyal clients that frequent Massage Essential Uptown this is no new thing to hear from me. I preach and scold to use ice and yes, you will hear this very thing every time you visit. Ice not only decreases the pain you feel by numbing the area to which it is applied, it also has many other fabulous functions.

Acute injuries are usually inflamed and hot to the touch. The application of a cold pack or ice pack will constrict the blood vessels, decreasing blood flow to the area and reducing inflammation. The removal of the cold pack is just as important as the application. Removing the pack (and applying warmth-if possible) causes the blood vessels to dilate and allows immediate blood flow to the affected area supplying oxygen, lymph and healing bodily entities to the injured site. This not only decreases the level of your discomfort but also speeds up the healing process considerably.

Many people swear by heat for the treatment of muscle tightness/soreness. Heat is very effective in some cases but not in every case! An easy way to decipher what temperature will be most beneficial in abating your discomfort is a very easy “back of the hand” test. Using the back of your hand-or asking a very good friend to employ the back of their hand- FEEL the area from which your discomfort originates. If you feel heat-USE ICE! If not, feel free to use some good comfy warm packs. An acute injury will almost always feel warm to the touch and it’s especially important to apply ice in the first 24 hours of acquiring an acute muscular injury. 

Your best bet is the “15 minute on, 15 minute off” rule. Apply a cold pack to the affected area and sustain the contact for 15 minutes. Remove the pack at the end of this time and leave your skin to its own warmth or, even better, have a friend apply friction over the area (briskly rubbing warm hands to create heat) or apply a comfy warm pack. After 15 minutes, re-apply the cold. Repeat as many times as you can.

If you sustain an injury, employ the techniques above, along with a good session of therapeutic massage (about three days after your injury) and continue with a regimen of high H20 intake, ice and massage- We guarantee you will be feeling fine in no time!

NOTE: Do not sustain skin/ice contact for more than 15 minutes at a time and, when appropriate, use a soft barrier between your skin and the ice/cold pack. Sustained contact for more than 15 minutes can and may cause frostbite or other damaging conditions.

 For more information about ice and its many uses and benefits to injuries, visit

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC522152/

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