Heat and Ice
The elements of heat and ice for therapy are very effective. Most people are aware that ice is used
for reducing inflammation typically in joints where there has been an injury. There is no doubt that
ice is the most effective for reducing inflammation in this instance.
Ice is also extremely effective for relieving low back pain. If your back hurts after activity of any kind it is best to put ice on right
as soon as possible to reduce the pain. Leave the ice on for about 10-15 minutes. No longer than 20 minutes.
Most of us have used a heating pad to reduce the pain and this works to stimulate the nervous system and
as a result feel better temporarily. You may have experienced this and soon after you remove the heat the pain comes back.
The ice therapy following heat therapy helps move the pain out of the area.
Why does this occur?
Energetically Heat is attractive in nature. Think of a hug in which we are attracted to find comfort. Ice on the
other hand is not usually welcomed and we often work to stay away from the cold. It is detractive in nature and
pushes things away. Therefore, by combining the two we create a pumping action for your blood flow, energy and pain.
THis effect is created by applying a heat element (activity, massage, heating pad, hot tub or jacuzzi) then follow this with ice
on the painful area. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and then apply heat or leave alone to warm up naturally and then reapply
the ice once again for 10-15 minutes. When the area is nice and cold remove the ice and your done. You should feel a significant difference
So for ongoing therapy in which the tissue is not inflammed by injury, apply heat, then ice. Heat again and then end with ice.
Remember that it is not best to add heat to heat, which means after activity (heat) do not
use a hot tub or heating pad. Use the ice right away.
This tip is most useful for general therapy and every person is different and responds to therapy in different ways. Use this as
a guideline but find out what works best for you and stick to it. Trust your intuition and follow through with the therapy to get
the best results.
Written by David Rice, HHP
Balance Point Massage