Should You Ice After an Injury?

The answer, at least from a TCM perspective, is no.  In TCM, icing is rarely, if ever, recommended.  When our bodies become very cold, blood vessels shrink in order to shunt blood flow from the extremities to our vital organs.  That's a good thing if you find yourself trying to survive in the wilderness, or in very cold water.  However, when you injure soft tissue, swelling actually protects that tissue from further injury - it's not a bad thing!  Swelling is a vital defense mechanism.  Cutting off circulation to injured tissue (by icing it) reduces blood flow and actually slows healing.  It's really counter-intuitive.     

It now appears that some athletic trainers are beginning to agree with what TCM has been saying for centuries.  Read the research here.