I have a lot of conversations about ice with my patients. When Dr. Mirkin came up with the idea of Rest Ice Compression Elevation, icing really caught on with the Western approach to injury care. After almost 40 years Dr. Mirkin has finally retracted his icing advice which falls in line with what Chinese Medicine has known to be true for a few hundred years.
Traditional Chinese Medicine affirms that icing can delay the body's healing process, preferring to decrease inflammation by other means and allowing for some degree of inflammation to occur naturally. Though ice may numb the pain temporarily, it can also prevent healing at the cellular level. As one of my professors so aptly stated "ice is for dead people." A statement which certainly makes a clear point and punctuates the issue nicely.
Please take a look at Dr. Mirkin's article about icing and how it delays recovery and healing ~ it's a great read! And the next time you experience an acute injury or have a flare from that old achy pain and are tempted to use ice, why not give acupuncture a try?