Ice Massage Brings Back Fond Memories Of My Childhood!
Bruised, battered and exhausted is what most of my 6th and 7th grade days were made of. Those days I used to play a lot of footy (soccer here in North America!), and the tournaments were insanely tiresome, but insanely fun at the same time.
Those days the quickest “fixer upper” was an ice massage. Although it sounds cool and exciting, it really isn’t! An ice massage in those days consisted of cubes of solid ice wrapped in a cotton cloth to form an ice ball. This ice ball was then applied to problematic areas such as the knees, ankles, calves etc.
I’m a big fan of ice massage and that’s because it’s been a simple and very effective therapy my entire life. In fact, I can even recall choosing to ice massage instead of rubbing with a pain relief ointment. You get the same relief without the odorous smell!
Here’s a cool YouTube video from one of my favourite Doctor’s on the net, Doctor Jo! In the video she demonstrates how an ice massage can be used to treat inflammation from bursitis.
If you watched the above video, you’ll have realised that an ice massage is super simple! Many people prefer buying ice massage cups, but it’s pretty easy to actually make your own. More on ice massage cups later!
For now let’s look at 3 reasons to incorporate ice massage into your routine!
3 Benefits Of Ice Massage You Need To Know About!
#1 It Helps With Pain Relief!
Ever heard of the acronym RICE before? If you’ve taken any sort of first aid training, this acronym will immediately ring a bell. It stands for rest, ice or application of ice, compression, and elevation. RICE is often the first step employed for treating strains and contusions.
If RICE is a means of first aid treatment, you should know that it works! Application of ice specifically is known to reduce pain in the affected areas. If you’re a fan of cinema, you’d have seen this with the famous actors. A guy gets his lights knocked out, and left with a nasty blue scar below his eye.
This is ice massage, ladies and gents! Simple, easy, effective, and doesn’t really cost much. If you’re suffering from pain in the joints, an ice massage as demonstrated by Dr. Jo in the earlier video could do wonders!
#2 It Reduces Inflammation & Swelling!
Inflammation, swelling, and pain all go hand in hand. If you reduce swelling and inflammation, you reduce pain. In many ways, this point is simply an extension of the one above.
Inflammation & swelling is something we all would have experienced at one point or another in our lives. If you play lots of contact sports, swelling and inflammation is something you’ve become used to! Even if you don’t play sports, for sure you’ve hit something that’s resulted in swelling. Whether that means spraining your ankle/wrist, or even stubbing your toe!
According to verywellfit, inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. It’s when nearby blood vessels begin to swell to ensure immune cells have easier access to the affected area.
Application of ice to the affected area helps these blood vessels shrink and constrict. It also helps numb nerve endings so you can experience less pain. Next time you have an injury, before you apply ice, take note of the way the injured site looks before ice massage and then take note after. You should see a difference if you’ve done the ice massage properly!
#3 It Feels Great!
My experience with ice massage has always been pleasant. That’s quite different from deep tissue massage, which sometimes is actually quite unbearable! Ice massage is not about stimulating pressure points, or breaking up fascia, it’s mostly focused on improving the surface conditions at the skin.
Cryotherapy is a therapy where the body is subjected to extreme cold temperatures for some amount of time. Is ice massage the same as Cryotherapy? Well ice massage is a form of localized cryotherapy, albeit a less controlled form.
When the body is subjected to these low temperatures, there are many benefits to be derived. Here’s an interesting write-up from Heathline that talks about these benefits in more detail.
Whether it’s full body Cryotherapy or localized, people seem to enjoy the experience and continue to do it for this reason.
What Tools Do You Need To Do An Ice Massage?
For starters, ice! Without ice there’s no ice massage. There’s many different tips and tricks to this. As you saw in the YouTube video earlier on in the post, water was filled in a small paper cup and then frozen. Once frozen, a little bit of the paper cup was peeled to better expose the ice.
The downside with this process of course is that you will likely need to replace a paper cup every time you’re done massaging and that’s not good for your wallet or the environment!
The alternative is something known as Cryocup!
Basically It’s a small little plastic cup that gets filled with water, capped on, and then tossed in the freezer. It’s a better design than the disposable paper cup in that you get a lot more area of exposed ice to work with. You also don’t need to toss this in the trash once the ice is all melted!
If you don’t mind spending a couple dollars, the Cryocup is a decent investment especially for those who plan on ice massaging frequently.
If you want to step it up a notch, consider the Cryosphere massage roller ball by Recoup Fitness!
Okay so how does this weird looking contraption function? It’s basically just like any other massage roller ball, except this one is made from metal. You place the ball in the freezer for 2-3 hours, and then it’s ready to use.
All things considered it’s pretty effective, and most importantly people seem to love it. That being said, it does cost quite a bit more than the Cryocup! If you can afford it, definitely a solid product that’s worth considering.
Ice Massage: Easy As A, B, C!
If there’s one thing you got outta this post, let it be this:
You don’t need to book an appointment to get an ice massage, you don’t need to pay top dollar to get an ice massage, and you don’t need to wait to see the results of an ice massage! It’s cheap, it’s easy and its impact is immediate!
With that I hope this post provided some value. If it did, please consider sharing on the socials. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below. Have a splendid weekend and I hope you’re safe wherever you are!