I suppose so! I'm talking about strains, sprains, bruising, things like that. I've been asking acupuncturists I know and the most they will admit to is using ice once right after an injury for no more than ten minutes. They also told me that ice is very good for dead people, because it helps them keep.
Research-wise, I've read about the efficacy of hot/cold and cold/cold (and there's a lot of science to back both up), but I haven't found anything about heat alone.
Clinically, it does seem that almost all of these types of injuries can be characterized as "cold" injuries (i.e. cold makes it feel worse, heat makes it feel better) and most acupuncturists I know seem to have a very high success rate in dealing with injuries (mostly long-term recurring pain) as well as other "cold/damp" conditions like arthritis. (This, of course, doesn't mean they are right about ice, only that there seem to be ways to treat cold/damp conditions successfully without the use of ice.) I also know a top-notch Hispanic herbalist and curandero whose school has the motto "blood follows heat" and I'll have to ask him if he ever uses ice. In my own experience, I've used warming herbs topically for a small handful of people (about two dozen) following an injury (usually 2-7 days later) and it works very well and often immediately. This would include liniments with rosemary, mustard powder, ginger power, sometimes cayenne, foot baths with rosemary essential oil and sometimes camphor essential oil, poultices with a combination of mostly warming herbs, and even just topical application of plain ol' ginger root when it was all I had on hand. I've used ice a LOT on myself and others and I've never seen it get things moving the way that warming herbs do. I have seen some pretty amazing things from hot/cold applications (and I know a naturopathic doc who has a lot of positive clinical experience re: this) but the million dollar question is, what are the long-term effects?
I'm actually planning on asking on a couple e-mail lists I'm on and see if there's research I wasn't able to dig up or any other clinical experience that might be useful. People have recommended Tom Bisio's book to me as well.
Last edited by Yael Grauer; 10-22-2006 at 12:13 PM.
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