How cold affects our circulation

Hey there, curious readers! Last time, we talked about how cold weather affects our bodies by contracting circulation. This time, let’s dive into a cool topic: using ice to manage pain and heal injuries. Imagine your body as a land of rivers, and cold is like ice forming along the riverbanks, slowing circulation down. Just like that metaphor, putting ice on our bodies slows down blood flow and inflammation. But here’s the twist—does icing your injuries really help? Let’s find out!

Back in the 1970s, icing injuries became popular. People believed it helped them heal faster. But guess what? Newer ideas suggest that icing might not be the superhero we thought. In fact, it could be more of a villain than victor. Icing can slow down the recovery process and might even harm our tissues with extensive use by blocking blood flow.

Imagine this: your body is like a construction site, and blood is the worker bringing all the healing materials to the injury. When you’re hurt, you need more workers (blood) to come quickly and fix things up. But icing puts up a “Do Not Enter” sign for these workers. This slows the healing process. Worse yet, ice numbs pain so the usual thought is when there is more pain there needs to be more ice further creating cold damage.

If icing isn’t a good strategy, then what is?

So, what’s the best way? Well, here’s where acupuncture research steps in. Acupuncture is like a traffic controller. It helps direct more blood to the injured spot, bringing in oxygen and all the good stuff needed for healing. Plus, it’s like a mini party for your cells—they get all happy with the extra attention. From a research point of view we know acupuncture helps with many types of chronic pain. This is one of the main mechanisms of how acupuncture works for pain management. 

But remember, even if you don’t pick acupuncture, movement, warmth, and rest are also very useful healing strategies. Also, if you’re dealing with a serious injury, you’ve got options like herbal formulas, strength training, and many other cool tricks. The body is incredibly flexible and always trying to heal itself.

In a nutshell, healing is like a puzzle. And the pieces include getting blood flowing, making sure things move right, and helping your body heal quickly. So, should you apply ice to injuries? Well, it’s like melting away an old idea. Research is telling us that maybe, just maybe, there’s a better way to let our bodies do their natural healing dance.

So, next time you’re reaching for that ice pack, remember that your body might have its own healing groove. It’s all about keeping the blood flowing, letting your cells party, and giving yourself the healing circulation you need. Stay cool, healing warriors!

Meet Dr. Mark VanOtterloo, an acupuncture expert who knows all about this stuff. He’s in Wheat Ridge, Colorado and helps people feel better using acupuncture and unique medical tricks. If you’re curious about how acupuncture can help with chronic pain, you can schedule a discovery call!