Ice Baths? Pass on the Ice & Go Natural Instead: Your Muscles Will Thank You!
by Melinda Burris Willms

Ice baths were originally used as a method for relieving inflammation because of the mistaken belief that bringing the body temperature of muscle groups down to a very low point would in turn lower blood pressure, and that this decreased blood flow would alleviate the inflammation of the muscles. Having assuaged the inflammation and slowed the blood flow, the principle held that the damaged muscles would be best positioned to recover as quickly as possible.[1] While there are doubts and debates among doctors about the effectiveness of the ice bath method for successfully treating inflammation, there is general agreement that once the body adjusts to the cold temperatures of the ice bath, the “numbing sensations of the cold water momentarily reduce muscle pain.” The primary concern of the doctors doing the research case studies was to ascertain if there was potential for long term damage to the muscles or the body in general, from sitting submerged in ice. These concerns proved to be well-founded when a case study showed that regularly taking ice baths following strength training exercise “reduces the ability of the muscles to repair and regenerate.”[2]

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