1848709601-300x201We have a protective response called the Hunting Reflex ~ when our body feels our skin temperature go down, it sends more blood to the area to warm it up. This response is important on a cold day when we forgot our gloves, but the reflex works against us when we use ice to treat inflammation.

The Hunting Reflex kicks in at 12 minutes. Therefore, during therapeutic icing it is important to follow the 10-10-10-30 Protocol ~

  • – put the ice ON for 10 minutes
  • – take it OFF for 10 minutes
  • – put it back ON for 10 minutes
  • – take it OFF for 30 minutes, then repeat the cycle

This protocol bypasses the reflex, and it is the second 10-minute cycle that reaches the therapeutic temperature we want.

Gel packs are the most effective source for icing – they are pliable, comfortable, reusable and store easily in the freezer, however they can cause freezer-burn. It is important to wrap the gel pack in a tea towel before applying. I don’t recommend the rice/bean bags because they do not get cold enough. Frozen corn or peas are ok, just don’t eat them later!

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