For a long time, the Western medical advice for sprains and other soft tissue injuries has been R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The idea was that this protocol was designed to reduce inflammation, which in turn would facilitate healing. Chinese medicine has long differed from this point of view, preferring instead to treat soft tissue injuries with topical herbs that invigorate the blood, stop pain and remove heat, but not by applying physically cool substances on the injured area.
Now researchers have just found evidence that putting ice on injuries actually slows down healing by preventing the production of a key hormone that stimulates tissue growth. I guess the West is finally catching up to something that the East has known for hundreds of years. Perhaps they’ll be more inclined to listen to the wisdom of our medicine in the future.