I wanted to share the first Chapter of my eBook…“End of the Ice Age” with You! After reading you will understand some of the reasons why I have found a better way to get vastly superior results for enabling the body to heal up after an injury! I hope it helps you see things you have never thought about before…
Chapter 1— Why I don’t Use ICE…
I am an avid sports enthusiast. I love watching and I love playing. One thing I have not been able to figure out with all of the money professional sporting teams have at their disposal is the abysmal rate at which they are able to return their players to their jobs.
When a professional basketball player sprains his ankle…it typically takes 2-3 weeks before there is even a chance for him to return to playing. I have learned secrets that allow me to be 70-80% healed in 24 hours and then typically recovered enough to be playing again in 48 hours. I suppose I have figured these things out primarily because of experience. I typically play soccer multiple times/week.
I play competitive usually twice and then with my children at their multiple practices. I also snow ski, water ski (when I can) fly fish (where I cover very rugged terrain) and do as much physical activity as I possibly am able. Of course I wish I could do more…but with seven children and multiple businesses it is sometimes difficult to find the time.
These secrets really are not very secret except that I don’t know anyone else who knows them. I didn’t invent them or even discover them from obscure places. These secrets are right in front of anyone who wants to figure them out. Why we don’t is truly a mystery to me.
With the internet there is so much information available it nearly boggles the mind…which is why I suppose these things are still secret. There is simply too much information out there…too many places to search and too many things to find.
However, as I get into the later stages of my 4th decade, I am finding that I heal up much more quickly when I do get injured than I ever did when I was younger. I grew up as an athlete. I swam very competitively as a boy, played soccer and ran track and field. As I entered high school I narrowed down to soccer and track and field. I specifically did the pole vault as my primary sport.
If you have ever watched the pole vault you will understand that those pads are a pretty important part of the whole equation. One is supposed to land on them. Well…when I was a high school track and field athlete, I landed on my feet on the hard ground more than I ever landed on the pads. I was young and did not consider the consequences of such trauma on my body over and over again.
I wince even now just thinking about how the shock of a jump straight down from 13 -14 feet even once would send a massive amount of compression to the ankles, the knees, the hips, the spine, the shoulders, the neck and ultimately even the brain. I did not do this just once…it was hundreds of times.
Can one completely recover from such repeated trauma? I still do not know…but that was just the beginning for me. I do know this much however…one can certainly live a full, energetic and completely active life after such trauma with the help of the secrets I will share with you. Remember…this was just in high school. I hadn’t even hit the college sports scene yet and my body had already experienced more trauma than any should probably endure as a young and still growing boy.
In college, I played soccer and did track and field. I learned how to endure pain during these years. I also learned how conventional wisdom teaches us how to treat injuries and pain. I learned that many of these techniques typically do not work…at least very well. I learned that starting out with ice immediately after an injury did not help you return to your sport very quickly at all.
However, I also learned a few tricks that started to open up my thinking to be able to later discover the secrets I will share with you. When I played soccer I must have sprained my right ankle close to a dozen times and my left ankle at least half that much. It could have been the other way around. I don’t much remember.
What I do remember is that I learned to live and play with painful and swollen ankles. I remember having swollen ankles for years…never knowing how to bring that swelling down. I remember I could push into my ankle and it would leave an indent that would stay for quite some time. I am grateful that I learned how to tape my ankles properly and you can learn different techniques by simply doing a google search.
There are various youtube videos that will show you how to do this. Just be careful not too put too much pressure under the arch of the foot and to make sure that the ankle is typically protected from an interior roll. I simply lived on the field in tape and was able to play nearly every game. I am sure it was not too good for the long term health of my ankles…but I learned to endure pain and that the body is very good at protecting itself even under extreme conditions.
I still to this day typically tape my right ankle just for protection…although I must say after having continuously sprained ankles for so many years I probably do it out of some sense of preservation than anything else. I am grateful that my ankles are strong today because of the things I have learned over the years.
One of those things I learned early on is that running on uneven surfaces was one of the best things I did to begin to strengthen my ankles again. Although it does not really apply to me any longer, I still believe that this is one of the best ways to strengthen the ankles if you happen to have weaknesses in these areas. I do at times still roll and sprain my ankles when I play soccer.
Thankfully, what I know today enables me to get back to playing within a couple of days and I never have to experience the constant pain and weakness that I experienced playing soccer in college. After my first couple of years in college (I was up in Portland, Oregon) I transferred down to the University of California at Santa Barbara. I wish I could say I played soccer there…but I switched to track and field once again. UCSB has since become a soccer powerhouse winning the Division 1 national championships not too many years back.
When I went to school there back in the early 80s they did not have much of a soccer program…so I went back to track and field. However, they did have a very strong track and field program and one of the very finest coach’s in the world at the time…Sam Adams. I was extremely fortunate to be able to train under Sam and with some of the world’s very best track and field athletes.
I learned some training techniques there that are still not used or just making it into the normal sphere of life now. I was nearly 30 years ahead of the game. That is a topic for another time…but learning how to be a world-class athlete is not only about talent…it is very much about mindset and training. I also learned that I became injury prone.
I trained about 30 hours per week and my body never quite adapted to that. Now I know why. Then I thought I wasn’t warming up enough or stretching properly or things along those lines. My muscles were never supple enough to be able to last through months of training…so I constantly had muscle strains and pulls along with shin splints and tendonitis among other things.
I believe some of it stemmed from my earlier experiences with traumas never healing up all the way such as I experienced in high school from pole-vaulting and my first couple years of soccer in college. I never understood how to completely heal so one injury turned into another and another and another as I compensated for a pulled hamstring or groin or a knee strain or the like. Oh how I wish I knew then what I know today.
Anyhow, through the injuries I spent countless hours in the training and rehab facilities. I learned a great deal in those rooms but not much that was actually useful in the long run. I learned the concept of R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). I learned that ice can keep the swelling down…especially if you were able to apply it very early on. And I also learned that it takes weeks and sometimes months to recover from injuries.
So, with my training in dealing with pain earlier in my life…I simply dealt with it as much as I could. I never was able to fulfill my true potential as an athlete because I never learned until much later in life the true secrets to taking care of injuries and pain. I would love to be able to help others avoid these same pitfalls and mistakes. Plus, I have been in the natural health consulting business for nearly two decades and I know there are a great many people who simply live a life of pain.
For years I had only pieces of a puzzle but could not put that puzzle together for the people that needed it. I was able to help…but not with the arsenal of knowledge that I have today. I know today that people can live largely if not entirely pain free. So, although I am very grateful for my experiences in high school, college and beyond and what I was able to learn through those experiences, I find it necessary to share with you how I learned that much of what is considered protocol in the case of injuries and pain is at best extremely inefficient.
Let’s take the concept of ice or even ice water to bring down swelling. There are differing ideas as to how to use ice but they all stem from the same basic misunderstanding of how the body is designed to work. If we simply take a trauma to any part of the body, I can illustrate what I mean.
We were talking about ankles above…so we will simply stick with this topic since an injury to an ankle is such a common injury inside and outside of sports. I will use myself as an example. If I am playing a soccer game and roll my ankle to the point of a pretty good sprain, first I will come off of the field to evaluate if there is a more serious injury. I want to avoid doing too much on it if I indeed have broken a bone or something.
I wish I could share with you exactly how I know these things…but that may have to wait for another time if I can even figure out how to clarify such things. Suffice it to say for now that I have been able to become tuned in to my body and what is happening with it. I am very good at evaluating what is happening internally and some of it has to do with the energetics of the body. We will cover energetics at another time because it is a bit more complex then the space we have for this subject.
Once I determine that it is a soft tissue injury, I immediately begin the process of allowing my body to heal itself. If I were to put ice on my ankle at this point I would be assured of a couple of things: First, I would almost guarantee that my length of healing time would be multiplied by about ten.
In other words…if I aid my body’s natural healing processes then I can probably be back in about two days. If I use ice, something that I believe actually interferes with the body’s natural healing processes, I would probably be back somewhere between two and three weeks…nearly ten times longer.
Second, I would guarantee that my playing time for that game is over…which I would never be happy about that. The reason that ice is used is because of the fact that it slows the processes of the body. When a person falls into very cold water the body’s metabolic processes slow down so much that it is indeed possible to survive underwater longer in icy cold water than in warmer water because the needs for oxygen to all of the major organs of the body are diminished greatly.
Since the coldness of icing actually slows the bodily processes down it is hard for those areas to continue swelling. So, it makes sense to ice if all you want to do is cut down on swelling and inflammation. However, I, in the example above, want to continue playing…so I massage the ankle with specific things to increase circulation to the area.
The secret to stopping injured tissue from swelling is to increase circulation in and out of the area. The mistake that is so commonly made in people’s thinking is that the problem is in the inflow into the area. That is not the problem. In fact…increasing blood flow to an injured area is the solution to quick healing. The actual problem that causes and increases swelling in damaged tissue is that the outgoing flow away from the injury is hindered.
Ice happens to hinder this process even more. The secret is to activate this area as quickly as possible and encourage the body to push the accumulating fluid out of the area. This is what stops the swelling. So, if I injure an ankle while playing soccer…I immediately activate the area and then go back out and play. By activating the area and then actually using it again…the flow of blood and lymph is actually increased in and out of the area. This begins the healing process immediately.
It is absolutely amazing as to how quickly the human body can heal itself when it is given the right tools to work properly. In the next chapter we will start to discuss the actual nuts and bolts of what to use and how to use them for optimal and extremely rapid healing after an injury along with how to begin to overcome long term problems of chronic pain.
“End of the Ice Age” eBook… with a newly added chapter on eating to fight Inflammation!
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