Sunday, January 26, 2014

Contrast Hydrotherapy

About six weeks ago, I narrowly eluded a very nasty fall.  I did so by slamming my hand against a wall to break my forward momentum.  By doing so, I severely jammed my index finger.  While not bad enough to seek medical help, it has been plaguing me ever since - taking its good ole' time coming around.

On my last visit to my acupuncturist, I asked if there was anything she could do and she recommended Contrast Hydrotherapy. 

Here's The Deal:

Contrast Hydrotherapy works by quickly changing tissue temperature from hot to cold and back again, thus increasing circulation and speeding healing.  The increased circulation results in an increased delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the injured tissues, allowing white blood cells to distribute appropriately and allowing tissues to eliminate toxins, metabolic wastes and the by-products of inflammation.

It is effective for tissue type injuries such as sprains and strains and stubborn ligament issues.  It can also be affective for shin splints, tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis and even plantar fasciitis.

What To Do:
  • You'll need two containers big enough to fit the affected area
  • Fill one with ice water
  • Fill the other with water as hot as you can tolerate
  • Submerge the affected area for 3 minutes into the hot water
  • Then, submerge the affected area for 1 minute into the ice water
  •  Repeat 3 times, ending with the ice water (if you have arthritis, end with hot)
  • Do daily until you're better

Got a larger area to cover?  This same concept can be achieved using the shower - even better with a detachable shower head.  But beware; sudden circulation changes over a larger area can bring dizziness or fainting.  This same technique can be achieved with the use of a heating pad and ice pack.

The Verdict:

I've only been doing this a few days, but the swelling has gone down (I can wear my rings again!) and my finger doesn't hurt as much.  I still don't have full bending ability, so I know I need to continue.  All in all, not a bad free DIY therapy.

Check it out!


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