Anybody who has ever been around a teething toddler can tell you that ice can be your friend. Fewer people realize how many health benefits there are to ice. And while ice chips seem to be innocuous in hospital dramas, the truth is that there are many ways that ice can be used in the treatment of common injuries. People hoping to lose weight have also found that having a steady supply of ice can be a life-saver. Drinking ice water has been shown to burn calories and temporarily increase your metabolism. Fruit smoothies, made with ice rather than syrup or milk, are a low calorie, guilt free treat. Ice has even been used to ease discomfort associated with episiotomies and surgical wounds.
Chemical cold compresses have often been used to replace ice in modern medical treatment but can cause issues if the gel packs are punctured. Frostbite has also been associated with gel packs and chemical cold compresses that mix improperly or cools unevenly. For the best, safest results, ice is the best option. Coaches, physical therapists, and nursing stations often rely on portable ice makers like the Igloo Ice Maker to maintain a ready supply. However, this common household substance has many health benefits that are often overlooked or underutilized. These are the top 5 incredible health benefits of ice.
1. Treatment for Piles
Hemorrhoids that develop in and around the anus are commonly referred to as piles. This condition can cause painful swelling and irritation. The pain can range from mild to debilitating. Ice is known to reduce swelling and can help calm the affected area. In order to treat the pain and swelling associated with piles, use crushed ice. Be sure to wrap it in a cloth, plastic bag, or a sheep to wrap the ice. Lying in a comfortable position, place the ice pack on the swollen area. Take care not to leave it there for more than ten minutes. Repeat as often as needed.
2. Soothing Blemishes
Ice helps to impair the production of sebum. It also assists in removing it from clogged pores. Many skin blemishes are the result of inflamed and infected skin. Use ice wrapped in a clean cloth to calm the inflamed areas, then wash your face as you would normally. Ice treatments can also be used to reduce the size of pores. Simply follow the same steps, rubbing the ice in the desired area for three minutes.
If you have ever seen an athlete sitting in a tub full of ice water you may have wondered why they would subject themselves to that kind of torture. Submerging the body in extremely cold water is called cryotherapy. It is one of the best ways to combat the possible negative effects of a long bout of intense exercise. Sitting in an ice bath constricts the blood vessels and slows metabolic activity within the cells. This reduces the swelling and tissue damage.
It is interesting to note that the cold associated with freezing temperatures can be used to awaken and arouse nerve endings. Traditional Chinese medicine often used a combination of heat and cold (usually ice or ice water) to stimulate blood flow. To this day, ice play is an erotic way to heat things up in the bedroom by teasing and stimulating sensitive areas.
4. Bruises and Dark Circles
Bruising and dark circles under the eyes are usually caused by the same problem; blood pooling under the skin. Ice acts as a vasoconstrictor, reducing the flow of blood into the hemorrhaging area and relieving the discomfort associated with bruising. In the case of bruising, ice also reduces swelling and can help inhibit tissue damage. An ice pack can be applied in ten-minute increments. Add a few drops of lavender oil to ice water and apply it gently to your dark circles.
5. Sprains and Strains
As with any soft tissue injury, ice can be used to relieve pain in the short-term, and as part of later treatment. Sprains, like bruises, involve bleeding under the skin, where blood pools in healthy tissue. Applying ice and elevating the injured limb helps to stop the bleeding and assists in draining the excess blood away from the damaged tissue.
When using ice for therapeutic purposes, remember not to apply ice directly to the skin for more than two or three minutes at the time. Ice packs should not be applied to broken skin or open wounds. In general, ice therapies should last no longer than fifteen minutes per session but can be repeated as needed. And as always, if pain increases or persists, seek medical attention immediately.
As you can see, ice has multiple health benefits and has been essential in treating sports related injuries for decades. Whether you’re an athlete or a dieter, keeping ice on hand using old fashioned ice trays can be difficult. Many modern refrigerator units have an ice maker included. However, the benefits of owning a dedicated ice maker include being able to make large quantities of ice in a short period of time. Some models boast a freeze time of as little as six minutes. If you are fond of dinner parties, have a large family, or regularly participate in team sports, an ice maker may be a good investment in your comfort and health.