There is a time and place to ice your muscles that will make your muscles feel blissfully happy. As I always tell my massage clients Ice, Ice Baby, is your friend after a massage, exercise or after a muscle injury. I know heat feels so awesome and amazing on your aches and pains, however, it is not making your muscles better. You can do more harm at times with heat than good.
So what does ice really do for my muscles? Ice will decrease the flow of blood to your muscles this, in turn, decreases swelling, inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms.
Ice is used by all professional athletes after a workout or injury. Yes, they first soak in a hot water bath of Epson salt and then move to a bath of ice. They have more will power than I do. I suggest soaking in a tub with as hot as water as you can stand without burning any essential body part with Epson salt that has eucalyptus and peppermint oils. These two oil work as a natural pain reliever as they soak into your muscles. You should soak until cool about 20 minutes. Epson salt draws out lactic acid that makes your muscles hurt. The hot bath soak should be followed by 15 mins of ice pack on the affected area. 15 mins off the area and then another 15 mins of ice on the affected area.
In conclusion, ice is always your friend if you use it in a controlled setting and not for extended periods of time. The use of massage, Epson bath soaks and ice will make your right as rain. So book your massage today.