Cold Therapy and My Secret Weapon
Quick recovery and pain management is a constant battle for every dancer. Because I use my body for a living, it’s all about doing what I can to do to keep it going. While there are may ways ways to expedite recovery, cold therapy is at the top of my list. Cold therapy, or cryotherapy, doesn’t just refer to the trendy full body chambers and IG photos of icy smoke billowing around your favorite athlete or influencer, it’s one of the oldest treatments for pain in the book. Using cold therapy reduces blood flow wherever it’s applied which in effect reduces swelling, inflammation and pain.
Types of Cryotherapy:
Topical spray or gel like Biofreeze
Localized cryo machine treatment
While cryotherapy is speeds up the heeling process of a sprained ankle or functions of soft tissue post surgery, I’m most concerned with soothing my muscle pain before, after and while I dance. By rehearsal hour 2 or 3 my lower back, neck and injured shoulder area are always first to go. Years ago I was on a 12 hour music video shoot dancing on cement. Mid shoot my back froze up and I grabbed the onset medic to give me pain meds so I could finish the job I was hired for. She suggested before I started popping pills, I try Biofreeze. She massaged the gel into my back and not only did I get through the shoot pain and pill free, I now NEEDED to get my hands on that product. At the time Biofreeze was only available at medical or chiropractic practices. I remember picking up my calling all the surrounding Chiro offices begging them to sell me a tube. I drove 30 min to get it!
Now readily available, Biofreeze is in my bag every shoot and rehearsal. Easier than an ice pack, more portable than a cryo chamber, here’s when and how I use my #SecretWeapon:
As a part of my warm up: Using Biofreeze is a part of my warm up for the most physically demanding days. I apply it before rehearsal focusing on what’s bugging me that day- my neck, lower back and area surrounding my shoulder injury are the hot spots
Mid shoot/rehearsal: Biofreeze serves as the bandaid on my aches and pains so I can get through a rehearsal or shoot. I love the roller applicator to double as a massage tool, ironing out the kinks as it works the product into my skin.
Recovery - Biofreeze increases my performance edge by speeding up my bounce back rate. As a pro dancer you rehearse in a studio for days on end, but when you step on to set you’re expected to perform like it’s the first hour. I coat my hip flexor complex with the gel and use the roller on the arches of me feet.
Whether it’s active stretching, foam rolling, epson salt baths, tennis ball therapy or cryotherapy via Biofreeze, I’m all about doing what I can to warm up, cool down, recover fast and keep my edge.
This post was sponsored by Biofreeze but my thoughts and stories are 100% my own.