BE CALM and Put Down the Ice!


By Jennifer Denys, MScPT


Have you heard the big news? There is now evidence that ice harms more than helps us when we get hurt. As a Physiotherapist for elite athletes, and someone who passionately used to advocate for immediate icing of new injuries, I was shocked when negative news about icing started to make big headlines.


Dr. Gabe Mirkin, author of the RICE protocol, publicly announced in Spring 2014 that he no longer recommends RICE, and wrote all about it on his personal webpage; Next, several prominent newspapers, and magazines (like Maclean’s) picked up the story. This was based on loads of research proving the R and I parts of his protocol are not helping as he originally proposed.


Big news like this can make it hard to know what to do, especially when such a paradigm shift is required to make the practical changes in injury first aid. As a Physiotherapist at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS), I have had the joy of working with my colleague Rebecca Dietzel (our biochemist and nutrition consultant) on pouring through the research to understand the reasons to abandon the ice bag. We have also had the privilege of helping many people journey through this epic paradigm shift along with us.


To help everyone, we have co-authored a thoroughly referenced document entitled “Reasons to think twice about icing and what to do instead” including a protocol we co-created.  This BE CALM protocol is offered to replace the abandoned “RICE” protocol and is shared in our document via our website.


Both Rebecca and I care about helping people understand their bodies, the healing process, why ice interferes with healing, and the self-care that truly supports the healing process.  I invite you to go to to read all about it and learn to apply the BE CALM protocol the next time you, or one of your athletes, is freshly hurt.


Yours in efficient and effective healing,


Jennifer Denys, MScPT

Registered Physiotherapist at Canada’s National Ballet School and ellephysio


Jennifer Denys will be speaking at the 2016 Gymnastics Ontario Coaching Congress on Friday, August 26th. Click Here to view the schedule for location and time.

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