I recently sprained my ankle causing impressive/alarming swelling. Dispite the swelling it was not significantly painful i.e I could bear weight with out problem and had reasonable movement without pain. The "standard" approach seemed to suggest immediate treatment with ice. My wife pratices Tranditional Chinese Medicine and suggested that massage would be more effective in place of ice and I ran with that. With just a few minutes of massage the swelling reduced DRAMATICALLY - from really bloated alarmingly swollen to just swollen. I have never seen a reduction in swelling of this magnitude with ice. The injury took a long time to heal completely but was not a massive discomfort.
Ive subsequently looked around the web and ice (in the context or RICE) is the most recommended treatment for swelling with some advice clearly stating DONT massage. In my particular experience the massage was impressive in its effect. What gives? I come from a science background and have swung around from a view of Traditional Chinese Medicine as hocuspocus to being a well constructed extreemly detailed take on treatment and prevention. It has survived thousands of years and continues to be used because it gets results (sometimes where other approaches have failed). Why if massage appeared so effective in my case is it not more widely recommended?