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Can I train after treatment?

Dr. Brent Garcia, DACM, L.Ac., LMT  •  March 30, 2024


The ideal answer is you should take it easy the rest of the day. Don’t train. Get a good nights sleep. Then go back to your normal training routine.

Give your nervous system a chance to recover.

If you must perform some exercise the same day, wait at least four hours before you’re training.

And, do something gentle: walking, treadmill, low intensity steady-state (LISS) training, gentle biking, etc.



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Use heat instead of ice for pain

Dr. Brent Garcia, DACM, L.Ac., LMT  •  March 15, 2024


You have probably heard that using ice for injuries is the standard of care.

Not true, at least anymore.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin, MD, explains very well why heat is more effective and preferred over ice.

He makes a clear argument why cold should not be used for injuries, even though most everyone will tell you to ice.

But what about R.I.C.E.?

Ironically, Dr. Mirkin is the author who wrote “The Sportsmedicine Book” in 1978 and recommended you should use ice!

He is the doctor who came up with R.I.C.E. — Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation — to treat injuries. And he is someone who keeps learning and is willing to admit that he was wrong.

Dr. Mirkin’s paper “Why Ice Delays Recovery” from 2008 basically retracted R.I.C.E.

He updated his recommendation: icing actually delays the healing of injuries. The article is short and powerful. Must-read.

From his paper:

If you are injured, stop exercising immediately….Since applying ice to an injury has been shown to reduce pain, it is acceptable to cool an injured part for short periods soon after the injury occurs. You could apply the ice for up to 10 minutes, remove it for 20 minutes, and repeat the 10 minute application once or twice. There is no reason to apply ice more than six hours after you have injured yourself. (emphasis mine)

So what should I used to administer heat?

Fomentek® Therapy bags are the best product for applying heat to an affected area.

Get the small size, which comes as a 2-pack. I have found the medium and large sizes to be too cumbersome and unnecessary. I have a video on my YouTube channel on how to fill the bag effectively. 

These bags deliver a moist heat – so it penetrates more deeply than electric heating pads.

These bags naturally cool over time – so are much safer than electric heating pads.

How long and how often should I use heat?

As often as you can, for as long as you can.

The benefit of moist heat (what Fomentek® and other hot water bottles deliver) is that you do not have the same concerns as electric heating pads.

If you can do 20 minutes per day that is good.

20 minutes per session, three times per day is even better.




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Meditation – some thoughts

people meditating


Dr. Brent Garcia, DACM, L.Ac., LMT  •  October 16, 2017  •  Last Updated: March 11, 2024


So much has been written about mediation. So much has been studied. So many high-performing individuals practice it.

I don’t know if there’s anything new I’m going to say about it.

All I can do is give you my experience with practicing meditation. Maybe share some insights? Maybe share some tools that I’ve used.

A Practice

I think the most important word in the phrase meditation practice is not meditation.

It’s actually practice.

This isn’t some revelation – it’s a recognition by me that I am not going to be perfect at it.

I never will be. And that is okay.

The practice is to do the practice.


Sometimes I sit on the couch. Sometimes I sit in a chair. Sometimes I sit on a meditation cushion. Sometimes I drink tea while I’m meditating.

I do my best to have my thoughts be there and not judge them.

But sometimes I do.

Sometimes I listen to headphones. Sometimes I don’t.

I tried the Headspace app. It was fine. Wasn’t for me.

A friend shared the Insight Timer meditation app. I have enjoyed tracking my sessions, but hardly I ever go back and review what I did. Sharing with friends how many hours I meditate per month, or where I’m located, or what I’m doing now, is not of interest for me.

Periodically, I will use a guided meditation from Tara Brach’s website. She has plenty of sessions available, and graciously allows people to listen for free.

Sometimes I practice the Silva Method.

Sometimes I just sit there.

I don’t do the same thing every session.

How long?

I used to shoot for 15 minutes, first thing in the morning. I do my best.

Sometimes, though, it is one minute. That’s okay.

Bottom Line

It is all okay. 10 seconds of meditation is good enough.



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Use a topical analgesic often

Dr. Brent Garcia, DACM, L.Ac., LMT  •  March 8, 2024


For joint or muscle pain, a pain relief ointment or liniment should be applied to the affected area 2-4 times per day. This is an excellent way to relieve symptoms with very few side effects.

More importantly, topicals signal your brain to bring healing to the area. They remind the body to keep working to heal itself. That’s why you should continue using topicals even after the pain subsides until the area is back to 100% function and mobility.

There are solid over-the-counter topicals available – any of them can help.

The best: Evil Bone Water

That being said, I strongly recommend one particular product: “Evil Bone Water” by Saint Apothecary (

This liniment is based on a classic Chinese herbal formula used to heal fractures and broken bones. It is made with the finest quality herbs in an Everclear base, and it is manufactured in the USA.

Don’t let the name scare you

The actual name of this formula is Zheng Xie Gu Shui. The closer translation is “Rectify [or Heal] Evil Bone Water”…”evil” meaning damaged or broken, not evil per se.

Goes without saying, but I will say it anyway: this is to heal “evil” bones and tissue in the body.

Why it is the best

I love Evil Bone Water because it can be used for anything that is painful and needs to heal: muscle, tendon, ligament, skin, or bone.

It treats all sports injuries, strains, sprains, bruises, and spinal pain. You can even apply it on cuts and insect bites.

Evil Bone Water is currently sold only by licensed acupuncturists and at VA hospitals.

Ask me about it at your next treatment. And remember, this is for external use only.

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Back pain? Use Static Back®

Dr. Brent Garcia, DACM, L.Ac., LMT  •  March 6, 2024


Static Back is an Egoscue® technique that is simple to use. Pete Egoscue, an anatomical physiologist, founded The Egoscue Method in 1978.

The position is great for general low back health. 

It is also referred to as the “astronaut pose” because your body is in the position astronauts used during take off.

Here’s how to do it

  1. Lie flat on your back
  2. Use an ottoman or some other prop to support your lower legs so that your hips and knees create a 90-degree angle
  3. Place your arms flat on the ground, at an angle of 45 degrees from your torso, with your palms up
  4. Keep your head flat on the ground — no pillow
  5. Stay in the position for 5 – 15 minutes



Listen to a podcast or music if you get bored easily, but stay off your phone! This should be a time to relax.


This exercise is cumulative. Don’t expect too much if you try this one time.

Attempt to do this daily. Once a day is good. Twice a day is great. Three times a day is excellent,

Five minutes each time is good. Ten minutes each time is great. Fifteen minutes each time is excellent.


(photo/video credit:

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