Saturday, May 23, 2009

Necessary Items: Cryogel

When I first started training in any sort of combat sport, I thought Tiger Balm was the endgame for pain relief. Joint pain, muscular pain, bruising, anything at all, I was smearing Tiger Balm on it. And while it clears the sinuses nicely, and the heat may feel kinda nice at times, I've since moved on to better things - both in terms of olfactory irritation and actual treatment of pain.

I present, for your consideration, Cryogel.

I first tried Cryogel when a fellow on the Sherdog gear and equipment forums offered to send samples out to anyone who wanted to try the stuff. Hell, no risk there-- it's a no brainer! A few days later, I received a padded envelope with a fistful of sample size packets-- two of each "flavor" of cryogel.

Cryogel is interesting in that it clearly works off of a cooling effect, which makes a little more sense given most ailments from combat sports training is coming from a place of inflammation. Why would you add heat to something that was already inflamed?

However, in my own usage at least, I notice a weird numbing almost heat feel to it as well, as it sinks in. Whatever it is, it's highly soothing. Great for those random bruises you get in training. DOMS too. And there were many times when I was experiencing knee pain that Cryogel allowed me to keep training (since, you know, it was intelligent to keep training on bum joints).

Fortunately, I train a little smarter now, so I don't need to use Cryogel as much, but you best believe I don't allow myself to run low on it. I keep a tube or roll-on of it in my gym bag, and several lying about the house.

Cryogel is available in either squeeze-it-out tubes or roll-on (like deodorant). I use both, but tend to favor the roll-ons since there's less chance for a mess in the gym bag. Three scents are available : original blue (which I'm hearing has been re-tooled to smell a little less medicinal), Island Rain green (my favorite, as it's the least offensive/noticable), and Lavender purple (which also smells nice, but is more noticable. has a slight patchouli/pothead smell that reminds me of college).

You can normally find Cryogel for around ten bucks (USD) apiece. Plenty of other vendors available - you don't have to go direct. However, I also endorse some of the other products available from Cryogel's direct site -- inflamax forte and baldrian plus, both of which I've used for more advanced pain management. All natural, which is also, to me, a preference.

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