BY The Elm
17 February

Peace And Love

Written by Nick Pastrana

When it comes to injury treatment and rehab, the acronym R.I.C.E is commonly known. This acronym was coined by Dr. Gabe Merkin and stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

What is not commonly known is that this is an outdated method. Give it a quick Google search, and you will see that in 2014, Dr. Merkin himself denounced it. 

While compression and elevation are effective ways to treat an acute injury, rest and ice can hinder your healing process. When the general public hears rest, they can sometimes fearfully and unknowingly take this to the extreme, thinking that the injured tissue should be placed on a pedestal and treated like a fine piece of art at a high-end museum. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

New research shows that introducing movement (within reason) to injured tissue as soon as possible is most beneficial for several reasons. Moving the injured tissue will contract muscles, promote lymph drainage, reduce fluid congestion, and help restore the range of motion.

The other problem with the RICE method is the ice. Ice is going to vasoconstrictor the area and inhibit inflammation. Your body is smart, and inflammation has a purpose and is needed. So you will see that those are two things we don’t want to do when rehabbing injured tissue. 

In 2019, Blaise Dubois coined a new acronym called PEACE & LOVE.

 PEACE stands for:

  • Protection 
  • Elevation
  • Avoid anti-inflammatories
  • Compression 
  • Education

LOVE stands for :

  • Load within pain-free limits
  • Optimism
  • Vascularization 
  • Exercise

A few things I love about this new acronym is how it shifts the mindset from fear-based thinking and gives the client power and hope for restoring their tissue to the way it was, with the option of making it even stronger than it was. Too often have I seen clients come in with an injury and feel absolutely hopeless.  

Protection simply means not doing anything that will put your injury at risk. For instance, I wouldn’t recommend playing a basketball game if you sprained your ankle. Be smart, methodical, and intentional with your rehabilitation to make sure that there aren’t any setbacks. We are familiar with elevation and compression from the outdated RICE method, but what about avoiding anti-inflammatories? Using ice as an anti-inflammatory is contraindicated for an acute injury. Inflammation is an important part of the healing process, and doing things to prevent inflammation can slow your healing process. This means no ice and no NSAIDs. If pain is that big of an obstacle, arnica could be a great alternative. 

My favorite part about the peace portion is education. I firmly believe that the reason why a lot of clients are in pain is that there’s such a strong disconnect between them and their bodies. The pain signal is simply the body’s way of asking you to pay attention and give it the respect it deserves.


L- Loading within pain-free limits is an extremely important part of the love portion. We know that because of Davis’ Law which states that tissue will heal in the way it is mechanically stressed. Loading the tissue is going to allow us to influence the way that our injured tissue heals. Doing this within pain-free limits is going to ensure that there are no setbacks. Once you’re back at your baseline, you can use this to get your tissue stronger than it was, to begin with. Mindset plays a huge role in injury and rehab, so staying optimistic is crucial. 

Some injuries are worse than others and, therefore, can take more of a mental toll than anything. However, staying dedicated to the process, learning about yourself along the way, and being confident in who you work with and the result you want to achieve are all part of being optimistic. Vascularization will get blood to the area and allow the processes that need to happen. Exercise will be a fantastic way to get that blood to the area. 

In short, injuries are not to be feared. Instead, they should be considered a challenge and an opportunity to grow and connect with the one body we were given for our lives. Stay up-to-date on research and working with professionals that choose to do so will be beneficial when rehabbing injuries. Injuries will happen; it’s how you face them that matters. Using PEACE & LOVE will help you get back to baseline and, if allowed, can intrigue you to look behind the door into the world of movement.