The benefits of the foot bath

The benefits of the foot bath

Hydrotherapy also includes the ritual of a foot bath, an ancient practice that benefits the whole body, helps to relax and take care of oneself.

foot bath-benefits

The foot bath  is an ancient practice , perhaps a little snubbed by modern times, which brings with it numerous benefits. It requires some patience, time and dedication, but its effects are felt very quickly.  


If we think of our body as a plant, our feet as our roots, we immediately understand how a foot bath acts on the whole organism. Nourishing , moisturizing , rebalancing , detoxifying are the actions that connect to this simple practice. 


Properties of the foot bath

The bathroom is a practice that modern times now consider a waste of time, because it is thought to be used only for washing. In reality, when the body or a part of it is immersed in water,  osmotic exchanges are solicited , the mass of its weight is lightened , intracellular spaces are moved, the veins are massaged, the muscles are relaxed, the central nervous system is relaxed. .


The liquid part of our body recognizes the external liquid part and exchanges develop . All this also happens through the foot bath, considered a partial bath, in at least two liters of water, which welcome the feet and ankles.


The first approach to a foot bath generally occurs due to discomfort in the feet and legs : swollen , cold or painful feet, stiff legs, poor circulation, edema , a sensation of excessive heat that weighs down the limbs, are the triggering reasons that lead to the need to immerse them in water.  


Cold water is generally a great relief in these cases, because it balances excess heat, flames, deflates the extremities, anesthetizes pain, removes stagnation, stimulates venous circulation . 


The foot bath, however, is also useful in case of anxious states ! It will sound strange but just try to experience this magnificent effect. An excess of energy upwards, such as that brought by anxiety , with an accelerated and shallow breathing, the head “overheated” by thoughts, the altered heartbeat, needs a counter-balance from below, which calls up energy towards the earth and rebalances the whole organism with a calming effect. A warm, vasodilating foot bath that relaxes breathing , circulation, muscles and nervous system is a valid help against anxious states. 


The alternating foot bath with hot and cold water is useful in case of energy blocks, muscle blocks, stagnation headaches. 


Starting with a prolonged hot foot bath followed by a faster cold one, repeating the sequence 4 or 5 times serves to mobilize venous circulation, tissue oxygenation, muscle contraction and decontraction.  


Tension and relaxation create alternation of movement from the bottom upwards with a regeneration of the most blocked areas. Ending with cold water helps to retain the heat stored in depth and to relax in a slow and prolonged way. 


Types of foot baths

According to the temperature of the water , the substances dissolved in it and the duration of this partial bath, the various hydrotherapy treatments differ to bring benefit to ailments of different nature. 


  • Cold foot bath : indicated in case of fatigue , slow circulation, swollen legs ;
  • hot foot bath : indicated in case of cooling, rheumatism , pain;
  • short foot baths : with cold water to tone up, within 5 minutes;
  • hot foot baths : invigorating and warming, times over 25 minutes;
  • hot / cold or cold / hot foot bath : uses the Kneipp effect  to alternate vasodilation with vasoconstriction and stimulate circulation, loosen muscle tension, purify the body.


Foot bath, the benefits of the active ingredients

The power of water is functional to our body , but we can enrich the foot bath with synergistic forces coming from essential oils , salts, apple cider vinegar , clay , salicylic acid to send specific messages to our body and stimulate a prompt response.

Let’s see how to prepare an effective foot bath for specific needs:

Remember to use a quantity of hot or cold water that can completely cover the feet and also envelop the ankles.


Anti-inflammatory foot bath:

  • Foot bath with salt : salt enriches the water with osmotic properties. Salt attracts liquids and a foot bath rich in sodium chloride has the ability to deflate feet and legs , to move edema and stagnation, to lighten the lower limbs, to disinfect the part. It is possible to use normal coarse kitchen salt to enrich the hot or cold water of the foot bath, to be added in advance and left to dissolve at least five minutes before soaking the feet. 
  • foot bath with clay : the green clay dissolved in the water of the foot bath is used to relieve swollen and painful feet , especially in the case of rheumatic or arthritic forms that cause pain in the metatarsal and all the bony parts of the foot. The clay has antiseptic and healing properties, an excellent remedy therefore also for skin problems. 


Antibacterial foot bath:

  • Footbath with bicarbonate : bicarbonate  has refreshing and smoothing properties . It softens the skin of the feet, oxygenates the epidermis, deeply refreshes and disinfects. The foot bath with bicarbonate is useful in case of sweating of the feet, mycotic presence, calluses and keratosis. 
  • foot bath with vinegar : vinegar has antibacterial properties . Acetic acid is a natural remedy against fungal presences , warts , serous sweats. Apple cider vinegar in particular is an excellent remedy to add to the foot bath to soothe problems such as athlete’s foot .


Softener Foot Bath :

In case of calluses, it is possible to prepare a special foot bath, which helps to soften the areas with thickening of the stratum corneum, and with what? With an aspirin!

  • Foot bath with salicylic acid : it is indicated for corns and calluses and it is possible to carry out this type of foot bath if the skin is intact on the entire surface of the feet, so there must be no wounds. The salicylic acid contained in the aspirin dissolved in the water of the foot bath has an exfoliating and purifying action. Progressively eliminates dead cells, softens the part and flame-retardant.


Functional essential oils, how to use them:

  • Foot bath with essential oils: it is possible to use essential oils functional to different needs and compatible in synergy with salt, vinegar, bicarbonate and clay .

    Circulatory essential oils such as cypress or geranium oil, disinfecting essential oils such as teatree and boswellia essential oils, refreshing essential oils such as mint and lemon essential oils, or warming essential oils such as pine or of red thyme can be added to the foot bath.

    Not directly in the water because they would float inert, especially if the foot bath is cold, but absorbed first in coarse salt or clay, the essential oils will release their beneficial properties. 

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