Ultimate relaxation may be one of the most obvious health benefits of foot soaks, but research shows that soaking your feet in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes per day can do wonders for your mood, your energy level, your sleeping habits and any aches and pains that affect you — both in your feet and beyond.
Foot Soak Healing Powers
As reflexology shows, your entire body is represented by and connected to your feet, meaning that caring for and nurturing that part of your body can bring health and wellbeing to all of your limbs and organs. Here are just a few health benefits that result when you immerse your feet in a relaxing hot water bath.
Foot Bath: Warms the Blood... And the Soul
Footbaths increase your overall body temperature, which can relieve muscle and mental tension, alleviate stress and increase white blood cell activity. All of this boosts your immune system, which prevents sickness and increases your overall health and wellbeing.
Heals Pain, Disease and Other Ailments
Believe it or not, hot water foot soaks have the power to alleviate pain in other parts of the body besides just the feet. Some of the conditions footbaths have the ability to help include headaches, toothaches, pelvic pain and pelvic inflammatory disease, liver problems, cramps, prostate problems, hemorrhoids, joint and rheumatic aches and pains, excessive perspiration, chest congestion and cold and flu symptoms like cough, nausea and chills.
A Foot Soak Increases Circulation
Soaking and cleansing your feet in hot water reduces inflammation and stimulates circulation, bringing congested blood to the dilated vessels in the feet and lower legs.
Bathing Your Feet Fights Fatigue
It may sound counterintuitive that footbaths could be both calming and energizing at the same time, but they do have the magic to simultaneously soothe and awaken the body. For added strength, try including Epsom salt in your foot soak. Epsom salt is easily absorbed by the skin and replenishes your body’s level of magnesium ions, which do several things to your body. These include boosting serotonin (a mood-elevating chemical in the brain), increasing energy and stamina, decreasing irritability and adrenaline, lowering blood pressure, increasing concentration and improving sleeping habits. In addition, Epsom salt has the ability to eliminate foot odors and foot fungus, as well as help heal ingrown toenails.
Some experts believe that foot soaks containing bentonite clay and certain salts and minerals have the power to detox the body through a process called reverse osmosis, which pulls salt and harmful toxins from your body. Ionic foot soaks, which use water charged with positive and negative ions, are also said to be detoxifying. Whether or not these types of footbaths actually assist in detoxification remains under debate, but some people swear by them and insist they offer several benefits to overall health and wellbeing.
Reduces Depression and Anxiety
Footbaths have been thought to help with depression as they can decrease and/or completely eliminate tension, anger, confusion, hostility and anxiety.
Softens and Beautifies The Feet
Anyone who’s had a pedicure knows that an essential step in the cosmetic process is soaking the feet in warm water. This helps reduce the presence and appearance of typical foot problems like calluses, corns and dry, flaky skin.
Stamps Out Stress
Footbaths are naturally soothing, and just one foot soak has the power to calm the mind and the body into a state of relaxed bliss. This improves cognitive function, helps boost creativity and work habits, leads to better sleep and improves your overall mood. Adding aromatherapy or essential oils to your foot bath can increase these health benefits, leading to ultimate tranquility and a wholly satisfying way to unwind after a stressful day.