Warm Feet, Cold Feet: Health Benefits of Contrast Hydrotherapy

contrast hydrotherapy

A contrast hydrotherapy foot bath (CHFB) is an excellent way to strengthen your immune system, alleviate congestion, soothe sore muscles, and improve circulation. It’s also beneficial for individuals with diabetes, as they are prone to a foot problem known as peripheral neuropathy. This condition causes unrelenting burning, stabbing pains, numbness and aching in one or both feet that can severely limit one’s daily life. Here, at Heart of Wellness, we believe everyone is entitled to happiness and wellbeing though natural treatments, including CHFB, that lead to full body healing with less side effects.

Contrast hydrotherapy involves alternating applications of cold and warm compresses or immersion in cold and warm water for specified times. You’re may already be familiar with using CHFB for muscle injuries such as a sprained ankle or shin splints. For individuals with diabetes, contrast hydrotherapy can reduce swelling and pain in the entire body and improve blood flow circulation. Additionally, when engaging in CHFB under physician observation, a lack of change in blood flow to the feet may signal an impairment in circulation that requires further assessment. The addition of epsom salts to the warm water may also help increase circulation, ease pain or discomfort and help pull toxins from your body.

Indulge in a Contrast Foot Bath:

  1. Get two clean tubs, each one large enough for both feet to rest side-by-side comfortably with at least two inches of water covering the tops of your feet.
  2. Gather up a pair of warm, cozy socks and a few fresh towels for mopping up any splashes and drying your feet post bath.
  3. Fill one basin with ice water, and another with warm water. (Test the water with your hand first to avoid sticking your toes in lava!)
  4. Sink your clean, dry feet into the warm water tub and stay there for 3-5 minutes. Now’s a great time for a short meditation or a few pages of your new book!
  5. Now brace yourself… Immediately switch to the cold water for 30 seconds to one minute. Practice deep breathing to get through it.
  6. Now relieve your stinging toes and go back to the warm water. Repeat the process about 3-5 times. Always end with the cold water.
  7. Using a clean, dry towel, gently pat your legs and feet dry. Allow them to air out for another minute and then slip on your favorite warm socks.
  8. Move to the couch or bed, lay back and close your eyes for at least 20 minutes. The rest is essential to allow your body to process the intense sensation of the foot bath before moving on to the rest of your busy day.

IMPORTANT: If you notice inflammation or open wounds on the legs or feet, varicose veins, thrombosis or phlebitis, consult with your health practitioner BEFORE attempting a foot bath.

If you have questions or would like doctor supervision for your first foot bath, call us at 360-570-0401 to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.