The Health Benefits of Foot Baths Beyond Serenity

Soaking your feet in a bath of hot water does more than just relax and soothe your feet; foot soaks also have the power to alleviate symptoms from colds and flu, headaches, abdominal pain and more.

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

Just as reflexology shows, your entire body is represented by and connected to your feet. Therefore, caring for and nurturing your feet 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 is always beneficial.

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. Not to mention boosting your mood, helping lower blood pressure and improving your sleep habits.

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 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, 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.

Consider these options when caring for your hard-working feet:

Epsom Salt Foot Soaks
A combination of magnesium and sulfate, Epsom salt is a compound that can help flush toxins and heavy metals from your skin’s cells, reduce inflammation, increase circulation and ease muscle cramps and joint pain. As your feet absorb the magnesium, pain-reducing ions are released, relaxing your muscles and helping nerves by regulating your electrolyte levels. The sulfate helps draw out unwanted substances. Epsom salt can also quell foot odor, help heal fungus or ingrown nails, and soothe dry skin.

Essential Oil Soaks
There are several ways to use essential oils at home, including adding a few drops to your soak. Here are some oils you can use individually or combine together:

  • Cedarwood oil as an antiseptic and anti-fungal.
  • Cypress oil as a natural deodorant.
  • Juniper berry oil for muscle aches.
  • Lavender oil for relaxation and pain.
  • Rosemary oil to help soothe tired muscles.
  • Wintergreen oil for pain, swelling, and a cooling sensation.

Once you finish your foot bath it’s a good time to examine your feet for any abnormalities or injuries—especially the soles, nails and in between toes. It’s all part of a proactive approach to your lasting wellness!

Reference source: http://www.footfiles.com/wellness/foot-baths/article/the-healing-benefits-of-foot-baths-beyond-ultimate-tranquility

6 Easy Tips to Keep Your Feet in Great Shape

Keeping your feet happy, healthy (and beautiful) all in one this winter is easy to do.

Here, New York podiatrist, Dr. Emily Splichal, has some easy cost-effective ways to optimize your foot health this season.

  • Take a polish vacation, suggests Dr. Splichal, in order to help rejuvenate nails. She recommends over-the-counter products such as Biotin, a dietary supplement often recommended for strengthening hair and nails. It’s part of the B complex group of vitamins and needed by the body to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

 

  • Another, lesser known supplement, is black currant oil. According to Dr. Splichal, it contains a fatty acid that keeps nails moist. And, she added, vitamin C is always good for hair, skin and nail health.

 

  • For those planning to visit a podiatrist this season for a routine exam, Dr. Splichal noted Nuvail is a prescription lacquer applied to the nails to strengthen them.

 

  • Climate control is another source of concern during the colder months, when closed-toe footwear is typically worn. “In closed shoes, you want to combat sweating,” said Dr. Splichal. Brew some black tea and allow your feet to soak in it. “It has tannic acid that [helps] shrink sweat glands in the feet to prevent sweating,” she explained. “Soak your feet for 30 minutes every day for seven days.”

 

  • Dry heels are also a product of winter, said Dr. Splichal, who has a simple remedy: rub Vaseline onto heels after showering or bathing. It acts as a sealant that locks in moisture. For the most effectiveness, cover feet in plastic wrap overnight.

 

  • For those who want the full spa effect, try smoothing rough heels with a pumice stone. Here, Dr. Splichal suggests first softening the stone with water, then applying to the heels. If opting for a PedEgg foot file, keep feet dry as well before using. Here, a stainless steel micro file gently removes calluses and dead skin.

 

  • Hosiery can also play a part in foot health. Dr. Splichal suggests socks made with bamboo for breathability, or styles impregnated with silver or copper that exhibit antimicrobial features. While cotton is a natural fiber, Dr. Splichal said it absorbs sweat in socks rather than wicking moisture away.

Source credit | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide: http://footwearnews.com/2017/focus/womens/winter-foot-care-tips-414037/