Forget Your Detox Foot Bath Color Chart. Try These Natural Detox Methods

What Is A Foot Detox Bath?

Person undergoing foot detox treatment with ion cleansing detox machine

A foot bath detox sometimes called an ionic foot bath, is supposed to draw toxins out of the body through the feet’ soles. It’s done by soaking the feet in a mix of warm water and salt, then delivering a low current through the electrodes. The soak lasts for thirty minutes, then the water’s color at the end is compared to a detox foot bath color chart. 

Detoxing is a medical procedure to rid the body of dangerous substances or chemicals, and it’s primarily used in rehabilitation centers. Detoxing the body of perceived toxins is not a new concept. Things like bloodletting, liquid diets, and enemas have often been used in the past. Recently, detoxing and cleansing have become more popular with a growing number of products and treatments being marketed at cleansing our bodies and minds of “toxins” that may or may not exist.

Foot Detox Benefits

Detox foot spa benefits are said to remove harmful substances from the body and improve your overall health. Proponents of detox foot baths claim it has these benefits:

  • Balance body’s pH
  • Reduce swelling
  • Relieve stress
  • Increase immunity
  • Help weight loss
  • Destroy harmful microorganisms

Advocates for foot detox baths claim that toxins build up in our bodies and put a large burden on the kidneys to excrete them through urine and sweat. The harder your kidneys have to work to excrete toxins, the higher the risk of kidney failure and possible dialysis. 

Body cleansing spas offer commercial detox foot baths, and the benefits are said to be greater than that of a foot bath detox at home. They claim their machines produce large amounts of negative ions in the water, which draw out toxins and revitalize dead cells and organs. There are absolutely no risks or side effects for using foot spa machines. However, if you have certain medical conditions like diabetes, you should consult your doctor beforehand.

The footbath ionizes water molecules (H2O), meaning it separates them into H+ and OH- ions. Long story short, these positive and negative ions are said to draw out and neutralize harmful toxins through the bottom of the feet. Once the foot bath is finished, the water’s color is compared to a detox foot bath chart.

Believers in foot detox baths claim that the benefits of foot spa treatment go beyond just relaxation. They claim it can eliminate toxins from fat cells, enhance your immune system, relieve pain, joint stiffness, help sleeping schedules, and even improve organ function. 

Foot Bath Color Chart

Once the foot bath is finished, the bath water’s color is compared to a foot bath color chart. The colors the water turns are claimed to correspond to a particular part of the body that is excreting toxins. According to the detox foot bath chart, yellow corresponds to the kidneys and bladder, orange is from joints and arthritis-related diseases, and brown from the liver or waste. 

The color changes in the water determine the success of the foot detox. They claim that the color changes represent impurities and toxins leaving the body through the feet’ soles.  

Ditch The Foot Bath Color Chart

The claims about the benefits of foot spa machines and foot detox baths are unsubstantiated and mostly anecdotal. There are no clinical trials, tests, or reputable studies to prove that foot detox baths do what they claim: draw out toxins from the body.

Studies have shown that ionic baths used for foot spa treatments do not draw out any toxins through the feet or reduce toxin levels in the body. There is no evidence to prove that ionic foot baths eliminate toxins, let alone produce the detox benefits they claim.

Upon testing a foot bath device, electrical engineer Steven Fowler found that the bathwater changed color even without a foot in it. He said: “This is nothing more than two pieces of metals rusting. This has nothing to do with toxins.” The rusty water may also be reacting with dirt, oils, and nail polish on your foot, causing particles to emerge or a change in water color. In reality, you’re comparing a detox foot bath chart to rusty, salty water. 

The reasoning behind foot detox baths is mostly similar to reflexology, which is a therapeutic way of relieving pain through pressure points on the feet and hands. The warm water and tingling, the bubbling sensation feels excellent but won’t be removing any toxins because that’s what your kidneys are for. At most, detox baths are relaxing, relieve stress, and provide a calming, pleasant treatment. 

To someone who doesn’t know about this old parlor type trick, it can seem like a life-changing experience to see all those toxins leaving your body in just half an hour. However, it is too good to be true to most people and merely a profitable scam.

Try These Natural Detox Methods Instead

If you’re like most people who don’t buy into the benefits of foot detox baths, you might be wondering how you can detox and relax naturally. Luckily, there are several natural detox methods for you to try that actually work.

Bathing in hot water twice a week is a great way to relax, improve blood circulation, deliver oxygen throughout the body, secrete positive hormones in the brain, and release toxins from the body. Bathing allows more urea and lactic acid to be excreted because it makes your body sweat more. 

Here’s how to take a detoxifying hot bath:

  1. Prepare your body by brushing your skin with a bristled brush or a coarse towel. This can remove dead skin cells and hair follicles that cause a blockage. It also stimulates blood flow and promotes lymphatic circulation.
  2. Do a few squats before you bathe to reduce water retention and increase your body temperature.
  3. Fill the tub with hot water (about 40°C) and soak for twenty minutes to warm your body and relax your skin.
  4. With your hand, massage a circle in the clockwise direction around your belly button. This promotes digestive function in the stomach and intestines. Massages detox your body and are more effective when your body is warmed and relaxed.
  5. Then, raise the temperature of the water to about 42°C and soak for five minutes. This step expels a lot of sweat from your body.

Not everyone can take immersive, full-body baths, whether it’s due to a medical condition or their bathtub shape. There are a few alternatives to full-body baths that still effectively detox your body:

  • Half-body Baths

These are more suitable for modern-day bathtubs that are found in many homes. Since the water level is low, you can soak for a long time, up to half an hour. Keep the water warm, but not too hot, and stay relaxed and undistracted throughout.

  • Hand And Foot Baths

woman in foot bowl at a spa

Hand and foot baths are suitable for everyone, regardless of medical conditions or bathtubs shape since you only need a bucket or a sink. A hand bath is straight-forward, fill a sink with 40-42°C water, and soak your hands for up to 20 minutes. A foot bath works similarly, but in a bucket instead. Soak for up to 20 minutes, and if possible, use a deep bucket to soak the inner calf, which helps increase blood circulation and hormone regulation. 

  • Massage The Soles Of Your Feet

Knead the soles of your feet every night before bed, for about two minutes straight. Traditional Chinese Medicine called this the sleeping zone. Use medium to high pressure. This can make you feel less tired, promote blood circulation, enhance detoxification, and accelerate fat burning.

  • Massage The Toes

Firmly grab your toes with both hands and rub them in a circular motion. Massage several times a day, two minutes at a time. Focus on the pinky toe since this reflex area corresponds to the memory portion of the brain. This massage can help detoxify the body by helping you sleep better and burn more fat.

Photo credit: Tianya Clark, Gareth Willey from Pexels

Author: P. Sze

P. Sze P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. S he also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

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