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Foot Bath for Congestion and Pain

Article by:

Joe and Elsa Willis |

5 min read

Foot Bath for Congestion and Pain

If you want natural cold remedies, are wondering how to get rid of a headache naturally, would like drug-free back pain relief, or need an easy home remedy that will treat many conditions, try a foot bath! Here’s how.


Hydrotherapy is the external use of water to treat disease, relieve pain, and promote healing. This can include alternating hot and cold water to create a pumping action of the blood. Or, as in the hot foot soak described below, hot water is used to draw blood from one area of the body to the feet.


When the feet are in hot water, the blood congesting distant parts of the body is brought to the dilated vessels in the feet and legs. Congestion of the brain, lungs, abdominal, and pelvic organs can be relieved in this manner.


A hot foot bath is a local immersion bath covering the feet and ankles at temperatures ranging from 100° to 115° F (43°C to 46°C).


Foot bath benefits

Hot foot baths increase blood flow through the feet and entire skin surface, relieving congestion in internal organs and the brain. This type of foot soak also elevates the body temperature, relaxing tense muscles and increasing white blood cell activity.



Conditions appropriate to be treated with foot baths (Indications)

Foot soak treatment can help with the following health problems:



Foot baths may also help with depression, according to Dr. Neil Nedley:


“Warm baths can help, according to a recent preliminary study conducted at Michigan State University. More than 40 patients ranging from 18-62 years of age who were admitted to a hospital psychiatry unit with an episode of major depression were given a warm, 30-minute bath (102 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, or 39 to 41 degrees Celsius) just before going to bed. Improvements occurred in tension, anxiety, anger, hostility, confusion, bewilderment, and depression. The findings were the same for men and women.”



Conditions that should not be treated with foot baths (Contraindications)

Hot foot bath treatment is dangerous if you have the following health conditions:





How to Do a Foot Bath





Important Considerations




  1. Explain procedure to the patient.
  2. Have the treatment room warm and free of drafts.
  3. Assemble the materials.
  4. Protect the bedding, if needed.
  5. Drape the two blankets over a chair or spread them on a bed.
  6. Fill a bucket with water 100° F to 115° F (43°C- 46°C ) deep enough to cover ankles.
  7. Assist patient in undressing and wrap in sheet.
  8. Wrap a towel around patient's neck to catch sweat and prevent escape of body heat.
  9. Assist the patient to place feet in tub. Reassure patient by putting your hands in the water first.
  10. Wrap the blankets one at a time around the patient, enclosing the tub to allow heat to build up.
  11. Add hot water as the patient can tolerate it, up to 120° F (49°C).
  12. Continue treatment for 5-30 minutes as needed, keeping a cold compress on the patient's head.
  13. Raise feet out of tub, pour ice water over the feet, dry feet, legs and thighs, dress in bed clothes.
  14. Put thick, warm socks on the patient, allowing them to rest in bed for at least 30 minutes, drinking lots of water.

Recommended Resources

Want to know more? Watch this informative and easy-to-follow video! Learn how to prepare and use a simple yet effective hot foot bath to treat headaches, congestions, and more.



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