The hot foot bath is one of the most useful of all hydro therapy treatments. It requires no special equipment since it uses items every household already has.
This treatment increases the circulation in the feet and legs. This increase in circulation may relieve congestion in other parts of the body, such as the brain, the lungs, or the abdominal organs. The treatment induces sweating and a general warming of the body. This helps to strengthen the immune system making it an excellent procedure for the prevention and treatment of colds and flu.
- A foot tub (deep bucket or pan)
- Large pitcher for adding hot water
- A bath towel
- Boiling water
- Basin of cold water (with or without ice)
- A sheet
- One or two blankets
Indications for a Hot Foot Bath:
- To prevent or shorten a cold
- To relieve aches and pains of flu
- To relieve headache
- To stimulate circulation when the feet are cold
- To promote relaxation
- To relieve menstrual cramps
Precautions and Contraindications (for the hot foot bath):
- Always test temperature of water before immersing feet in basin (100-110º F). Test with elbow if thermometer not available.
- Use extreme caution if there is a loss of skin sensation as in diabetes.
- Use only under physician’s direction if there is hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis).
- When adding hot water, take feet out of pan, or move to one side, slowly pour water into basin and swirl with other hand to mix hot water with foot bath.
- Not recommended for frostbite, Buerger’s disease, Lymphedema, or unconsciousness.
- Use a warm room free from drafts for the treatment
- Put a towel under the bucket on the floor.
- Have the patient sit on a chair and wrap him/her in a sheet and blanket from the neck down, including the bucket of hot water (this would keep the steam within the blanket).
- Put enough hot water in the bucket or pan to cover the feet well above the ankles. Test the water with your elbow to be sure it will not be too hot.
- Fill the pitcher with boiling water and keep on hand for keeping the water hot in the basin. To avoid burning the person, put your hand between the feet of the patient and the newly added water. This way you can feel for yourself the temperature.
- Place a cold cloth on the person’s head, and change frequently thus keeping them comfortable
- Keep the patient hydrated by offering water (room temperature or warm water) through a straw. The straw makes it easier to drink since the patient would not be able to hold the cup.
- The treatment may last ten minutes to 30 minutes.
- To end the treatment pour cold water over the feet and then place them on a towel. Dry the feet thoroughly.
- Have the person rest for at least half an hour to an hour after this treatment for the best results.