Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hydrotherapy for Feet

Hydrotherapy is described as the use of water to treat disease or illness. In the case of the feet and lower legs hydrotherapy may help to improve circulation and bring relief from inflammation and swelling.

The Cold Foot Bath

In the cold foot bath the feet are immersed in cold water up to the calf. Some spend only a few minutes with their feet in the cold water, but all should remove their feet when you can no longer feel a "cold" sensation from the water. After the soak a nice walk can be very pleasurable. An alternative is "walking in water," which could take place in a cool mountain stream, in the ocean, or a shallow pool. This style of Hydrotherapy is commonly used for: circulatory problems, sweaty feet, varicose veins and edema or swelling of the tissues. Those that suffer from cold feet, have diabetes or other vascular or nervous system conditions should consult their doctor before use.

Another style of Hydrotherapy is the alternating warm and cool foot baths. In this case you can collect 20-30 rocks when you're next at the beach (or you can purchase polished river rocks at the craft store). Divide them evenly between two foot tubs (large dishpan basins work well too), and in one add warm water. In the second foot tub add cool water, with perhaps a few ice cubes nearby to keep the water cool. Start with the warm water, soak for a few minutes while pressing the feet into the smooth rocks. Then switch to the cool water, again, pressing your feet into the smooth rocks. Alternate several times, always paying attention to your comfort level. This method can help balance excess perspiration in the feet, revive your whole body, and feels great after a long walk or a run.

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