These days there are a number of products such as detox foot baths and footpads that are presented as having the ability to detoxify your whole body in just a few minutes or overnight. How true is this? In this article, we will explore these products and their claims and shed some light on this interesting subject. Read on to learn more about detox foot spa and foot pad scams.
Magical detox foot baths
Let’s start with detox foot baths. The claim is that with just a few minutes of what soaking, you can read your body of all manner of impurities. Demonstrations are dramatic and somewhat impressive if you have no understanding of chemistry. Look at the following video:
Videos of these instruments at work always show the subject placing his or her feet in a tub of warm salt water through which a mild electrical current is passed. The claim is that this current will drive the “bad” toxins out of the subject’s body.
Once the current has been passed, the water changes colour. It may become blue, green or brown. There may even be flecks of solids and gas bubbles in the water. This is touted as evidence that the body has been cleansed.
In fact, this is just a chemical reaction between the electrodes and the saltwater. The colour is caused by electrolytic corrosion. The metal electrodes are usually made of copper, nickel or iron. These metals produce coloured ions when they decompose. The combination of electrical current and salt causes this decomposition.
The process of electrolytic conversion also causes chlorine gases and hydrogen bubbles to form. Additionally, lye is produced and this softens dead skin on the feet causing it to flake off. Bits of dead skin make up the floating solids seen in the water. Additionally, lotions, creams and ointments are often applied to the feet in advance of treatment to “prepare” the skin. These concoctions may also float off in semisolid form.
Does this sort of treatment do any good at all?
This sort of treatment does exactly as much good as soaking your feet in warm salt water would normally do. Unfortunately, the cost difference between soaking your feet at home in a pedicure bowl full of warm salt water and purchasing one of these “miracle” devices is staggering! Detoxifying electric foot baths range in price from around £50 to as much is £1000.
While soaking your feet in warm water is always a refreshing and positive thing to do, it’s hardly worth these excessive prices. It is not possible to rid your body of a significant amount of toxins through the soles of your feet. Your money is better spent on a healthy diet to support your liver and kidneys, which actually do have the job of detoxifying your body.
What about detox footpads?
As we have said, it is impossible to rid your body of a significant amount of toxins through the soles of your feet, so it should stand to reason that detox footpads are just another hoax. The idea behind cockamamie concept comes from ancient Japanese beliefs that applying certain substances to the soles of your feet can help extract toxins. Some examples include:
- Vitamin C
… and others.
While the acidity of some of these products might actually work to soften hard skin on your feet, they will do nothing to draw “impurities” out of your body.
Purveyors of detoxification footpads point to the fact that the pads change color when you wear them on your feet overnight. They say that the darker the pads become, the more toxins they have removed from your feet. The fact is the darkening of the pads is simply a chemical reaction that occurs when the contents of the pad are exposed to air and moisture.
The fact is that if you apply a few drops of distilled water to one of these pads, it will darken. If you hold the pad over pot of boiling water, it will darken. The discoloration of the pads in no way indicates the presence of impurities, parasites, chemicals or any of the other wild-eyed claims made by their peddlers.
It is important that you avoid being sucked into this hoax. Not only are these pads a waste of money, they exploit the hopes and fears of people experiencing serious difficulties ranging from insomnia to arthritis to cancer and more. Peddling this sort of nonsensical false hope is cruel and irresponsible.
Is it possible to detoxify your body?
Detoxification of your system is possible and desirable, but it isn’t a one-step process that takes only a few minutes or overnight to accomplish. Instead, it involves the cultivation of a series of lifestyle habits that add up to a reduction of toxins in your body and healthy functioning of the liver and kidneys. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Begin by eliminating unhealthy habits, foods and beverages from your diet. Go for the obvious ones first (e.g. tobacco products and alcohol). Gradually reduce and then eliminate other potential toxins from your diet. These include hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, chemicals and artificial additives of all kinds and possibly dairy and grain products, depending upon your own sensitivities.
Add wholesome and healthy foods, beverages and activities into your daily life. Be sure to drink plenty of pure, fresh, filtered water (not bottled!) and eat a healthy, whole foods diet that is made up mostly of fresh fruits and veggies (raw or lightly steamed are best because they deliver important enzymes to the body).
Ideally, your everyday diet should be at least half fresh produce and one-quarter high quality, lean protein sources. The remaining quarter should be high quality roughage (fiber). This can be in the form of whole grains, but if you are eliminating grain from your diet, nuts, beans and lentils and additional produce will do the trick! Use healthy oils, such as extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil in moderate amounts.
Acidic substances such as apple cider vinegar (ACV) and lemon juice can actually help detoxify your liver. Try drinking a mug of warm water with the juice of half a lemon or two tablespoons of ACV first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This is a good way to alkalize your body and begin cleansing your system.
Dry brush your body, including your feet, every day before your bath or shower. Brush in circular, clockwise motions on your torso and the soles of your feet. Brush in long, gentle strokes toward the heart on your legs and arms. Doing this exfoliates the skin and stimulates circulation. Good circulation helps detoxify your system by helping your blood carry toxins away efficiently.
Enjoy light, to moderate exercise for fifteen or twenty minutes every day. Aim to play, not work! Get ample good sleep and practice smart stress management techniques, such as enjoying a relaxing and invigorating foot bath at the end of every day!
Foot baths and electric foot spas can be a wonderful addition to your overall detoxification plan because they help you relax and avoid excessive production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Just remember that these tools are just part of a holistic plan to ensure your overall good health. There is no miracle cure or single solution that will rid your body of toxins. Only the development and practice of good lifestyle habits can do that!