Detox foot baths are presented as a novel procedure to rid the body of toxins. But how effective are they? Keep reading and learn more.
Also known as ionic detoxes, detox foot baths are just one of many fads for miracle treatments that are presented as the solution to various ills. In this case, it is a therapy during which an electrical mechanism emits high frequencies in concentrations of negatively charged ions, which would serve to detoxify and purify the body.
The device works according to principles discovered by inventor Royal Raymond Rife, who claimed that viruses could be destroyed if exposed to certain frequencies. But Dr. Mary Staggs, applying this theory, was the creator of the detox baths for the feet.
During the cleaning procedure, the water in which the feet are submerged changes color, which would show the supposed detoxification. In this article we will describe what the procedure is like and if it really is effective.
How do detox foot baths work?
It is appropriate to clarify that the term detox is used generically to refer to various treatments or devices used to reduce toxins in the body, through particular techniques and procedures. Now, in the case of detox baths, it is a device that ionizes the water with salt in a small tub.
Through electrolysis, the elements in the water are separated, which when in contact with the feet would charge the body with negative ions, stimulating and eliminating free radicals.
The main objective of detox baths would be to raise the alkalinity level in the body. This is considered to be beneficial for health, as bacteria and other pathogenic organisms need an acidic pH to thrive.
The procedure consists of putting your feet in the salted water and turning on the appliance. An electrolyte reaction immediately begins that would stimulate the body to detoxify.
Why does water change color?
During the procedure, the water turns a brown, reddish or yellowish tone, depending on the case. Proponents of the technique assure that this is due to the cleaning process and that the color would show the presence of toxic elements.
They even claim that colors can denote toxins from different organs that are expelled. If the water is black, it would be the liver that is being cleaned; if it is orange, the joints; the white foam would correspond to the lymphatic system; and if it is coffee it is because there is presence of tobacco and alcohol residues.
However, the reality is that the water changes color due to the precipitation of the oxide, mainly due to the corrosion of the electrodes. Although other elements can also intervene, such as salt, sweat and dirt.
In fact, it has been observed that such changes occur even when the appliance is turned on without having submerged the feet or even having contact with the water.
What are the possible benefits of detox baths?
Detox foot baths are recommended in cases of rheumatic diseases, joint pain, edema, varicose veins, stress, various problems related to sedentary lifestyle and even sleep disorders. In addition, they are used as adjunctive therapy in dyslipidemia, arthritis, acne, and kidney failure.
In this sense, the benefits attributed to detox foot baths are innumerable. From pain relief to metabolism stimulation, through oxygen flow regulation, energy field balance, immune system strengthening, cellulite control, acne reduction and flexibility improvement.
They are also proposed as useful for the following:
Accelerate recovery time in the event of illness, injury, or surgery.
Eliminate excess uric and lactic acid.
Help in the elimination of heavy metals.
Helps in the treatment of sleep disorders.
Improve heart health and even mood.
Possible risks of detox baths
Foot detoxification has become a very popular alternative treatment. They are considered unlikely to be harmful, however some people should avoid them or talk to their doctors before using them.
These cases include children, pregnant women, people with pacemakers, diabetics, and those with open sores or wounds on the feet. The particular case of diabetics is that they can inadvertently experience burns from hot water.
Do detox foot baths work?
The evidence presented by supporters of detox baths comes mostly from surveys of satisfied buyers. Even these types of studies are carried out and endorsed by the manufacturers themselves or by the companies that market the devices.
There is other research that has sought to demonstrate the effectiveness of the IonCleanse ® device in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To this end, a survey was applied. Based on the results, the average reduction in symptoms was 55%.
However, in the aforementioned study there are no names of medical professionals responsible for the investigation. At most, a group calling itself “The Revolution of Thinking Moms” is mentioned.
Generally speaking, there hasn’t been much scientific research on detox foot baths. Among the few are a 2012 clinical study conducted by Kennedy et al., The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and the University of Toronto.
The study was conducted with several patients, who also used the IonCleanse ® for detox foot baths. The researchers collected urine and hair samples from the subjects, as well as the water from the device, before and after the sessions.
After analyzing each of the samples, they concluded that the level of toxins was not reduced, that they were not eliminated through the feet and that the system did not stimulate detoxification of the liver or kidneys.
On the other hand, in a 2008 study by the Center for Research Strategies, it was shown that the levels of aluminum and arsenic had decreased in the study participants, by 46% and 24% respectively. However, these results were dismissed, as Kennedy et al. Claim there are links to the manufacturer of IonCleanse ®.
An aesthetic procedure, not a sanitary one
While there is no research to conclusively support all the benefits of detox foot baths, there is also no evidence that they are harmful. In fact, the agents who sell them recommend them as a simple aesthetic complement.
So, if the person wants to enjoy the experience of these baths in order to relax, refresh, revitalize and enjoy, he can perfectly do it. Although there are also other cheaper alternatives to soften the feet using essential oils or various salts.