Hot Foot Baths

I used a hot foot bath after hiking 6 miles when I got home, and the next day I did not have sore feet at all. This is after a car accident that injured my ankles.

When you start exercising you may find your legs and feet get sore, or they may be sore already. This treatment will increase blood flow to the lower extremities. It can also reverse peripheral neuropathy, however you must not use water that is too hot if you have diabetes or other problems with feeling to ensure you do not burn your tissue.

A hot foot bath is an immersion of both feet and ankles in hot water for 10–30 minutes. It is an excellent way to draw blood from inflamed or congested areas of the body. Indications for use are the foot and leg cramps, sore throat, cold, flu, nausea, insomnia, and chest or pelvic congestion.

Hot Foot Bath Procedure

There are two main ways to do this. One that I used in the situation above which is a hot and cold alternating treatment and a hot only one.

HOT AND COLD: Wrap the upper body in a blanket to avoid chilling. Place feet in hot water (optional mix 1Tbs ground mustard powder in hot water) up to upper calf below knee for 3 minutes, then in cold water for 30 seconds. Repeat this 6-8 times.

HOT ONLY: Wrap the upper body in a blanket to avoid chilling. Using a large dishpan or the bathtub, immerse both feet and ankles in warm water. Keep adding hot water until it is as hot as can be tolerated. Place a cool washcloth on the forehead (keep the washcloth cool during entire treatment by wringing it out in cool water). Keep feet in the water for 10–30 minutes, depending on tolerance. As the water cools, add more hot water to maintain the hot temperature. After removing the feet from the water, rinse them with cool water and dry them thoroughly.

Hot Foot Bath Variations

If using a hot foot bath for a cold or a sore throat or to intensify treatment, add one tablespoon mustard powder to the water.

Hot Foot Bath Contraindications (when you shouldn’t do it)

  • Peripheral vascular disease (arteriosclerosis, deep vein thrombosis, Buerger’s disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Loss of peripheral sensation
  • Unconsciousness


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