Herbal foot soaks. You can get them on just about any city block in Chengdu, China. It’s like fast food in the U.S. Everyone is doing them! But why? There’s a great reason why so many people in China make herbal foot soaking a regular part of their routine. Let’s delve in and see why!
Foot Soaks: What’s it all about?
The concept may seem new here in the U.S. but it’s a traditional that goes back millennia in China. It’s like how people have gym memberships, only in China they often have membership to foot soak places (and they actually use them).
There is a saying in China that goes something like “It is the roots of the tree that die first.” We same a similar effect in our bodies as we age. Our feet often begin the decline first and this has an impact on our whole bodies.
Think about when you were a child. You moved with total ease. Walking and running are fluid, graceful. The impact from each jump or step was adeptly absorbed through proper body mechanics. Your blood flow was great. You skin, pink with freshly oxygenated blood. You healed quickly. This is literally how our bodies were designed to work.
But our bodies age. We often don’t take care of them. Our feet are often the most abused, and often the least cared for part of our body. We stop moving as much. Our circulation slows. Our feet become cold from lack of circulation and lack of proper movement. In some people, this negatively impacts the blood vessels in their legs and they get varicose veins or spider veins. Edema may also occur from water literally leaking out. As we age, the lack of fresh blood allows the nerves in our feet to deteriorate and begin first painful, then later, numb.
The muscles and fascia in our feet become stiff from lack of warmth and nourishment. This compromises how we absorb impact and it starts to stiffen our lower legs. Then our knees. Then our hips and back and even our necks. The once soft and supple musculature that once absorbed the impact of our playful activity no longer works properly and that impact starts to be absorbed by our joints causing pain and inflammation and eventual deterioration.
We become stiff and uncomfortable. We stop moving around as much because we experience pain from all the joint problems. This further slows down our circulation and further retards our ability to absorb this impact. It becomes of vicious cycle of worsening pain and great debilitation. The lack of movement which started as a muscular issue is now in the bones and now even affecting our heart health. Eventually, this lack of proper blood flow can turn fatal leading stroke or heart attack. Enter… herbal foot soaks!
How do they work?
Have you ever tried soaking your feet? It’s excellent! It’s relaxing, calming, and almost spa like. Now take that feeling at add profound healing effects to it. Sound nice?
When first putting your feet into the warm water, it causes the blood vessels in your feet and lower legs to dilate. This allows fresh blood to be brought into the feet, a very important action. With this initial increase in blood flow, the feet are primed to receive volatile oils found within these precious herbs. The herbs also contain special constituents known as terpenes which aid in absorbing the herbs through the skin.
This initial action has a mild relaxing and sedating effect. In some cases, blood pressure even lowers. As the feet continue to soak, the blood vessels dilate further up the legs. Often people report feeling it in their knees or upper legs. The body starts to feel warmer and some people even report feeling increased circulation all the way in their ears. As the circulation improves further in the body, the can be a mild increase in heart rate, simulating a mild cardiovascular workout. This is especially beneficial to those who cannot move easily due to chronic pain and debility. It also tends to stimulate better energy production (mitochondrial function) in those with chronic fatigue. Finally, as the circulation goes further upward, a mild sweat often occurs (which can be a highly beneficial action for those suffering from chronic illnesses).
Inside the body, the herbal foot soaks have a variety of actions. In the first sense, it is much like a snow globe that has been shaken. As we age, extracellular impurities and dead tissue tends to collect in the feet and legs. When using the foot soaks, these impurities make their way back into circulation where the immune system (by way of macrophages) gets signaled to rid the body of this dead tissue (almost like cleansing the body).
What are foot soaks used for?
In our clinic, foot soaks are used as both primary and adjunct medicine for many of our patients. They are a primary therapy in the treatment of many types of pain, especially where it is beneficial to improve circulation. They are also used in many chronic conditions where circulation is often a major or even primary part of the problem such as: many autoimmune diseases (Rheumatoid arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, etc.), Fibromyalgia syndrome, peripheral neuropathy (caused by diabetes, chemotherapy, or other causes), low back pain and sciatica, neck and shoulder pain, knee and hip pain, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, cardiovascular problems, and even in gynecological issues such as infertility, PCOS, or dysmenorrhea.
If you have any of these issues and you are finally tired of living with them, do something about it! Give us a call at 720-541-8458 or fill out the contact form here! The journey to health is now!