Treating Your Feet Can Help Your Heart

Filed Under: Heart Health

There has been some controversy about the effectiveness of medicinal footbaths. Dr. Sinatra and I have experienced several of them in exhibit halls at major health expos. You can imagine the numerous venders who propose many health benefits from using their products, particularly detoxification. The concept involves sitting with your feet in a small tub of water. Then, devices and solutions are added to promote detoxification.

Sodium chloride salt is usually sprinkled in the warm water and an electrode added with a positive and negative electronic charge to create a high energy complex in the water. Proponents claim that the color changes noted in the water colors represent different toxins being drawn out of the body through the feet—toxins coming from the liver, lymph glands, joints, fatty tissue, etc.

Now, while it’s true that the water does change color in these footbaths, it would do so even if your feet were not placed in the water. However, those colors do appear darker and thicker when the feet are immersed. So, what could possibly be going on?

Some proponents of the medicinal footbath claim that the highly charged water creates an energy complex that acts on the acupuncture meridians in the feet, reaching multiple systems in the body. Now remember, Dr. Sinatra is from Missouri, so you gotta show him! 

At one such anti-aging conference years back, Dr. Sinatra looked at these foot baths with a very skeptical eye. Although the theory seemed plausible, we were both thinking it a bit of a parlor trick that it could energize the body at the same time, despite positive testimonials from people who feel better after using the bath. Then one distributor offered some science: a live visual of microscopic serum analysis of blood viscosity pre- and post- footbath. 

The pre-treatment blood showed red blood cells stacked on one another like poker chips, known as rouleaux (pronounced rooo- low). Rouleaux formation indicates clumpy, sticky blood and increased blood viscosity, a risk factor for cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack and stroke. The post-foot bath blood analysis revealed red blood cells that were not sticking together; they were flowing freely in the microscopic field.

Mildly impressed, but still skeptical, Dr. Sinatra and I joined two another MD colleagues and tried the footbath for ourselves—and had the same blood results. For my husband, there was even relief of his right hip pain. The intervention had also included drinking a solution called Ioncleanse, a mixture of silver chloride and other minerals. The internalization of the minerals and the external charge are supposed to raise the overall energy field, thus making the detoxification and energetic process even more profound.

Needless to say, we all ordered footbaths for our own homes.

That was back in 2004. Flash forward to today, and many health professionals endorse footbaths and are convinced they may be a vital tool in energizing and detoxifying the body. Even the prestigious Townsend Letter described how the footbath works.

For now, we continue to have an open mind that the footbath may even be a viable intervention to reduce blood viscosity and inflammation—two factors that contribute to developing and worsening of heart disease. And the benefits of detox cannot be underscored; inflammation is the root of many illnesses.

We have the most experience with B. E. S. T. (Bio-Electric Stimulating Technique) footbath, and there are many others in the marketplace. Some companies offer electrodes that can be placed in your own bathtub. Many alternative medicine practitioners offer footbath treatments in their office or clinic if you want to experience one yourself.

For more information on cardiovascular problems, as well as new ways to reduce heart risk factors, visit Dr. Sinatra’s Web site.

Walker M, Walker R.  IonCleanse detoxification—getting the issues out of tissues. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients. 2004:101-104.

DISCLAIMER: The content of is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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