A millennial patient of mine wanted to know what else she could do to help with pressure in her sinuses. She didn’t have an infection and her allergy medications “were not cutting it.” I recommended she try an old fashioned hot foot bath and described how to do it. When she called my naturopathic medicine office the next day, she left a message with my receptionist,
“Tell Dr. Rothenberg, hot foot baths rock!”
Of course water and water therapies have been around forever. In some countries hydrotherapy resorts are all the rage. I love the simplicity, the cost (none), the side effect profile (nil), the efficacy and the comfort many hydrotherapy treatments offer.
The hot foot bath is one of the simplest treatments. I recommend this kind of soak for a number of complaints, but most especially when there is congestion in the head. By causing vasodilation in the feet, a hot foot bath helps to ‘draw’ fluid toward the lower parts of the body and past the organs of elimination, which for many, will help relieve congestion. Here’s the recipe:
Hot water, hot to tolerance, don’t burn yourself!
Basin, pot or bath tub
What to do: place your feet in the hot water, above the ankle is a good landmark and….. rest. Most people find this very relaxing. Maybe it’s all the resting that helps!
If you’re game and want to amplify your treatment, place another basin of ice water, also with water to cover your ankles, with 5–6 ice cubes or so, and try this: 3 minute in the hot water then 5 seconds in the cold, back and forth for 8–10 minutes. If you have a helper around, they can insure the hot water stays hot and the cold, icy cold. End your treatment on a cold dip. Dry your feet well, get between those little toes and put on some cozy socks. A nap or bedtime directly after the treatment is often just the thing.