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Stimulation of the Circulation in the Feet

Contrast foot baths may be recommended for a variety of reasons and several foot conditions. The objective is to stimulate and improve the local circulation (circulation in the feet).

This is achieved by alternating between the contrasting effects of cold water and warm water.

The effects of cold water will, in about 30 seconds, cause the arteries in the feet to shrink to a smaller diameter. The effect of the warm water is to open up the arteries.

Arteries are the elastic tubes of muscle, which usually function in the mid-range (diameter). By alternating between small and wide, we bring oxygenated blood into the feet to help sore and inflamed tissues to heal. We also exercise and tone the artery walls so they are better able to function.


  • 2 bowls, large enough to accept both feet and high enough to reach the ankle

  • 2 tablespoons of table salt or Epsom salts

  • 1 towel

Set Up

  • Fill one bowl with warm water (tub temperature); mix in 1 tablespoon of salt

  • Fill the other bowl with cold water and 2 or 3 ice cubes. Mix in 1 tablespoon of salt


  • Sitting comfortably, place both feet in the bowl of cold water and remain there for 30 seconds

  • Then, place both feet in the bowl of warm water and remain there for 30 seconds

  • Repeat this process for 15 changes. This should take about 15 minutes in total and should be done each day, once in the morning and once in the evening for a total of seven days

It is important to place your feet in the bowl of warm water last and then dry the feet. This will leave the arteries wide.

For more information

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