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.
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.