Prep, Soak, Ahhhh...

In our last blog, Karen told you to go soak your feet. Now, as promised, here’s some information on the process and what makes it effective.

Full disclosure? We sell foot soaks at Karen Adams Acupuncture. Our Treat by FeetTM foot soaks are pretty special because they are a rigorously designed and tested proprietary formula of Tibetan herbs that helps circulation. We also offer Aromatherapy Salt Soaks. Learn more about theraputic foot soaks.

Don’t all foot soaks help circulation?

Yes! Immersing body parts in hot water will dilate blood vessels, causing the heart to work just a little bit harder to move more blood. You’ve probably already soaked your feet in Epsom salts a time or two.

One of the tricks to a good foot soak is the water temperature. We make ours at 110o F – and we check the temp with a point and shoot thermometer. Using a thermomether is especially important if you have neuropathy because you might not be able to tell if the water is too hot. We want you to break a light sweat because that shows circulation really is improving. Note: more sweat is not better. Too much sweating causes you to lose Qi, which is draining. The water from your tap might be hot enough by itself. If it isn't, use an electric kettle to heat it, and to top up your soak to keep it hot.

You should soak your feet for 20-30 minutes, and the best time to do it is 9 PM (although you can do it any time). 9 PM, according to the Chinese Medicine Clock, is the time of day when the Pericardium and Triple Heater/San Jiao are the strongest, and these two are all about circulation.

We use buckets that allow us to cover your feet and half way up your calves. If you want to try soaking at home, the bucket needs to be comfortable for your feet, and it needs to be easy to move it from sink to chair and back again. If for some reason carrying a bucket is difficult to do, move your operation to your bathroom. Fill the bucket in the tub or shower, have a chair to sit on, and go from there. When you're done just tip the bucket over to empty it.

Use a lap blanket to 'hold in' the heat from the bucket. We use a fleece blanket which doesn't absorb the steam too much and helps to keep the soak and your legs warm. Depending on the bucket, heat can escape quickly and this helps cut that down.

That’s it. Research, buy and prep your herbs or essential oils, fill your bucket, add your feet, don’t forget to test the temp., add more hot water as needed, and bliss out. The more you soak, the more your body can heal itself and the more relaxed you'll feel.

Next: we’ll tell you all about our soaks.