The Healing Benefits of Foot Soaks

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Immersing your feet in a tub of warm water, even without anything extra in it, is a nice way to relax after a long day. A foot soak soothes your muscles, hydrates your skin and can relieve aches and pains due to standing for hours or walking in uncomfortable shoes. Plus, letting your feet sit in their own bath can help reduce swelling and prevent bacteria from settling into blisters and cuts or under toe nails.

There are some additions, however, that can enhance your healing foot soak. Consider these options when caring for your hard-working feet:

Epsom Salt Foot Soaks
A combination of magnesium and sulfate, Epsom salt is a compound that can help flush toxins and heavy metals from your skin’s cells, reduce inflammation, increase circulation and ease muscle cramps and joint pain.

As your feet absorb the magnesium, pain-reducing ions are released, relaxing your muscles and nerves and helping them function properly by regulating your electrolyte levels. The sulfate targets any harmful substances that need to be eliminated from your body. Epsom salt can also quell foot odor, help heal fungus or ingrown nails, and soothe dry skin. You can find this healing salt at most drug stores and pharmacies.

Essential Oil Soaks
Try adding a few drops to your soak. Here are some popular choices, which you can use individually or combine together for your healing foot treatment:

  • Cedar wood oil is an antiseptic and anti-fungal, making it a good choice if you suffer from Athlete’s Foot.
  • Cypress oil is an antiseptic and natural deodorant. Add a few drops to your soak if you have a blister or are concerned about foot odor.
  • Juniper berry oil alleviates muscle aches, including those caused by arthritis.
  • Lavender oil, as you may know, is a favorite for relaxation. It’s also a natural pain reliever—optimal for sore muscles and joints.
  • Rosemary oil helps soothe tired muscles and has antiseptic properties.
  • Wintergreen oil is considered nature’s aspirin. It helps with pain and swelling and has a cooling sensation that is particularly pleasurable on tired feet.

Finish with a self-massage using lotion, locking in moisture and softening calluses. Try adding essential oils to your Epsom salt soak too.

When a Soak Isn’t Enough
Foot soaks are great for relief of minor aches and pains but don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Sudden, severe foot pain
  • Bleeding, bruising or tenderness following a foot injury
  • Redness or swelling
  • Foot pain if you’re a diagnosed diabetic
  • Pain that lasts longer than seven days

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