Foot Soaks: The 4-1-1
To us, caring for your mind, body, and soul isn’t complete without caring for your feet. If you haven’t yet visited our foot sanctuary, you might wonder what’s so great about soaking your feet. Let’s explore the history behind foot soaks, and the elements that go into the copper basins at Soak Spa and Foot Sanctuary.
What are Foot Soaks?
Soaking one’s feet in water is a practice that dates back centuries. Like reflexology, foot soaks have roots in ancient China and Japan, where the feet were considered the foundation (quite literally) of health and well-being. Cultures and societies have incorporated the soaking of the feet as a way to ease aches and fatigue, and to improve circulation and healing.
Scottish physician John Bell, known as a leader in modern surgery1, published extensively on hygiene, physiology, pathology, and more in the mid-1800s. In 1859, he wrote, “A Treatise on Baths,” in which he goes into great detail about how bathing areas of the body helps to improve health and heal ailments2.
Today, foot soaks are a way to practice self-care. At Soak Spa and Foot Sanctuary, we want you to give yourself this time to relax and enjoy the soothing effects of soaking. Reconnect with yourself in a healing environment.
What’s in the Water?
At Soak Spa and Foot Sanctuary, our foot soaks are tailored to accomplish specific goals – to calm, energize, or nourish as you enjoy the experience. Our monthly soak specials are designed to offer fun and seasonal takes on your self-care.
This seems like a no-brainer – of course our foot soaks use hot water. But it’s important to understand the purpose in using hot water in foot soaks. As noted in our recent post about the benefits of incorporating heat in massage, heat helps to soothe pain, relieve tension and cramping, and improve circulation and overall well-being. Our soaks begin with hot water in large copper basins, which help to retain heat. As the water cools, your soak provider will offer to refresh your hot water as needed.
Salt has been used to season and preserve food for centuries, so it might seem strange to include salt in your foot soak. However, there are many benefits to soaking in salt water. Salt is a natural source of minerals. The specific minerals content varies depending on the type of salt, but all do include magnesium. Magnesium is a vital mineral that affects nearly every part of the body; it helps to reduce inflammation and cramping, and can improve circulation.
Salt helps to flush toxins from the body and decrease swelling. In addition, the antibacterial properties found in salt helps to heal skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Finally, salt offers a natural and gentle exfoliation of dead skin, leaving your feet feeling soothed and smoothed.
Here at Soak Spa, our foot soaks may include Dead Sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, Epsom salt, or any combination of the three.
Each of our soaks includes essential oils chosen intentionally for their healing and aromatherapy properties. Incorporating essential oils in a foot soak enhances the benefits of the salt water. Melaleuca, for example, offers antifungal and antibacterial benefits. Lavender helps to calm anxiety and lower blood pressure. Peppermint cools and soothes aches and pains. The list of available essential oils and their benefits is long and varied.
Each month, our soak special includes essential oils designed to improve your well-being, while evoking a sense of the season. In October, our seasonal soak incorporates apple cider vinegar, a natural antifungal and disinfectant that helps to soften feet and soothe dry skin; eucalyptus essential oil, which has antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties; lemon essential oil, which is detoxifying and boosts the immune system. The soak also includes lemon wedges and eucalyptus leaves, enhancing your aromatherapy experience.
As with every experience at Soak Spa, our foot soaks include “A Little Something Extra”. The Lagniappe might vary from soak to soak, but it will include a cup (or two) of our soothing ginger tea or lemon water, and a heated neck wrap for you to enjoy as you melt into our plush lounge chairs. Our foot sanctuary is designed with relaxation in mind – the amber lighting is warm and low, and our deep-blue walls evoke feelings of soothing water. While massage is not automatically incorporated, you have the option to add your choice of foot and lower leg massage, and/or scalp, neck and shoulder massage to any soak.
Are your feet in need of some TLC? Don’t miss our October foot soak special – make your reservation today.
(If you suffer from diabetes or poor circulation, please speak to your doctor before partaking in any foot soaks.)
1 (2005). Library of the History of the Medical Sciences. John Bell’s Principles of Surgery. Retrieved October 2, 2018, from http://www.marshall.edu/special-collections/hoffman/bell_john.asp
2Bell, J. (1831). On baths and mineral waters: In two parts. Part I. A full account of the hygienic and curative powers of cold, tepid, warm, hot and vapour baths, and of sea bathing. Part II. A history of the chemical composition, and medicinal properties of the chief mineral springs of the United States and of Europe. Philadelphia: Office of the Journal of Health and the Family Library of Health, &c., Henry H. Porter, Proprieter.