Relaxing your feet at the end of a long day does a world of good for your whole body. Foot baths can help soothe tired muscles in your feet and legs and, in combination with some aromatherapy, can invigorate you for your evening's activities or help calm your whole system and improve your sleep.
Things You'll Need
- Warm bath towel
- 1 cup epsom salt or sea salt
- Water basin or commercial foot spa
- Aromatherapy oils
- Loofah or foot scrub brush
- Pumice stone
If you are using a regular water basin, tumble a bath towel in the dryer for 10 to 20 minutes before setting up your foot bath.
Fill the basin or foot spa with water that is slightly hot to the touch but not steaming.
Add ½ to 1 cup of Epsom salt or a handful of sea salt to the warm water. Mix in a teaspoon of an aromatherapy essential oil (peppermint or eucalyptus for invigoration; lavender, clary sage or chamomile for soothing) to enhance your soak if desired.
Wrap the basin with the warmed bath towel to keep the water heated. If you're using a commercial foot spa, turn the heater on to keep the water warm.
Position yourself so that you are seated in a comfortable chair and can enjoy the relaxation of the foot bath. Place your feet one at a time into the water and let both feet soak in the warm water for at least five minutes. Relax your body and mind.
Stretch your feet while they soak in the water: Try flexing your arches and heels, tensing and straightening your toes, curling your toes, then relaxing the muscles of your feet. These simple stretches encourage circulation and make good use of the warmth of the water.
Use a loofah or foot scrub brush with or without a lotion scrub to remove dead skin cells and deep-cleanse your feet. Rub each foot with the brush or scrub for one to two minutes per foot, then place the scrubbed foot back in the soak.
Rub heels, balls of feet and rough areas with a pumice stone to smooth cracks and rough spots on your skin. Pumicing over calluses can help reduce their thickness and remove layers of dead skin.
Finish your rub-and-pumice stage by massaging your feet with your hands. Stroke your hands from the tips of your toes up to your ankles and mid-calf. Squeeze and release feet the sides of the feet. Enjoy the last few minutes of your foot bath with more soaking, and then dry your feet with a warm towel.
Tips & Warnings
- Add smooth stones in a flat layer to the bottom of your basin and rub your feet over them to create a massage effect while in your foot bath. If the water cools before you finish, add a half gallon of hot water and stir with your feet. Try different aromatherapy recipes to flavor the water with the essential oils or herbs.
- Don't stand in a foot bath. If you're using an electrically heated foot bath, make sure the plug and cord are elevated away from any water.