Hot Foot Bath for Disease Treatment

Contrast bath/ hydrotherapy
(hydrotherapy) Hot-foot-bath


Hot Foot Bath is a localized bath which covers the feet and ankles—with the water temperatures generally ranging between 100-115°F (37.77-65.55 °C )

This treatment may be used alone or combined with another treatment such as fomentation or the heat compress.

The Physiological effects of hot water

Heat expands (dilates) the blood vessels of the feet, thereby moving excess blood from other body parts to the feet and relieving congestion in the brain ( headache), lungs, and pelvic organs.

The hot foot bath is also helpful in stimulating the activity of the white blood cells which engages foreign bodies that cause disease and pain.



    This treatment will help conditions such as;

  • Pelvic cramps or prostate disorders
  • Prevent or shorten colds, flu, or coughs
  • Relieve congestion (congestive headaches, nosebleeds)
  • Chest congestion, pelvic congestion. etc.)
  • Diminish pain anywhere in the body (from toothache to backache)
  • Relieve fatigue and nervous tension
  • warm the body in preparation for massage or some other treatments


Treatment Precautions

CAUTION: Use only mild heat in diabetics and others with loss of feeling (numbness or otherwise impaired) blood flow to the legs and feet

  • When adding hot water, keep your hand between the hot water and the person’s feet to avoid burning them.

Equipment Needed for Hot foot bath treatment;

1 Chair

Large bucket or deep dishpan

1 Basin of cold water (add ice to cold water if available) for the cold compress to the head

1 Tea kettle or pitcher of very hot water

2 Washcloths (for the cold compress to the head)

2 Large towels

1 Sheet (To cover the floor)

1 Blanket

2 Glass of water (and a drinking straw-optional (makes drinking Easier)

1 Towel or bath mat to place under bucket (so small spills will be

absorbed and the person will not put their feet on the cold floor after

completion of the treatment)


Optional: Bath thermometer needed (if working with someone with

Diabetes, numbness, or impaired circulation in feet). If you cannot

procure thermometer, do not raise temperature higher than is

comfortable for the elbow or back of the wrist.)[Amazon affiliate link contained]

Treatment Procedure

  • Preparation for treatment

This treatment may be given with the person sitting on a chair or lying

on a flat surface.


Have the room warm, free of cold drafts, and all equipment assembled before beginning.

  • Place a blanket over the chair, and cover the blanket with a sheet. Put a piece of plastic under the basin, and cover the plastic with a dry towel.
  • Prepare the foot bath with enough warm water to cover the ankles.

Ask the person if the temperature is comfortable. Adjust the,

temperatures needed by adding hot or cold water —

Completely wrap the person and the foot tub in the sheet and blanket.

Leave the head and neck exposed.

put cold, wet washcloths on the forehead. May also wipe perspiration

Have the person drink water freely throughout the treatment to replace the water lost in sweating. (Note: if you are with an oral (mouth) thermometer, make certain to give water AFTER checking temperature, as drinking may falsely lower the oral temperature reading.)


  • Periodically add hot water to the foot bath to maintain the desired temperature. Place your hand between the hot water being poured and the person’s feet (to avoid burning the feet). Stir water while pouring. Typically continue treatment I 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the goal of the treatment (see below).


 Completing Treatment Procedure:

  • Lift the feet out of the hot water and point the toes upward. Quickly pour cold water over the feet.
  • Remove tub and place feet on the dry towel. Thoroughly dab-dry the feet and toes

Immediately after drying, put on warm socks or slippers to avoid chilling.

  • If a mild treatment was given for (congestion, relaxation, pain, cramps. etc.), and no sweating occurred. The person may wish to rest for a few minutes before resuming activities.

If a moderate treatment was given (congestion, relaxation, pain, cramps, etc.), and mild sweating occurs, briskly rub the skin with a cold washcloth, and then dry the skin with a towel. Remove damp garments and replace them with clean, dry clothing. The person should ideally rest for 20 to 30 minutes after the treatment. If further sweating occurs during rest, take a cool bath or shower to finish the treatment.

If a vigorous treatment was given (colds, flu, mobilizing immune system, etc.), and significant sweating occurs.  wrap the sheet and blanket around the person, walk with them to their bed, tuck them in bed (may wish to keep the sheet and blanket around them to prevent chilling if the regular bed sheets are cold), and let them continue sweating for an hour. If they feel chilled from the dampened clothes, quickly replace wet clothing with dry clothes, and return promptly to bed.

After resting for an hour, and their temperature returns to normal, the person may then get up and take a shower to remove wastes secreted by the body during the treatment.

Specific Treatment Recommendations

  • Congestive headaches, congestion of the lungs, congestion of the pelvic organs, other cases where mild treatment is desired

In this case, movement of the congested blood, relaxation, or relief of pain is the primary goal of the treatment. As such, typically the blanket and the towel around the neck and shoulders are not required, and the goal should not be to cause the person to sweat. Instead, the goal is to regularize the circulation and bring relaxation. Therefore, the water should be maintained at a constant, but very warm temperature. The treatment should be continued for a few minutes after the goal has been reached


  • The person cannot warm up enough or sweat: Give warm water to drink, apply’ more covers, apply a warm fomentation to the back
  • Hyperventilation may occur on rare occasions when the person is losing too much carbon dioxide by breathing too rapidly or too deeply. He may feel light-headed, experience numbness and tingling in his extremities, feel short of breath, and experience other symptoms associated with hyperventilation. Explain to the person the cause of the symptoms, as this often relieves the anxiety, and the hyperventilation goes away on its own. You may have the person breathe slowly and deeply with you, or breathe into a paper bag until the tingling disappears.

(When giving a treatment to a person with diarrhea, encourage adequate water intake (so person urinates regularly, and urine is clear or pale yellow in color). If diarrhea is severe, they may also need a Re-hydration Drink to replenish the electrolytes




Training Material of Light: Lay Institute for Global Health Training (LIGHT)

Wildwood Lifestyle Center research reports

Loma Linda/ Health and Healing Seminar Series,


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