Are Foot Spas Safe?

Let’s start by pointing out that reflexology is just so much woo. It is pseudoscience. The medical community has found no evidence that supports any claims that reflexology cures, treats, or prevents any ailment.

Yanking on your pinkie toe is not going to clear your sinuses. Just blow your nose. However, no one can deny that soaking and/or massaging your feet feels good and can help you relax. Relaxation can allow the body to heal itself.

To achieve this sort of relaxation, many people invest in a foot spa. There are different types of spas to fit any budget or need. Some are so basic as to be little more than a fancy basin. Some have tons of bells and whistles.

The jury is out on what specific health problems they can help but they do relieve stress. This alone can lead to overall wellbeing. What more can we learn about the foot spa?

are foot spas safe

Are Foot Spas Good For Your Feet?

As long as you follow all safety precautions, they can be. They improve blood circulation and release the tension of tight muscles.

Benefits Of A Foot Spa

Hydrotherapy and massage can improve the blood flow which reduces stress and improves mood and wellbeing. It’s a simple, non-invasive way to get to this state. Some find getting into this state of calm relieves migraines and reduces anxiety. Some people like to toss in a few essential oils to soften their skin and create a relaxing scent.

Types Of Foot Spas

First of all, don’t waste your money on a “detoxification” foot bath. Your kidneys and liver remove toxins from your body. Sticking your feet in electrified salt water does not.

A legitimate foot spa provides warm, bubbling water and perhaps some massage features but beware of anything that claims to remove toxins or manipulate energy or anything else that sounds “out there”.

A massage feature will consist of interchangeable plates at the bottom of the tub that may roll or vibrate in order to produce a stimulating massage. Some have a pedicure center.

It works by applying pressure to your feet using four different rotating attachments. A pumice stone and a rotating exfoliating brush are included. Some baths may feature an infrared heating pad on the bottom for heat therapy.

Do Foot Spas Really Work?

Define “work”. If by “work” you mean to get your feet warm, wet, and massaged, yes. Your circulation may be simulated and your muscles relaxed. The only “detoxification” is maybe your feet will be cleaner.

Saltwater may kill any fungus on your feet but the electrodes do nothing. If the water changed color, that is from rust from the electrodes caused by the ionization in saltwater. Your qi or chakras or whatever will not be aligned. Keep your expectations realistic and yes, a foot spa can work.

How Does A Foot Spa Work?

If you’re talking about the detoxers, they don’t. Anything that claims to “detox” your feet is a hoax. Now, if you want to reduce swelling, you soak in Epsom salts. They will break down as magnesium and sulfate in the water.

If you want to get rid of the fungus, use vinegar. Baking soda can kill odors and soothe insect bites. If you got something a little fancier than an ordinary stockpot, the features are generally electric-powered.

Are Electric Foot Spas Safe?

The only article I could find that seriously questioned the safety of electric foot baths was from 2011 and centered in Hong-Kong. You might want to read the instruction manual to see if it’s safe to add salts or oils. If you use a little common sense, it should be as safe as any other electrical appliance in your home.

Are Foot Spas Safe For Diabetics?

They do get very hot. Not good for people with neuropathy. Soaking the skin also makes it more prone to damage. Diabetics are better off using balms and elevation.

Are Foot Spas Safe In Pregnancy?

There are controversial opinions regarding this issue. Some professionals see that there is no harm of using foot spas provided that you follow all sensible safety rules since a foot spa can relieve some of the foot swelling that comes with pregnancy.

Others see that vibrating foot spas or massagers like the Shiatsu ones could induce labor by causing uterine contractions as they stimulate pressure points on the soles of the feet. So if you decide to use a foot spa, first you need to talk with your obstetrician and seek his guidance regarding your specific case.

Also, try to avoid using it before the third trimester and you should read the instructions carefully like not exceeding the suggested session time. One more thing to consider is to take care of the essential oils or substances that you use within the foot spa and stay away from those that might compromise your safety.

Are Fish Foot Spas Safe?

For you or the fish? The answer is neither. The fish foot spa consists of putting your feet in a tub of water containing small fish of the Garra rufa variety. These fish eat the dead skin.

This treatment is banned in ten states for good reason. The tubs cannot be cleaned and it is impossible to sanitize a fish. And frankly, starving an animal and force-feeding it the dirty, dead skin from your feet is just cruel.

Who Should Not Use A Foot Spa?

Do you suffer from vascular disease or arteriosclerosis? Don’t use the foot spa. It has been already established that the foot spa is not for diabetics. They are not suitable for frostbitten feet either.

How To Use Foot Spa Machine?

Takes precautions before you start. Keep away from heat sources and use it in an open space. Keep away from children and animals and do not use it if you have an open wound. Always start with clean feet.

  • First, set up the machine on a level surface.
  • Plug-in the machine and have the remote and any other paraphernalia nearby.
  • Turn it on and set up the desired temperature.
  • Sit down, get comfortable, put in your feet, and be ready for a relaxing experience.

How Long Should You Soak Your Feet In A Foot Spa?

Keep in mind that the temperature can get to anywhere from 98° F to 120° F. Don’t go for more than twenty minutes at a time if you don’t want foot soup.

How Often Should You Use A Foot Spa?

You may use a foot spa machine two to three times per week depending on your needs and condition.

Do You Put Hot Or Cold Water In A Foot Spa?

Hot water is good for soaking your feet in. If the basin heats up the water, it doesn’t matter what temperature water you pour in. If you like, you can switch over to a cold soak for five minutes after you’re done.

What To Put In Foot Spa Water To Soften Feet?

Epsom salt works great, of course. If you want to exfoliate, try mixing the Epsom salt with lemon juice and vinegar. Using a pumice stone afterward works as well.

Can You Use Epsom Salt In Foot Spa?

You might and you might not. Read the instructions that came with your spa.

How Much Epsom Salts Do You Put In A Foot Spa?

Half a cup should do it if it’s a small tub just big enough to hold enough water to cover your ankles.

What Does Epsom Salts Do For Feet?

It is an anti-inflammatory agent, an exfoliant, and a fungicide. Epsom salts do not cure infections but it does draw out the infection and soften the skin. This is why it is used for splinter removal as well. Some health problems and medications do not mix with Epsom salts. Consult your doctor.

Why Can’t Diabetics Soak Their Feet In Epsom Salts?

First of all, soaking feet can dry the skin, something a diabetic does not need. Soaking can cause cracks to swell and allow in germs. People with neuropathy, in particular, have to keep from overheating their feet.

Can You Put Bubble Bath In A Foot Spa?

Sure, if you don’t mind being consumed by a giant packing peanut. The bubbling action of the spa makes it a bad idea to add any bubble bath. You’ll have more bubbles than Lawrence Welk.

Can You Put Bath Bombs In A Foot Spa?

A bath bomb combined with a vibrating soak can be relaxing. Check to see if your particular type of spa can handle it.

Can You Use Bath Bomb And Bubble Bath Together?

You’re the kid who liked putting Mentos in diet Coke, aren’t you? That’s about the reaction you’ll get.

Do Foot Spas Help Dry Skin?

If you have dry and cracked skin, a foot spa may be able to help you out. Remember to moisturize after you’re done.

Do Foot Spas Help With Circulation?

That is something they can do. Massage combined with hot water is sure to improve your circulation, stimulate your muscles, reduce all tension and in many cases even ease the pain.

Foot Spa Vs. Foot Massager

The big difference between the two is that the spa uses water so your feet can get a good scrub as well as a massage. The spa uses bubbles, jets, or a waterfall to create massage. The massager may be able to do a heavy shiatsu style massage if you think you need something a little rougher.

Do Foot Massagers Really Work?

Just ten minutes after a hard day can do wonders for tired, sore feet. It not only reduces soreness in muscles but can strengthen the ankles.

Types Of Foot Massagers

There are manual massagers that you simply roll your foot over. With electric foot massagers, you just plug them in and let it do the work. Both do the job of relaxing sore muscles.

How Does A Foot Massager Work?

Electric foot massagers gently knead your joints and muscles in order to relax the muscles and tendons. Many electric massagers let you select the kind of massage you want. This could be an air compression-style or a rolling massage.

Are Electric Foot Massagers Good For You?

It does improve blood circulation and reduces stress and tension. Aches and pains will also be reduced. This can lead to overall better health.

How To Use Foot Massager Machine?

Electric foot massagers usually have speed settings you can adjust yourself. With a manual massager, you just run your foot back and forth over it.

How Long Should You Use A Foot Massager?

Anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes should do the trick.

Can You Use A Foot Massager If You Have Diabetes?

If you suffer neuropathy, it can be difficult to tell if your feet are too hot or being pinched too hard. This can lead to blistering and bruising. It’s best for diabetics to stick to old fashioned massage by hand.

Top Foot Spa And Massager Brands

The ACEVIVI is a top seller with lots of attractive bells and whistles. Ivation has more basic features but is less expensive and has bubbling action. The Kendal FB09 is large and easy to use. ArtNaturals can be used with salts and oils.


If your goal is to rid your body of toxins, drink the water instead of soaking in it. It will stimulate your kidneys and flush out the toxins. (Speaking of flushing, you may feel an urge to run for the toilet. That just means its working.)

If your goal is cleaner feet and improved circulation with a relaxing experience then a foot spa is what you need. In the best circumstances, it is as safe to use as your toaster.


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