I’m a huge fan of hydrotherapy because it makes me feel so great for such easy and cheap treatments that address so many health concerns. Cold water treading is an old traditional secret from the 19th century. It is found to be beneficial for poor circulation, sinus congestion, varicose veins, runners with exhausted legs, insomnia, nervousness, people with occupations that involves a lot of standing, even general fatigue. I use it whenever I’m in on my feet all day or after wearing high heels. Ever since I learned about this treatment, I always do it when I come home from a night out in stilettos when my feet and legs feel swollen and heavy. I used to just tough out the pain or take an Advil but the swelling would continue on to the next day, even putting on running shoes would hurt. I never have to feel that way again!
HOW TO DO IT:
1. Make sure there is a towel, a bath mat and a 5-minute timer next to the bathtub ready.
2. Run cold water into the bath until the water level is just above your ankles. The water should actually be so cold that it takes your breath away at first but don’t worry, you’ll get used to the temperature after a few seconds.
3. Brace the side of the bathtub wall or a railing if you have one installed (if you have poor balance, stay seated on the ledge of the bathtub with your feet inside)
4. March in place in the water until the timer is up
5. Exit the tub carefully, rub your feet and legs vigorously with the towel to warm up and dry off.
6. Next time you do it, try increasing the time to 8-10 minutes.
HOW IT WORKS:
The movement of your legs going up and down/in and out of the cold water really gets the blood pumping to and from the lower extremities This will increase circulation and your body will feel invigorated! I find cold water treading works better than a foot massage, propping legs up on pillows etc. Chronic inflammation in your feet and legs can lead to other health problems like back pain, varicose veins even heart problems… so take care of your feet! Let me know if you like it!
MY SPECIAL TOUCH:
I always use a cooling peppermint body lotion on my feet and legs after step 5. The menthol feels so nice and is a great spa-like way to end the treatment. I like this one that I get at Whole Foods or Loblaws, “Avalon Organics Hand & Body Lotion”, $12
DO NOT do cold water treading if you have rheumatoid arthritis in your ankles or toes, have sciatica or pelvic inflammation.