Detox Foot Spa (before)Detox Foot Bath (after)
You may have seen pictures similar to the above. Many manufacturers and practitioners claim that it removes toxic matter in the body by soaking your feet in an aqua tub. The treatment is normally given by soaking your feet in water with salt added to aid the conductivity of the water. Then, low electrical current is transmitted through two electrodes.
They claim that water turning reddish brown is the toxic matter removed from the body. Depending on the color, they claim that yellowish color is from the kidney and bladder toxins, orange is from arthritis-related illness, dark brown is from liver-related diseases, and so on. Scientifically, these claims are 100% nonsensical!
Here’s what really happens. The color of water changes due to a process called “electrolysis”. The brown toxins you see are from the rust generated by the corrosion of the iron electrodes! The different variations in color can be accounted by varying amount of salt added to the water and variations in the compositions of the electrodes. The color of water will change with or without soaking your feet in it.
Dialysis results from several sources also show that the brown stuff that appears in the bathwater is iron-based, and that the bathwater showed no sign of urea or creatinine, supporting the fact that detoxification does not apply. In fact, some marketers admitted this and opted in emphasizing “energy balance” in their sales pitches. They also use pseudoscience of toxins, bio-energy, bio-stimulation, cellular energy, and other science jargons to mislead people.
Also, among many commercialized detox foot spa machines, they claim that their machines create negative ions in the water that revitalize the dead cells and organs in the body. There is no definite proof that water can be ionized properly. Ionized water may supposedly mean that the water is ionized, although it is unclear what this claim means precisely. It is claimed that water in an electric field will self-ionize. Pure water at room temperature and normal pressure always self-ionizes to 10–14 M, and it is impossible to force the water permanently into a higher state of ionization without adding other chemicals. However, even if it is possible to ionize the water, it is difficult to prove it. I do not believe it.
Frankly, we do not believe it either.
What do professionals have to say about it?
Don’t get suckered into buying or paying for a session in an ionic detoxifcation foot bath! Guess what, the water turns “toxic” colors whether your feet are in there or not, because it is just the corrosion of the electrodes that causes the water to change color. The manufacturer below says that “sales pitches” are used to make people think that different colors mean different toxins were ionically removed from the body through the soles of the feet; in reality it is just the results of passing an electic current between electrodes in a conductive solution of water. Their own studies (backed by other independent fraud investigation analyses) find only what you would expect to find in water where electrolysis took place, ie, no “toxins” released from the body were found.
Think about it, how likely are your feet to start “leaking toxins”, if that happened then you’d find that happening in whirlpool spas etc. It doesn’t happen.
Those of you who are selling these or selling sessions in them should at a minumum stop charging for the sessions since they are worthless and you do not want to ripoff your clients do you? Hopefully you can get a refund from whomever sold it to you since they misrepresented it. Those of you who sold them should encourage your customers to return them and then return the units to the manufacturers. Don’t sell them based on anecdotal evidence alone, and don’t be part of the scam! If you’re selling them based on anecdotal evidence then try running the unit with no one in it to verify what the manufacturer says below, and stop using that sales pitch.
Here’s what a manufacturer says about them:
There are several ‘Detox’ systems based around Foot Spas on the market today. Some manufacturers and retailers of such products make claims of purification and Detoxification that attract a lot of people. At beauty and health equipment exhibitions there are numerous stands that offer this kind of therapy and many visitors volunteer to give it a try.
But how effective is it really and how does it actually work? Is the fact that the water changes colour really proof that the Spa is detoxifying the body? Dr. Mary Staggs Ph.D. D.N. F.B.I.H., of the Mary Staggs clinic in Estepona, Southern Spain, is interviewed by R. B. Research.
Dr Staggs, we understand you were the first person to bring the concept of Ionic Foot Spa Detox systems into Europe?
Yes, back in 2001, I heard about Ionic Foot Spa’s from both Dr Corey in Florida and Dr Morney in Denver Colorado. They had been working on the technique for some time before I was introduced to it. I found it fitted directly in with my research so I became involved in order to develop it further and decided to bring the concept to Europe.
What does the system consist off?
It’s a Footbath into which we introduce an array. This is coupled to a power unit, which generates a low voltage electrical current – with both positive and negative polarities – which, due to the conductivity of saline water, work together to produce the desired effect.
Why did you become interested in ‘Ionic Foot Spa Detox’ systems?
Since it seemed this was a type of natural Detox process, I thought it would fit nicely alongside other therapies that I was using in the field of nutrition. The basic principle of the treatment was electrolysis and electro dialysis. But what caught my attention most early on was how the water, that the feet were submersed in, changed colour.
Some manufacturers claim that these colours correspond to specific body fluids, like cholesterol, uric acid, bile, blood, and even certain types of fats. What do you think of these claims?
Such claims are no more than a ‘sales pitch’. From the early stages of development it was suggested that certain colours corresponded to certain types of organ drainage from the kidneys, liver, intestines and so on. But when we started our investigations, within the parameters of biochemistry, we found only Iron Sulphate in the water. We could not show the presence of Albumin or any other type of liquid, any kind of increment of sodium or potassium, urea, bilirubin transaminates, sugar and so on.
So why does the water change colour?
There are many factors that come into play. But basically we are talking about electrolysis.
In order to produce electrolysis, we need an ionised solution to close the electric circuit between two electrodes. These electrodes, when connected to a source of continuous currents are submerged in a carrier solution – one charge is positive (anode) and the other negative (cathode).
This action produces ionisation. The positive ions within the solution will move towards the cathode and negative ones towards the anode. The word electrolysis means to rupture, separate, by means of electricity, through galvanic current. The water that is used has its own impurities that, due to the electrolysis, are drawn towards or separated from other components. The consequent ionisation in the water results in the formation of solids that are deposited on the floor of the container and that float on the surface of the water. Bubbles also appear and at the same time the water changes colour.
We must also remember that the arrays are metallic and release waste, which in turn results in an electrolytic reaction causing corrosion. Another influencing matter is what we introduce into the water, eg. our feet. These have their own properties such as acidity or alkalinity. The skin can also contain remnants of soap, creams, nail varnish, pollutants and dyes from shoes, including shoe polish, bacteria, fungi and fibres. There might also be a release of substances from the sebaceous glands and dead cells. All these factors combined will influence the colour change.
We must consider the internal condition of the body, which will influence and manifest itself in the water. Here we need to take into account sub dermis conditions, the capillary microcirculation and other internal influences that can be emitted through the largest human organ, the skin. Last of all, temperature will also affect the chemical reactions in the water.
If we take into account all these factors we can begin to understand why the water changes colour.
Is the change in colour of water the same for every treatment and for every individual?
No. Different treatments, individuals and water sources are likely to yield different colours but in all our investigations we detected no biological substances, furthermore the colours do not correspond to any pathological state or any organ deficit or any specific bodily excretion. The reasons for the change in water are as I’ve already mentioned, but also we could add improper rinsing of detergents used in the cleaning of the array and the bowl, which might produce bubbles.
THESE BATHS and PADS ARE AN ABSOLUTE SCAM. IT’S QUACKERY…
“The process is called “electrocoagulation.” Essentially the device is coagulating the colloidal minerals and organic materials (such as algae) which are normally held in electrostatic suspension, and bringing them to the surface. This process has been around for decades. It’s used to treat wastewater in 3rd world countries. This home “detox” and others such as “Alimtox” are nothing but a hoax. It’s modern snake oil!
Another opinion: “Almost Every doctor in the world knows this process is not valid because it is a simple scam on anecdotal evidence to guide them in a diagnosis, they always begin with “how do you feel” or tell me about the pain etc. This process is not valid because it is a simple scam that preys on the unsuspecting and believing public”.
So, are the foot baths a hoax? Yes and no.
Obviously, anyone who claims they pull toxins out of the body is either misinformed or is intentionally trying to mislead others. The color changes, particles, and foam are all just show – and are created by the electrical array, not by toxins leaving the body. But since the foot baths do appear to have legitimate therapeutic effects, I don’t think it’s fair to consider them a complete hoax.That being said,
do I recommend detox foot baths? No. Assuming that I am correct about the stimulation of acupuncture meridians, there are other methods of getting the same benefits, many of which are probably more cost-effective in the long run than the detox foot baths. But for people who enjoy them and feel that the benefits are worth the cost, I see nothing wrong with using them. “From another person: “complete hoax designed to remove your money from your wallet.
It is just a chemical reaction with the metal plates, or chemicals (different versions of the “foot detox” are available” ) when a weak electric current is applied. You can prove this by doing everything EXCEPT put your feet in the water….it will still turn funny colours.
There is absolutely no scientific reason to think that toxins can be sucked out of your body through your feet…that makes no sense physiologically, biochemically or anatomically.”