It’s time to admit it: you need to take a break. With everything that’s been going on for the past couple of months, or even the past year, you must seriously need an overhaul. Maybe a few hours to yourself, relaxing with some parsley water and your favorite soothing music playing in the background. But why settle for such an ordinary way to relax? Why not treat yourself to a great foot spa?
Today, you’ll learn the benefits the best foot spas have to offer and how you can properly set up and administer such a perfect podiatric experience right in the comfort of your own home.
What is a Foot Spa?
A foot spa is one way you can give your feet the break they deserve through careful soaking and pampering. A spa night wouldn’t be complete without a massage, a relaxing soak and a foot spa, after all. But a foot spa isn’t as mysterious or complicated as it sounds. The best foot spas have three stages, each one designed to maximize your relaxation and make your feet as refreshed as possible.
The three stages are as follows:
- The actual foot spa involves soaking your feet in a tub of water, infused with several chemicals. There are different soaking mixtures with different goals. Some aim to soften your skin, others are more concerned with removing dead skin cells from your foot. Other concoctions may aim to perfume your feet instead. This can take anywhere form 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on your package or preference.
- After your feet have soaked in the special concoction, your foot spa attendant may give you a pedicure. This involves scrubbing your feet with pumice stones, grinding away callouses, removing hangnails and trimming your toenails. Some pedicures can also involve giving your toenails a coating of nail polish and other aesthetic procedures.
- Finally, your pampered feet will be massaged. Your foot spa attendant may use their thumbs and fingers to coax circulation around your feet and release tension from your toe joints. This can be a relaxing or a rigorous experience, depending once again on your personal preference.
What are the Benefits of a Foot Spa?
A foot spa has a lot of health benefits, not just because of the relaxing ambience created by spa music, but because the different stages actually contribute to improving your well-being.
From the soak to the massage at the end, it’s more than just a spa night for your feet. For ease of enumeration, here are the mental and physical benefits you may enjoy after the best foot spa sessions.
No one goes to the spa because they feel 100 percent and perky. More often than not, you’re probably craving for a spa night because you’re under considerable amounts of stress and you need to relax. Thankfully, a foot spa, perhaps enjoyed with a nice steaming cup of Darjeeling tea, is a great way to relax.
Relaxation itself has plenty of health benefits, including the following:
- Getting into a relaxed state with the help of a little soak and may be some spa music leads to decreased heart rate. This means less stress to your cardiovascular system and strain to your heart muscles.
- Relaxing also helps you decrease your blood pressure. Such a decrease has been linked to lower risk of strokes and other cardiovascular problems. What’s more, research indicates that lower blood pressure may help your brain stay healthy.
- Relaxation slows down your body systems, from respiration rate to its oxygen consumption. This means you’re under less stress and you don’t feel so wired all the time.
- Relaxation in general allows your mind to feel less burdened. Without adequate relaxation, you could become increasingly anxious, panicky or on the edge. A good soak for your feet followed by a pedicure and a massage can help prevent you from burning out.
A foot spa’s benefits aren’t just restricted to those associated with relaxation. Because you use your feet extensively for walking and because it’s so far away from your heart, they’re potentially unkempt and suffer from poor circulation. This can lead to discomfort in your toes and potentially unattractive feet.
Giving your feet a spa night of their own can lead to the following physical benefits:
- The soak and the scrub during a foot spa is essential for removing dead skin cells from all the nooks and crannies in your feet. There are plenty of fungal foot infections that plague the population, and regular cleanings is important in removing the dead cells which is their ideal growth medium.
- Unattended callouses and bunions can throw off your balance and be uncomfortable. This can impair your ability to do balance-centered exercises like men’s yoga and, if left untreated, can make walking painful. A good pedicure after a long soak can reduce these skin blemishes and make it less likely they’ll develop.
- The foot massage at the end of the best foot spas is important in improving the circulation to your extremities. The rigorous thumb work helps push blood around your toes and feet, resulting in bringing new life to these areas. Increased circulation prevents nerve damage and alleviates potential discomfort.
How Do You Prepare a Proper Foot Spa?
You may be thinking that, given the current health crisis, where in the world can you get a great quality foot spa? With health spas closed or running on strict requirements, you may be hard-pressed to book an appointment. Or you may be hesitant to venture out of your home and go among strangers for a foot spa. Your caution is well-founded and not without merit. Thankfully, you can enjoy the benefits of the best foot spas without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Here is what you’ll need to prepare an excellent spa night for your feet and what you’ll need to do.
What You’ll Need
- A large basin. It should be big enough that it will fit both your feet in comfortably and deep enough you can submerge them past your ankles without water sloshing about.
- A few dozen large, smooth stones. These can act as massagers under the water as you soak your feet.
- Two large towels. One of these towels goes under the basin and the other is for drying your feet.
- A comfortable chair. Preferably one that can recline to give you optimum relaxation. Cushions are highly recommended.
- Your foot soak mixture of choice. There are three basic types of foot spa soaking mixtures: a relaxing soak, a deodorizing soak and a soothing soak. Details on how to come up with soaks will be listed in the procedures section below.
- A pumice stone or similar exfoliating object. This will be used for scrubbing the dead skin cells from your feet after the soak.
- Pedicure tools such as a nail file, nail clippers and nail polish. Should you wish to give yourself a pedicure after your foot spa, these tools are important, so long as you know how to use them properly.
- Massage and essential oils. These are for the massage portion of your spa night. Choose scents that are relaxing or invigorating, depending on your mood.
- Mood-setting accessories. These can be incense sticks, perfumed humidifiers and spa music. Maybe throw a couple of curtains to dim the lights and light some scented candles.
- Set the space. Pull your comfortable chair to an area where you can recline as much as you want and that’s not blocking the door. Fold one of the towels in half and put it at the foot of the chair.
- Make your feet soak mixture. A relaxing herbal soak consists of a few grams of dried lavender, lemon balm, peppermint and rosemary leaves. A few grams of chamomile are also very calming. Boil these herbs in three cups of water and strain them out. You can add the liquid to your soak later. For a deodorizing foot spa soak, pour a cup of Epsom salt along with 2 cups of baking soda in a large jar. Add a few drops of peppermint oil. For a soothing foot soak, combine a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a cup sea salt. Set these three mixtures aside.
- Build the mood. Dim the lights and light scented candles. Spray some relaxing scents around. Open your laptop and play some relaxing spa music. All these trappings are essential in getting you into a more relaxed state.
- Set up the soak. Fill the plastic tub with warm water and place it on the folded towel. Stir in the mixture of your choice. Don’t use more than half a cup of each mixture. Make sure they’re fully incorporated or dissolved. Drop in the smooth, round stones into the water.
- Dip your feet. Sit down on the chair and slip your feet into the tub. Gently rolls your feet over the smooth stones to massage them. Let soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Get scrubbing. Use the pumice stone on your feet, removing the dead skin cells. Remember to rub the stone along the grain of your skin for better results. Soak your feet once more to dislodge the cells.
- Dry and finish. Remove your feet from the soak and dry your feet with the second towel. You can follow your foot spa with a pedicure, trimming your nails and such, as well as a massage with the oils.
A foot spa doesn’t have to be an expensive luxury reserved for the very wealthy. The health benefits associated with the best foot spas can be yours to claim with the right tools and the proper ingredients. So the next time you want to settle down and relax for a few hours, give your feet the spa night they deserve and enjoy.