One of the treatments you may have seen at your last spa visit is the ionic foot bath. In the bath, salted water is separated, or "ionized," into positive and negative ions. The negative ones are thought to help with detoxification. You can also do this treatment at home using a home ionic-detox foot bath. The product is simple to use, but the main issue you'll have to deal with is making sure the bath's parts are in good working order.
Inspect the positive rods that come with the bath. When the stainless steel rods are new, they'll be a width of 3/8 of an inch for the "Mini" models or a 1/2 inch for the "Pro" models. As you use the machine, the positive rods will wear down much faster than the negative ones. Compare the sizes of the two and replace the positive rods if they're more than 2/3 worn down. You can order new rods from the manufacturer.
Place the foot bath on the floor in front of a comfortable chair.
Fill the bath with very warm water -- up to the fill line indicated on the inside of the bath.
Scoop sea salt -- never iodized salt -- into the foot bath. The amount of salt you'll use depends on the type of bath you have and the type of water you're using. Use 1 1/4 teaspoons for the Model One/MiniOne when you're using tap water or use 1 teaspoon with soft water. Use 1 teaspoon for the Model Two/MiniTwo with tap water or use 3/4 of a teaspoon with soft water. Use slightly less than 1 teaspoon for the Model Pro and MiniPro models with tap water and use 3/4 of a teaspoon for soft water.
Plug the red connector cable into the red rod array and the black connector cable into the black rod array. Set the array into the bottom of the foot bath, making sure to keep the aluminum upper portion of the array out of the water.
Plug the power cord into the power adapter and then insert the plug into an electrical outlet. Flip the power switch to "On."
Take off any ankle bracelets, toe rings or other metal jewelry that may touch the water.
Place your feet into the bath for 30 to 40 minutes. For more detox effects, soak your feet twice a week.
Turn the power switch to "Off" and remove the array from the bath. Dump out the water and then soak the elements in a solution of two parts water to one part vinegar for a few minutes. Then, brush off the elements with an old toothbrush to remove any particles that have accumulated on them. Pat the elements dry with an old towel.
Adding more salt can provide more of a detoxification effect, according to the Ionic Oasis company. However, don't exceed 4 teaspoons of salt per bath.
People on blood thinners or who have blood disorders, epilepsy or some other conditions should not use this product. If you're not sure, talk to your doctor before using it.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.