If you feel fatigued and commonly get head colds, you might be tempted to try a detoxification machine, such as a footbath. One device that promises to clear your body of built-up toxins is the IonCleanse Detox Footbath. Although numerous products work in a similar fashion, they may try to “one-up” each other by claiming professional spa qualities or guaranteeing extra cleansing. In the end, however, they are all likely health scams, according to Harvard HEALTHbeat newsletter.


The IonCleanse Detox machine involves pouring water into the footbath, pouring sea salt into the water and letting your feet soak for 20 to 30 minutes. The ionizer in the footbath allegedly helps release positive and negative ions into the water, which your body takes into its pores. The ions are then said to energize your cells, encouraging your cells to release any heavy metals, fat, acid, oil and other debris that have accumulated in your body throughout your life. The fat, particles and mucus you see in the water after you bathe are supposed to reflect wastes that have cleared out of your body during your session.


According to promoters of "detox" foot baths, toxins in your body can lead to health problems such as decreased immunity, which could lead to frequent health problems such as head colds. The IonCleanse footbath website claims that the product can also treat ailments such as fatigue, food allergies, asthma, arthritis and cancer. The website also claims that the IonCleanse product's manufacturers have received reports of users experiencing less pain and inflammation; improved function of the liver, kidneys and colon; boosted recovery times; and improved sleep.


Although promoters of the IonCleanse Detox Footbath claim that the bath can stimulate the outflow of toxins from your feet, no solid evidence supports the claim, according to Harvard HEALTHbeat newsletter. Any change in the water is likely due to corrosion. IonCleanse acknowledges that the color change in the water comes from a combination of the water, metal and salt, but it maintains that substances such as white foam, cheese-like particles and red flecks are related to toxins. The materials in the water probably come from byproducts of the electrolysis process. Byproducts of electrolysis include hydrogen and chlorine gases and lye. Lye can soften your skin, which allows it to flake off into the water and pick up bath colors and further the illusion, according to H20 Dot Con.


You are unlikely to become ill when using the IonCleanse Detox Footbath. However, you risk worsening your health if you invest your hopes in an ionic footbath when you should be making a doctor’s appointment for an underlying health issue. On the other hand, the warm water can be therapeutic if you are well. However, as of November 2010, you will have to pay $1,995 for the machine.


If you are healthy, your body should be able to take care of its own detoxification without the aid of an ionic footbath, according to Harvard HEALTHbeat. Keep your self-cleansing system intact by making healthy choices such as eating nutritious foods and exercising at least 30 minutes a day rather than relying on a footbath to work on your behalf.