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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of footbathing on autonomic nerve and immune function. Eleven healthy female volunteers (aged 22-24 years) undertook footbaths at 42 degrees C for 10 min, with or without additional mechanical stimulation (air bubbles and vibration). Autonomic responses were evaluated by electrocardiography and spectral analysis of heart rate variability, and by measurement of blood flow in the sural region. White blood cell (WBC) counts, ratios of lymphocyte subsets, and natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity were used as indicators of immune function. Footbathing with mechanical stimulation produced (1) significant changes in the measured autonomic responses, indicating a shift to increased parasympathetic and decreased sympathetic activity and (2) significant increases in WBC count and NK cell cytotoxicity, suggesting an improved immune status. Because these physiological changes are likely to be of benefit to health, our findings support the use of footbathing in nursing practice.
Thanks NewsBot for all your posts. I'm having trouble understanding why these investigators would bother to run this study; " healthy" 22-24 y/o's, and no mention of the effect on thromboses. How many healthy young people would want to 'footbath'. Relevance of this study??, mark c
Its does through the clock back a bit. How many patients still ask why we no longer soak feet?
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"our findings support the use of footbathing in nursing practice. "
Toeslayer, sorry, can't see how the authors can claim this. Imagine a "footbath" (with or without vibration) on an ischaemic extremity. Wouldn't an increased localised metabolism, with the 42 deg environment, result in increased localised toxins. With the ischaemia the toxins would accumulate, no? Then the vibration, if used, what of the effect on dislodging emboli (both ways)?
Also "A ten minute foot bath at 46 degrees C, would be standard practice "; I'm not with you Toeslayer? standard practice for whom?, thanks and love your forum inputs!, mark c
I take your point with an ischaemic limb which would be inappropriate for the external application of heat, anyway.
>Also "A ten minute foot bath at 46 degrees C, would be standard practice "; I'm not with you Toeslayer? standard practice for whom?
Description of said antiseptic footbaths are found in podiatric text dealing specifically with the external application of heat. As such this might constitute common practice (especially since the practice has not been refuted - until now?).
Your comment does highlight an interesting point about what is common practice. Textbooks like Reid and le Rosegnol would constitute the basis for much of the common core materia medica taught and practised in the Commonwealth over the last thirty years. Subsequent text have rarely reviewed these practices to the best of my knowledge, which leaves the question, is what's written there acceptable practice, now. In the absence of ebp, local or clustered variations in materia medica may exist but are not necessarily shared, and therefore not common practice.