Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily’s Tricia Swenson searched the valley for alternative wellness modalities that are lesser-known and have proven benefits. Follow along each Sunday in January and discovery other ways to work wellness into your life in 2023.
New Year, new habits, right? At least that is what you tell yourself. But, one way to get on a healthier track is to reset your system to prepare for the changes you want to make habitual. The ionic detox foot bath at Vail Valley Wellness is a good place to start.
I’d heard about detoxification through the feet and how “black” the water can get, so I was very curious about the process and benefits behind putting your feet into a copper tub full of warm water with little red and black cables that remind me of what I jump my car with. Becky Burgess, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine and owner of Vail Valley Wellness in EagleVail, quickly put me at ease, explaining the scientific process and procedure.
“Basically, we all have this buildup of positive ions and that’s from stress and toxins such as environmental toxins, from being sick, from surgeries, poor diet, all of that. What we’re trying to do is remove free radicals from your system and remove cellular waste so that we can bring your body back into ideal balance,” Burgess said.
At Vail Valley Wellness, Ionic Detox Foot Baths have been done on kids as young as 5 and adults as old as 90.
“It’s really safe for nearly everyone and it’s great if you are trying to reset your body. If you’ve been sick for a while, this reset cleans your system. This is good if you are about to start a new habit, like eating healthier or just make a big change in your life,” Burgess said. “It is equal to a seven-day cleanse over a 35-minute period while you’re sitting down enjoying a cup of tea.”
I did get a cup of tea that I selected from a whole wall full of jars of loose-leaf tea. Then, it was time to dip my feet into the process, literally.
“We have you in a copper foot tub because that is going to amplify the effects of this detox. The main unit in there is called the optimizer and then you have a positive and a negative electrode in there, then we connect it to our machine and we add some salt to the tub and the salt is going to be your connector, so right now we are creating a circuit,” explained Burgess.
“Your body is made up of mostly water so we are working via osmosis. We are trying to pull out the toxicity and refill your cells. When your cells get toxic and taxed, they start to shrivel up like raisins and we want them to be full like grapes. So, you can kind of think of this as if we are using clean water from the tub to refill your cells and then we’re pulling any free radicals and cellular waste out so we can optimize your pH,” Burgess said.
I must admit, I really wanted my water to look as clean as possible, almost like I was trying to pass the test, or be the “best” at the Ionic Detox Foot Bath challenge, but slowly and surely, my water turned many dark colors.
“Nearly everyone’s water looks pretty disgusting,” Burgess said. “The good news is that it is out of your body and not in your body.”
Burgess went on to explain the different colors we were seeing and what they mean. The lighter yellow in my tub referred to the digestive system, the orange can indicate oxidative stress on joints, the darker black areas indicate kidney function. Foam can highlight issues with your lymphatic system.
“Something like dry brushing is going to help relieve your lymphs and you just need to clean out your lymphs because they’re not going to move on their own,” Burgess said. “We’ll look at your foot bath, read your results and we’ll make some recommendations based on that. Everything from taking probiotics to doing a candida cleanse to dry brushing, so then you can take that information and use it not only to detox but also as a tool for diagnosis, so that you can help yourself moving forward.”
Burgess said the benefits range from improving blood circulation and skin tone and texture, to decreasing swelling and easing chronic pain. She also said Vail Valley Wellness uses this a lot to help those who have lime disease and mold toxicity.
“Most people, after they do this, feel lighter, they feel more clear-headed, like their brains are just working a little bit better. Ideally, if they are starting to feel sick, they feel that congestion just break up and are able to heal much, much faster,” Burgess said.
I will admit that I did feel lighter. I felt like I was ready to tackle some projects and was clear-headed. And, it was only 35 minutes. It was a time where I could relax and drink some delicious tea. I realized could get used to this. They even have a room where you can bring a few friends and you all do the Ionic Detox Foot Bath at the same time. It’s the ultimate catch-up session while doing something good for the group.
Some people will do just one ionic detox foot bath every now and then, just for a reset, but if you are really focused on what detoxing you can do for you, Burgess suggests you do one a week for five weeks.
“Ideally, you do see the bath get lighter and lighter each time, but it’s never going to be clear. That is something that the naysayers point out and say, ‘oh, well, you can do this without feet” and we’ve experimented where we have that (the tub) next to you and the water turns a light yellow but that is because our water is toxic, our air is toxic, we’re lining the copper tubs in plastic, things like that, so it will never be completely clear, but ideally you see a change. It’s going to pull where you need to detox, from where you need it most first, so when you are doing the series, you can get a little deeper,” Burgess said.
The ionic detox foot bath is priced at $49 per 35-minute session or five sessions for $200.
“This is totally manageable, I feel like this is our “gateway drug” for holistic medicine. Especially for men coming in here and it might get minds thinking about what else I can do for their health. It’s a low-cost investment that doesn’t take much time and it’s a good way to get the wheels turning,” Burgess said.
So, grab a friend and take some time, 35 minutes at least, to reconnect, have some tea and reset your body for good things to come in the new year. For more information, go to VailValleyWellness.com.