There’s been a considerable amount of attention and questions directed toward our foot bath protocol (see Figure 1 for a visual) the past few weeks, and understandably so.
I saw someone with their feet in a tub of water,” a client said, cautiously.. “You don't actually turn the machine on when they're in there... do you?'
Actually, we do!
I get it, it’s weird. Water and electricity should never be mixed - we are taught this from a very young age. (Disclaimer: Please don't try to mix electricity and water in the confines of your own home/gym - it should only be done under the guidance of a Premier therapist).
Yet, this methodology consists of just that, and it's helped our clients to consistently (and safely) accelerate recovery from foot and ankle issues.
So, let the paradigm shift begin... in this case, the combination of electricity + water is safe and helpful!
Before I go into the whats and the whys of the foot bath protocol, let’s take a look at an example of what that combo can do for a sprained ankle.
Figure 2 (below) shows a few pictures from a #PremierFamily member who suffered a grade 2+ ankle sprain during a high school football game. The photo on the left was taken before session #1 at Premier on 8/20/17 and the other two photos were taken 4 days later after session #8.
I know what you're thinking..."Ok, that is ridiculous. 4 days of work and that ankle looks brand new."
So, how does it work? Why are we instructing clients to put their feet in water when electricity will clearly be part of the equation?
The benefits of the foot bath are multi-factorial and could easily turn into a series of blogs. For the sake of time (and short attention spans), I'll just summarize briefly.
The foot bath protocol helps to….
1. Neurologically relax muscles, preparing them to absorb force
There are over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the foot. If any of the muscles are not absorbing force efficiently, another part of the foot, ankle or body are taking on extra strain to pick up the slack.
In order for a muscle to absorb force as efficiently as possible, it must must be able to stay relaxed under stressful conditions. When the muscles can relax and absorb force efficiently, it creates a better healing environment for foot conditions (sprained ankle, broken foot, plantar fasciitis, etc.), and can accelerate recovery.
2. Identify compensation patterns
As we turn the power up on the electricity, the foot and ankle respond by going into compensated positions. By correcting these compensation patterns, we can start re-training the muscles of the foot/ankle to move efficiently through an increased range of motion. When the foot/ankle moves efficiently, it reduces the risk for a repeat injury (looking at you all those repeat ankle sprainers...)
3. Train the nervous system to stay in a relaxed state under stressful conditions
The foot bath is an extremely intense process, which can also have a more global effect on the body. While we are only directly targeting the foot/ankle with the bath, we are also training the mind, nervous system, and body to stay relaxed under intense (stressful) conditions. The benefits of this type of training can carry over to other stressful situations on the field, at home, and in the work place. In other words, if you can find relaxation in the foot bath, you can find relaxation anywhere :-) A relaxed mind and body recovers faster, focuses better, and comes back the next day ready to perform.
We've helped numerous #PremierFamily members using this “crazy” electricity and water concept, including clients suffering from planter fasciitis, ankle sprains and strains, foot fractures, bunions, heel spurs, and even post-surgery Achilles ruptures.
I know we've only discussed 3 ways in which this method can help, but hopefully we will meet again down the road in another blog to talk more about electricity and water.
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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