The Benefits of Ice Water for the Feet

Odds are, it'll be pretty hard for you to dip your feet into ice water, but when you see all the benefits it provides you won’t want to pass up this remedy.
The Benefits of Ice Water for the Feet
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Written by Ángela Aragón

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Your feet are the part of the body that experience the most stress and fatigue. Eastern medicine takes that one step further, however. It warns that the soles of the feet contain a large number of nerve endings that are connected to the rest of your body. That means that they are a kind of doorway to your well-being that you shouldn’t neglect. Eastern medicine recommends using ice water as treatment.
The feet are also a great way to access your immune system. As you know, it’s in charge of keeping you protected against external threats as well as internal issues.

In this sense, soaking your feet in ice water is a convenient way to fight any affliction.

The benefits of exposure to ice water

Ice water on the feet can have great benefits on your health

No doubt you already know how vaccines work. The virus or disease is introduced to your body so it can develop a shield that will prevent you from contracting it in the future.

Following this reasoning, it makes sense to use cold water to prepare your feet for the wintertime. It stimulates blood flow with vascular contractions that make it easier for blood to circulate throughout the body.

Your legs suffer the bulk of this type of problem; while it’s easy for blood to flow downward toward your feet, the reverse process is more complicated. Gravity is the key.

That’s why an ice water bath for your feet can be a big improvement for your circulatory system by propelling the blood to reach the heart.

Still, it’s best to do this with discipline and a clear method. That way, you can improve all its benefits and eliminate the possibility of any complications.

Ice water baths for the feet

Feet in ice water

The treatment that we’re going to discuss is intended to last for 15 days. It’s best done at night so your body can relax and absorb all of the benefits.

There’s no need to spend a lot of time doing this: all you need to do is soak your feet for 15 seconds.

What do you need?

  • A bucket or a pan with tall sides, large enough for your feet and deep enough to submerge them completely in the ice bath
  • Water
  • About 18 ice cubes

How do you do it?

  • Once you have everything ready, wait for the water to cool completely. Immerse your feet in the ice water until they are completely covered.
  • During the first few seconds you’ll experience some pain, but don’t worry – your extremities will quickly warm up in the water.

This is due to the law of thermodynamics: a warmer body provides heat to the colder one until they reach the same temperature. After 15 seconds, remove your feet from the bath.

As we mentioned, this simple procedure will better oxygenate your body. As a result, your muscles, bones, and organs will obtain the nutrition that they need.

At the same time, you’re defending yourself against the attack of microbes and bacteria that are always present in the air, waiting to catch you off guard.

Soaking your feet in ice water also serves as a cure

Boost the immune system with this treatment

So far we’ve seen that this is a tool to help you prevent future problems. However, it’s also great if you’re suffering from a cold or the flu.

If you have one of these ailments, repeat the same procedure for four hours.

In addition to quickly lowering your fever, your immune system will respond with strength against the infection or germs. Your ailment will disappear within a few days and with it, the discomfort that it produced.

In this case, it’s a good idea to alternate cold and hot water foot baths to improve the elimination of toxins and other harmful elements.

With this combination, you’ll invigorate your body through the ice and then expel any toxins that are left. As you can see, the idea that you should avoid water when you’re congested doesn’t have much truth behind it.

This is a simple and inexpensive way to ward off conditions that threaten your daily activities. It also helps you rest and relax your feet to face the next day with fresh energy.

It will help you unwind and also marks the moment when your time for yourself begins. You’re done with your obligations.

It’s your turn: do you want to try it?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Block JE. Cold and compression in the management of musculoskeletal injuries and orthopedic operative procedures: a narrative review. Open Access J Sports Med. 2010;1:105–113. Published 2010 Jul 7.
  • Mac Auley, D. C. (2001). Ice therapy: how good is the evidence? International Journal of Sports Medicine.
  • Mooventhan A, Nivethitha L. Scientific evidence-based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body. N Am J Med Sci. 2014;6(5):199–209. doi:10.4103/1947-2714.132935
  • White GE, Wells GD. Cold-water immersion and other forms of cryotherapy: physiological changes potentially affecting recovery from high-intensity exercise. Extrem Physiol Med. 2013;2(1):26. Published 2013 Sep 1. doi:10.1186/2046-7648-2-26

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.