A detox machine is a modern take on an ancient Japanese practice of soaking one's feet in hot springs for a rejuvenating experience. The term ashiu refers to bathing one's feet in hot springs for curative purposes. These devices are called by many names, frequently using terms such as "ion," "ionization," "detoxification" and "foot bath." The use of detox machines typically involves soaking feet in a warm, mildly electrified bath with a solution of salts, plant extracts or mineral oils.
Using the detoxification machine is said to help with a variety of aliments and conditions. Some people use it to reduce pain, relieve tension and combat stress. The machine might have an effect on these conditions more because of the soothing and relaxing nature of a foot bath rather than electrifying the water and its contents. Some other ailments that are treated with the detox machine include suboptimal oxygen levels in the blood, obesity and skin problems.
The detox machine is a small basin large enough for the user to soak his or her feet, and it usually includes wrist bands to help with conduction. Two electrodes in the bath ionize the water and its contents. The solution turns from a pristine clear appearance to a range of colors, including muddy orange or yellow color. This is said to be the result of toxins being drawn from the body into the water. The detox machine's process takes about 15 to 30 minutes per soak, and it can take five to 10 treatments for the user to begin feeling results.
Manufacturers of the detoxification machine have a color-coded system to determine how the foot bath is working. Black water indicates a problem with the liver, green signifies that the machine is cleansing the kidneys and orange water means that there is a problem in the joints. White foam in the water suggests that mucus is being removed from the lymph system.
Some common ingredients might be added to the purifying solution in the detox machine. Household spices such as ground ginger, garlic or pepper can be used, as well as more exotic ingredients such as bamboo or carrot leaves. The aroma of the herbs can add to the rejuvenating experience.
Skeptics claim that the detox machine does no more than an ordinary soak would do. These medicinal foot baths have not been proved to be a miracle cure for cleansing internal organs, removing toxic fats or purifying circulatory and lymphatic systems. Rather than toxins from within the body, the color changes in the water likely are the result of the ionization of the solution, according to skeptics. For that reason, potential users of the detox machine should consult with their physician before using this product in place of conventional medicine.