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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2008 Aug;14(3):195-203. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2008.04.001. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Autonomic, neuro-immunological and psychological responses to wrapped warm footbaths--a pilot study.

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School of Medicine, College of Nursing, Yokohama City University, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.


This study examined the immediate effects of wrapped warm footbaths (WW Footbath) on the autonomic, neuroimmunological and psychological activities in healthy middle-aged volunteers. Thirteen subjects were divided into a footbath group (n=7) and a control group (n=6). Immediate changes in autonomic activities were recorded with wavelet analysis of heart rate variability. Salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) and serum cortisol levels were used as neuroimmunological parameters. Psychological conditions were measured using a Visual Analog Scale. Parasympathetic activity tended to increase and sympathetic activity decrease after footbaths.


Changes in the relaxation indices, that is, sIgA and serum cortisol levels showed that both lying down and footbath resulted in a relaxed state.


WW Footbaths can be an effective method of relaxation, since it induces both a significant increase in parasympathetic activity and significant decrease in sympathetic activity.

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