Here's a post from the ionic foot bath forum, from a guy called DoubtIt. If there's any danger that we might promote ionic foot baths accidentally, here's what he says to counter any unintentional advertising.
I recently saw my wife and several friends get duped about supposed benefits of an Ionic Detoxification Unit. Don't get suckered into buying or paying for a session in an ionic detoxifcation foot bath! Guess what, the water turns "toxic" colors whether your feet are in there or not, because it is just the corrosion of the electrodes that causes the water to change color. The manufacturer below says that "sales pitches" are used to make people think that different colors mean different toxins were ionically removed from the body through the soles of the feet; in reality it is just the results of passing an electic current between electrodes in a conductive solution of water. Their own studies (backed by other independent fraud investigation analyses) find only what you would expect to find in water where electrolysis took place, ie, no "toxins" released from the body were found.
Think about it, how likely are your feet to start "leaking toxins", if that happened then you'd find that happening in whirlpool spas etc. It doesn't happen.
Those of you who are selling these or selling sessions in them should at a minumum stop charging for the sessions since they are worthless and you do not want to ripoff your clients do you? Hopefully you can get a refund from whomever sold it to you since they misrepresented it. Those of you who sold them should encourage your customers to return them and then return the units to the manufacturers. Don't sell them based on anecdotal evidence alone, and don't be part of the scam! If you're selling them based on anecdotal evidence then try running the unit with no one in it to verify what the manufacturer says below, and stop using that sales pitch.
Here's what a manufacturer says about them:
There are several 'Detox' systems based around Foot Spas on the market today. Some manufacturers and retailers of such products make claims of purification and Detoxification that attract a lot of people. At beauty and health equipment exhibitions there are numerous stands that offer this kind of therapy and many visitors volunteer to give it a try.
But how effective is it really and how does it actually work? Is the fact that the water changes colour really proof that the Spa is detoxifying the body? Dr. Mary Staggs Ph.D. D.N. F.B.I.H., of the Mary Staggs clinic in Estepona, Southern Spain, is interviewed by R. B. Research.
Dr Staggs, we understand you were the first person to bring the concept of Ionic Foot Spa Detox systems into Europe?
Yes, back in 2001, I heard about Ionic Foot Spa's from both Dr Corey in Florida and Dr Morney in Denver Colorado. They had been working on the technique for some time before I was introduced to it. I found it fitted directly in with my research so I became involved in order to develop it further and decided to bring the concept to Europe.
What does the system consist off?
It's a Footbath into which we introduce an array. This is coupled to a power unit, which generates a low voltage electrical current - with both positive and negative polarities - which, due to the conductivity of saline water, work together to produce the desired effect.
Why did you become interested in 'Ionic Foot Spa Detox' systems?
Since it seemed this was a type of natural Detox process, I thought it would fit nicely alongside other therapies that I was using in the field of nutrition. The basic principle of the treatment was electrolysis and electro dialysis. But what caught my attention most early on was how the water, that the feet were submersed in, changed colour.
Some manufacturers claim that these colours correspond to specific body fluids, like cholesterol, uric acid, bile, blood, and even certain types of fats. What do you think of these claims?
Such claims are no more than a 'sales pitch'. From the early stages of development it was suggested that certain colours corresponded to certain types of organ drainage from the kidneys, liver, intestines and so on. But when we started our investigations, within the parameters of biochemistry, we found only Iron Sulphate in the water. We could not show the presence of Albumin or any other type of liquid, any kind of increment of sodium or potassium, urea, bilirubin transaminates, Sugar and so on.
So why does the water change colour?
There are many factors that come into play. But basically we are talking about electrolysis.
In order to produce electrolysis, we need an ionised solution to close the electric circuit between two electrodes. These electrodes, when connected to a source of continuous currents are submerged in a carrier solution - one charge is positive (anode) and the other negative (cathode).
This action produces ionisation. The positive ions within the solution will move towards the cathode and negative ones towards the anode. The word electrolysis means to rupture, separate, by means of electricity, through galvanic current. The water that is used has its own impurities that, due to the electrolysis, are drawn towards or separated from other components. The consequent ionisation in the water results in the formation of solids that are deposited on the floor of the container and that float on the surface of the water. Bubbles also appear and at the same time the water changes colour. We must also remember that the arrays are metallic and release waste, which in turn results in an electrolytic reaction causing corrosion. Another influencing matter is what we introduce into the water, eg. our feet. These have their own properties such as acidity or alkalinity. The skin can also contain remnants of soap, creams, nail varnish, pollutants and dyes from shoes, including shoe polish, bacteria, fungi and fibres. There might also be a release of substances from the sebaceous glands and dead cells. All these factors combined will influence the colour change.
We must consider the internal condition of the body, which will influence and manifest itself in the water. Here we need to take into account sub dermis conditions, the capillary microcirculation and other internal influences that can be emitted through the largest human organ, the skin. Last of all, temperature will also affect the chemical reactions in the water.
If we take into account all these factors we can begin to understand why the water changes colour.
Is the change in colour of water the same for every treatment and for every individual?
No. Different treatments, individuals and water sources are likely to yield different colours but in all our investigations we detected no biological substances, furthermore the colours do not correspond to any pathological state or any organ deficit or any specific bodily excretion. The reasons for the change in water are as I've already mentioned, but also we could add improper rinsing of detergents used in the cleaning of the array and the bowl, which might produce bubbles.
So there are many reasons why the water might change colour, which means the whole process is impossible to calibrate which in turn means that clinical interpretation is misleading.