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Improving Blood Flow to the Feet
The Power of Relaxation and Biofeedback

by Birgitta I. Rice, MS, RPh, CHES

Learning to use WarmFeet
The WarmFeet technique can be used as a self-help treatment to provide pain relief and healing or as a preventive effort to increase peripheral blood flow. For potential users who have had longstanding pain or chronic ulcers, the technique is best introduced by a health-care professional who can assist them in learning to relax and provide them with encouragement and hope. This introductory session usually takes around 30–45 minutes. The technique can then be practiced at home with the WarmFeet Kit, which includes a personal skin thermometer and an audiotape with instructions on side one and the relaxation technique on side two. To maximize positive outcomes when using the WarmFeet technique, it is very important to spend time each day learning and practicing the skill of relaxation. New users often see some success right away with a small temperature increase of around 1–2°F. But practicing once or twice a day for 16 minutes at a time allows one to master the technique. With practice, the relaxation will come sooner and be deeper, and greater increases in skin temperature (4–10°F) may be seen.

Benefits from daily practice with the WarmFeet technique include the following:

  • Increased peripheral blood flow
  • Reduced pain in the legs and feet
  • Faster healing for foot ulcers
  • Improved coping skills for daily stresses

While learning any new skill takes time, patience, and practice, almost everyone is able to learn to relax with the WarmFeet technique. Because its methods have been validated by research and clinical work, and it is noninvasive, nonpharmaceutical, inexpensive, and easily taught and learned, WarmFeet is a promising new complementary therapy in the fields of foot and wound care.

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