A patient of mine recently brought a leaflet advertising “foot detoxifcation” asking me if it will help her illness.
The brochure claims the device will “detoxify” your body by immersing your feet in it. The brochure is even so bold as to deny that they are “not linked with the recent media reports on foot spa services being investigated by the Ministry” and even has pictures of two alleged medical doctors in the brochure to claim “product genuity and reliability”
They even have a website which denies their product is a scam. However, while one section of the website states that “As a company we do not claim that we can cure disease by soaking the feet in water”, another section of the website has the usual “testimonials” of people with various “disorders” like migraine (see pic), kulit gatal-gatal and even “severe gout” allegedly obtaining benefit from its use.
People, a scam is a scam is a scam. Surely you cannot be so gullible to believe that by soaking your feet in this contraption your body will be “detoxified”? The public may be swayed by the water “miraculously” turning brown or black in colour.
Someone has offered a simple explanation on How Foot Detox Works:
The scam vendors advertised these devices as aqua chi machine, bio electrical biofeedback machine, foot spa, energy spa, super detox foot bath . They also advertise the scam as a service such as bio-detox, aqua detox, aqua spa, emerald detox, platinum detox.
In essence, the foot bath contains a low voltage/amperage AC to DC transformer attached to ferrous electrodes.
The process is basically electrolysis of water, a typical high school experiment, with a twist.
The brown “toxins” you see is from the rust generated by the corrosion of the iron electrodes. The different variations in color can be accounted by varying amount of salt added to the water and variations in the compositions of the electrodes.
It’s a simple chemical reaction folks. Don’t be gullible and fall for this BS!
Addendum 9/11/5: (Link pointed out by Jimmy Chew)
The Aqua Detox Scam in Devicewatch: further explanation of how it works:
Many skeptics suspected that the color change produced by the Aqua Detox was caused by rust (oxidized iron), rather than toxins. Ben Goldacre, who writes the “bad science” column for Guardian Unlimited (an online British newspaper), investigated by using a car battery to send current through two metal nails that he placed into a bowl of salt water. The water turned brown and developed some sludge on top. Then he sent a colleague to get “detoxed” and collect before-and-after water samples. Laboratory testing showed that in both cases, the change of water color was due to greatly increased iron content . Thus it appears that (a) the color change is due mainly to the precipitation of rust created by corrosion of the electrodes, and (b) the water would change color regardless of whether or not a foot was placed in it.