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How it works ~ THE TRUTH
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.
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, often changes 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. The water plays a vital role and in many areas there is no colour change, which many people want as the Arrays tend to last longer, and in other areas the colour change is dramatic.
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 often 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.
So are you saying that this therapy does not have a positive effect on our health?
No, I'm definitely not saying that at all. It is obvious that it does have a powerful effect on the human organism but that the water changes colour is not what we should be focussing on. This aspect is only of interest to those who do not actually understand the concept of chemistry and physics or the real function of the machine. They also do not understand medicine and so are using the change in water colour to impress the general public and to spin a line to make a sale. I've seen people gasp when they see the water changing colour around their feet but that's largely because they are not being told the real reason why this is happening.
So can you clear up for us what the machine is actually doing?
First of all, we need to understand that the human body is made up of 60%-70% water. There are different types of salts within the body's fluids that are capable of conducting electricity. In fact, our whole body acts like an industrial plant that produces chemical reactions and generates electrical currents, which produce energy.
Water is, of course, very fluid and has the ability to alter molecules in the presence of certain solutes and energies, which can also be referred to as 'memory'. It is precisely this principle that is used in homeopathy in the preparation of homeopathic remedies in different potencies. They dissolve to such an extent that there no longer appears to be molecules of solute present. It is this memory phenomenon that explains the clinical action.
When we introduce our feet into the Ionic Footbath water, our body fluids are actually connecting with the water. When we cause an electrical current between the two electrodes of the array, the water becomes the main conductor. This current in some way propagates with our own water. We must also remember that on the soles of our feet we can find a large number of reflex points that correspond to specific organs or certain parts of our body (this is the principle of reflexology). Also, we find in this area the beginning of the meridian flow lines that have been outlined for us in Chinese medicine, used by acupuncturists and previously by allopathic medicine. Therefore, any kind of stimuli - be it mechanical, luminous, electromagnetic or simply electric - in one way or another causes a reaction in each bodily system, organ or corresponding body area reflected on the sole of the feet.
This means that no matter what type of dialysis takes place, the level produced through the pores and glands of the feet is minimal and cannot be considered as genuine Detoxification. What actually happens is bio-stimulation which restores energy and balance, eases tension in certain areas, and re-establishes energies previously blocked. This then helps the body's organs to function correctly. In other words, by recharging the batteries, each organ can get back to its optimum efficiency.
Have the Mary Staggs clinic carried out any tests?
We have carried out experiments and investigations using biochemical tests, bacterial cultures and quantitative water tests, as well as explorations with a GDV camera, a thermo camera and other types of equipment to measure the changes in the energetic field of corresponding meridian and acupuncture points, kinesiology and Contact Reflex Analysis.
We also receive a lot of feedback from many therapists, doctors and patients who give us their testimonials and experiences. This has to be considered as another type of investigation although purely empirical, but still valued in the field of natural medicine.
So what future does this treatment have?
I am very excited by the feedback we receive daily on how people feel and how pleased they are to have had an opportunity to use our equipment. People contact us to ask if they can buy their own machine, after they have had several treatments in a clinic, because they feel so good. They feel that their bodies are now responding in various ways that was not happening before, which is great!
We also regularly hear from therapists and allopathic doctors, throughout Europe, calling to comment on their results, or just to clarify their findings.
So have certain companies operating in the field literally 'muddied the water' for Foot Spa Detox systems?
No, certainly not, the technology has only scratched the surface, although I feel it is a shame that people who commercialise the product oversell it by making false claims about its merits. Some of what they say simply cannot be proved. It is very wrong to claim that the system can do things that it can't.
If our findings can help in whatever way to lighten the burden of stress then that can only be a good thing.
But let's stick to the facts. The process can be beneficial to people's health but they should know, when they are having the treatment, exactly what it is doing to them and not having the treatment under false pretences or due to outrageous claims.
We have completed extensive clinical research under controlled conditions. This research led to being awarded ISO 9001 and ISO 13485