The proverb says: "Keep the head cool and the feet warm." This is good advice, but most people attempt to follow it by "doctoring" their cold feet with hot-water bottles, warming pans, hot bricks or irons, etc. These are excellent means of making the feet still colder, because "heat makes cold and cold makes heat."

In accordance with the Law of Action and Reaction, hot applications drive the blood away from the feet, while cold applications draw the blood to the feet. Therefore, if your feet are cold and bloodless (which means that the blood is congested in other parts of the body), walk barefoot in the dewy grass, in a cool brook, on wet stone pavements or on the snow.

Instead of putting a hot-water bottle to the feet of a bedridden invalid, bathe his feet with cold water, adding a little salt for its electric effect, then rub and knead (massage), and finish with a magnetic treatment by holding his feet between your hands and willing the blood to flow into them. This will have a lasting good effect not only upon the feet, but upon the entire organism.

The following cold-water applications are very effective for curing chronic cold feet:

(1) Foot Bath
Stand in cold water reaching up to the ankle for one minute only. Dry the feet with a coarse towel and rub them vigorously with the hands, or walk about briskly for a few minutes. Repeat if necessary.

(2) Leg Bath
(a) Stand in water up to the calves, then proceed as above.
(b) Stand in water up to the knees, then rub vigorously or walk as directed.

(3) Barefoot Walking
Walk barefoot in wet grass or on wet stone pavements several times a day, from ten to twenty minutes at a time, or less in case of weakness. The early morning dew upon the grass is especially beneficial; later in the day wet the grass or pavement with a hose.

After barefoot walking, dry and rub the feet thoroughly and take a short, brisk walk in shoes and stockings.

(4) Indoor Water-Treading
Stand in a bathtub or large foottub containing about two inches of cold water, step and splash vigorously for several minutes, then dry and rub the feet and increase the circulation by walking around the room a few times.

(5) Foot Spray
Turn the full force of water from a hydrant or hose first on one foot, then on the other. Let the stream play alternately on the upper part of the feet and on the soles. The coldness and force of the water will draw the blood to the feet.

These applications are excellent as a means of stimulating and equalizing the circulation and a sure cure for cold and clammy feet, as well as for sweaty feet.

In this connection, we warn our readers most strongly against the use of drying powders or antiseptic washes to suppress foot-sweat. Epilepsy and other serious nervous disorders have been traced to this practice.

(6) Partial Ablutions
Partial ablutions with cold water are very useful in many instances, especially in local inflammation or where local congestion is to be relieved. The "Kalte Guss" [cold water splashing] forms an important feature of the Kneipp system of water cure.

Sprays or showers may be administered to the head, arms, chest, back, thighs, knees or wherever indicated, with a dipper, a sprinkler or a hose attached to the faucet or hydrant. The water should be of natural temperature and the "guss" of short duration.

(7) Limb Bath
Take up cold water in the hollow of the hands from a running faucet or a bucket filled with water, rub arms and legs briskly for a few minutes.

(8) Upper Body Bath
Stand in an empty tub, take water in the hollow of the hands from a running faucet or a bucket filled with cold water and rub briskly the upper half of the body from neck to hips, for two or three minutes. Use a towel or brush for those parts of the body that you cannot reach with the hands.

(9) Lower Body Bath
Proceed as in (8), rubbing the lower part of the body from the waist downward.

(10) Hip Bath
Sit in a large basin or in the bathtub in enough water to cover the hips completely, the legs resting on the door or against the sides of the tub. While taking the hip bath, knead and rub the abdomen.

Dry with a coarse towel, then rub and pat the skin with the hands for a few minutes.

The duration of the hip bath and the temperature of the water must be adapted to individual conditions. Until you are accustomed to cold water, use water as cool as can be borne without discomfort.