Pào jiāo is a footbath. In Chinese, pào means “to soak” and jiāo means “to pour water on.” You can also get the same effect of this traditional Chinese healing technique by taking a full bath and keeping your feet immersed in the water. In the past, full hot baths were considered a rare luxury in China. So a simple footbath served the purpose.
Over the millennia, TCM practitioners have created numerous self-healing techniques like pào jiāo, as well as energy practices like Qigong. These techniques are based on their deep understanding of Qi and how it flows through the body’s invisible energy network, called meridians. These practitioners realized that good health depends on three factors. An person must have a good amount of Qi, his or her Qi must flow freely through the meridians, and the five major organ pairs must work in harmony.
Several key Kidney acupoints are located on the bottom of the feet and on the inside of the ankles. Pào jiāo warms these acupoints and stimulates the Kidney organ system. This helps build the Kidney’s energetic function, or tasks it performs at the invisible level of energy. The Kidney organ system is responsible for storing and providing Qi over your entire lifetime! It helps maintain your bones, teeth and ears. It also nourishes the hair on your head.
Acupoints of the Bladder, the Kidney’s organ partner, also run through the feet. They are located along the outside of each foot, in line with the little toe. The Bladder’s energetic function is to remove water by transforming Qi in the body.
Both the Kidney and Bladder need enough Qi to carry out their physical and energetic responsibilities. A lack of Qi can affect their function and the health of the body as a whole. When practiced on a regular basis, techniques like pào jiāo and Qigong help to build the Qi of the related organs.
Practice pào jiāo at home.
Immerse your feet in warm water, making sure your ankles are covered. Soak for at least fifteen minutes a day. Relax and enjoy yourself—you’re enhancing your health!