Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 15, 2019

Effect of hot arm and foot bath on heart rate variability and blood pressure in healthy volunteers

  • Samruddhi Chintaman Vyas , A. Mooventhan EMAIL logo and N. K. Manjunath



Though hot arm and foot bath (HAFB) is widely used, a precise physiological response is not reported. Hence, the present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of HAFB on heart rate variability (HRV) and blood pressure (BP) in healthy volunteers.

Materials and Methods

Sixteen healthy male volunteers’ aged 23.81 ± 5.27 (mean ± standard deviation) years were recruited. All the subjects underwent only one session of HAFB (104-degree Fahrenheit) for the duration of 20 min. Assessments such as Electrocardiography and BP were taken before and after the intervention.


Results of this study showed a significant reduction in systolic-BP (SBP), diastolic-BP (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), the mean of the intervals between adjacent QRS complexes or the instantaneous heart rate (RR interval), the number of interval differences of successive NN intervals greater than 50 ms (NN50), the proportion derived by dividing NN50 by the total number of NN intervals (pNN50), and high frequency (HF) band of HRV along with a significant increase in heart rate (HR), low-frequency (LF) band of HRV and LF/HF ratio compared to its baseline.


Results of this study suggest that 20 min of HAFB produce a significant increase in HR and a significant reduction in SBP, DBP, and MAP while producing parasympathetic withdrawal.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


[1] Mooventhan A, Nivethitha L. Scientific evidence based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body. North Am J Med Sci 2014;6:199–209.10.4103/1947-2714.132935Search in Google Scholar

[2] Kellogg JH. Rational hydrotherapy, 2nd ed. Pune: National Institute of Naturopathy, 2005.Search in Google Scholar

[3] Srámek P, Simecková M, Janský L, Savlíková J, Vybíral S. Human physiological responses to immersion into water of different temperatures. Eur J Appl Physiol 2000;81:436–42.10.1007/s004210050065Search in Google Scholar

[4] Digiesi V, Cerchiai G, Mannini L, Masi F, Nassi F. Hemorheologic and blood cell changes in humans during partial immersion with a therapeutic method, in 38 °C water. Minerva Med 1986;77:1407–11.Search in Google Scholar

[5] Mooventhan A, Nivethitha L. Effects of ice massage of the head and spine on heart rate variability in healthy volunteers. J Integr Med 2016;14:306–10.10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60266-2Search in Google Scholar

[6] Tyagi A, Cohen M. Yoga and heart rate variability: A comprehensive review of the literature. Int J Yoga 2016;9:97–113.10.4103/0973-6131.183712Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[7] Koenig J, Jarczok MN, Warth M, Ellis RJ, Bach C, Hillecke TK, et al. Body mass index is related to autonomic nervous system activity as measured by heart rate variability - a replication using short term measurements. J Nutr Health Aging 2014;18:300–2.10.1007/s12603-014-0022-6Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[8] Chen J, Dongfeng G, Jaquish CE, Chen CS, Rao DC, Depei, et al. Association between blood pressure responses to cold pressor test and dietary sodium intervention in the Chinese population. Arch Intern Med 2008;168:1740–6.10.1001/archinte.168.16.1740Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[9] Herrera E, Sandoval MC, Camargo DM, Salvini TF. Motor and sensory nerve conduction are affected differently by ice pack, ice massage, and cold water immersion. Phys Ther 2010;90:581–91.10.2522/ptj.20090131Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[10] Telles S, Joshi M, Somvanshi P. Yoga breathing through a particular nostril is associated with contralateral event-related potential changes. Int J Yoga 2012;5:102–7.10.4103/0973-6131.98220Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[11] Tarvainen MP, Niskanen JP, Lipponen JA, Ranta-Aho PO, Karjalainen PA. Kubios HRV-heart rate variability analysis software. Comput Methods Programs Biomed 2014;113:210–20.10.1016/j.cmpb.2013.07.024Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[12] Mooventhan A. Immediate effect of ice bag application to head and spine on cardiovascular changes in healthy volunteers. Int J Health Allied Sci 2016;5:53–6.10.4103/2278-344X.173880Search in Google Scholar

[13] Iiyama J, Matsushita K, Tanaka N, Kawahira K. Effects of single low-temperature sauna bathing in patients with severe motor and intellectual disabilities. Int J Biometeorol 2008;52:431–7.10.1007/s00484-007-0137-0Search in Google Scholar PubMed

Received: 2018-09-25
Accepted: 2019-03-14
Published Online: 2019-08-15

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 1.3.2024 from
Scroll to top button