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Eureka Footbath

Posted by Jutta Goldammer from Visionautik Akademie


Group size

1 – 30

Subgroup size


Is participant experience relevant?

It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.

Physical trust needed

Mental trust needed


Material Description

-Footbath tubs, towels, warm water, aromatic essences.
-Wellness extras like foot creams, flowers, candles etc.
-A printout of the step-by-step guide for each footbath

Create materials quick and dirty

5 min

Create materials with love and care

30 min

Available material for free




60 minutes – half day

Experience level of the facilitator

self explanatory, no experience needed

Number of facilitators


Location requirements

-Make sure it is a nice and relaxing surrounding. It can be also outdoors if the weather is nice.
-Close access to water makes it easier. If that is not possible you can improvise with hot water in thermos flasks.


Level of activation


Hidden curriculum

You do not always need to be active to be successful. Relaxation, surrender, and letting go are important ingredients for creativity.

Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?

From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:

Innovation Phases:

2 Creating an Innovation-Friendly Culture
3 Fostering New Perspectives & Ways of Thinking
4 Idea Generation

Method Category:

Ceremony / Ritual
Idea generator
Problem Solving


A multi sensual process in 6 steps to generate good ideas with ease. This process emphasizes the value of relaxation moments in the ideation process. It is especially helpful when you feel stuck.


Eureka Bath, Heurekabad



As history has often shown us, great thinkers and inventors often have had their best ideas when relaxing in the shower, in the bathtub, or on a walk through the woods -- not while sweating away at their desks.

Phases of active searching, concentration and brooding need to be interrupted by lighter phases where ideas can simply “fall into place,” deep breaths of fresh air that literally “inspire” you.
Relaxation phases not only make the process of developing visions and ideas more pleasant, they also greatly improve the results. The Eureka Bath is there for you to drift and dream in, with guidelines to strategically prepare for the session in the tub or with a footbath.


Visionautik Akademie based on Archimedes.


PREPARATION (excluding materials)

Prepare the "bathroom": Place little footbath tubs (or basins) next to chairs and create a relaxing atmosphere by nicely arranged towels, aromatic essences, foot creams, flowers, and candles. Stick a print of the step-by-step guide next to each space. Make sure there's easy access to warm water. If that is a problem, you can improvise with hot water in thermos flasks.
You can either have one Eureka bath corner as a permanent installation for participants to use whenever it is needed or you arrange it in a way you can do it as a collective ideation ritual in the group. In that case you should either provide a foot bath for each person or offer relaxation alternatives, like a walk in the woods or some deck chairs in the sun. You can also use/include infrastructure that is already there like a public spa or a lake. If you want to strategically prepare yourself/your group for a relaxing and inspiring footbath, take the following steps:

1 Needing an idea

This is your starting situation: you want to have an idea. You are looking for it really badly.

2 Find a guiding question

Try to find a precise question for your problem.

3 Dive into problemsolving

If you are working in a group, split up and arrange a time when you will meet again for step 6. Then take 25 minutes individually to really get into the problem. Look at it from all sides. Sit down with pen and logbook in a quiet place and work as concentratedly as you can to find solutions and to get ideas. Write down all of your ideas. Try to understand the whole subject from as many perspectives as you can in order to find a solution. You are allowed to sweat. And you are allowed to frown. Try really hard. As hard as you can. This step is important to get your internal search motor started and focused on your question.

4 Be disappointed

Then be disappointed not having found THE solution yet! (or if you have found it: celebrate!!!!)

5 Relax

Give up. Let it go. Stop trying to find an idea. Take a break. Think of something different. Enjoy your footbath and let your thoughts go wherever they want to. Let your thoughts come and pass and leave. Relax! That’s it. You’ll see that the idea will come to you on its own... sooner or later.


If you are working in a group, come together and collect everyone's ideas on a big sheet on the table, pin board, or flipchart. Also collect the ideas if you think they are not totally IT, yet. They might inspire someone else in the group or someone else might have a puzzle piece that had been missing. Try to extend the ease of your relaxation phase as long as you can into your group process and stay playful.

If you are working individually, jot down your ideas in your notebook or talk to others about it as much as you can.

Be aware that great ideas often take a longer time to hatch, so make sure to include enough relaxation moments in your next few days.



-As a permanent installation to create an innovation-friendly atmosphere at a conference, in your office, or your school.
-As an individual ritual to overcome a stuck situation in your problem-solving process.
-As a collective ritual with a team working on a specific problem. Here it is important to make sure everyone can really relax in the presence of the others of the group. If you think this might be difficult, let the participants take their tub to a place they find comfortable.


We originally started trying out this method with a real bathtub but found that the footbath is much easier to use and barrier-free variation with a similar result. Make sure the level of privacy during the relaxing period fits to the cultural background and the level of trust in the group. In some cultures, bathing together or even going to the sauna together is no problem, and in other cultures/subcultures people might feel uncomfortable taking off their shoes. Be creative to adapt this to what you assume helps your group to relax best. Warm water is great, but also a walk in the woods or daydreaming in the grass can wonderfully fulfill this function.

Trainers for this method can be hired here:

Visionautik Akademie www.visionautik.de

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