It is a pretty brutal cold and flu season this year and we are right in the middle of it! Early on in naturopathic medical school we learned a hydrotherapy technique that helps supports the immune system, helps relieve nasal congestion and coughs while also inducing a relaxing state perfect for a good night’s rest. Wet socks, or warming socks as some call it, is an easy, inexpensive and safe way to help fight this years’ nasties. While the name sounds a wee unpleasant this is one of my favorite ways to treat the cold and flu. The treatment works by stimulating the body’s natural defenses. By putting cold, wet socks on the feet the body responses by increasing circulation to warm the wet socks. Wet socks stimulate the body to increase circulation to the feet, relieving congestion from the head, regulating immune response, aiding in the elimination of waste and at the same time inducing a relaxing,sedating effect.
It is best to start the warming socks treatment on the first day of an illness and repeat it for three nights in a row. It is most effective as part of an integrated treatment plan including rest, hydration, proper nutrition and immune-boosting botanicals or supplements.
Wet Socks Treatment
What You Need:
1 pair white cotton socks-preferably ankle length
1 pair thick wool socks -wool is ideal but the thickest sock you have will do
1. Wet cotton socks and soak them completely with cold water. Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so they do not drip.
2. Warm your feet. This is a very important part of the treatment. A nice warm bath or foot soak is a perfect way to warm your feet.
3. Dry the feet off completely.
4. Place cold wet socks on feet. Cover with thick wool socks. Go directly to bed. Avoid getting chilled.
5. Keep the socks on overnight. The cotton socks should be dry in the morning.
Hope this helps you and your family this cold and flu season!
– Dr. Catherine Clinton