Runny nose? Sore throat? Chills? Fever? Sneezing? Congestion? Headache? Any or all of the above? Use the warming socks treatment.

Warming socks works by stimulating the body’s natural healing responses during acute infections. In hydrotherapy terms, the technique is a kind of “warming compress”, which encourages the body to increase overall blood circulation in order to warm up the cold socks. In doing so, it draws preferentially from areas of congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It is also effective for pain relief.

A safe treatment for the whole family, including the youngest of kids, warming socks is perfect at bedtime, or nap time, as it has a soothing and sedating effect, helping you to sleep through the night even when you’re feeling less than par.

Lovingly referred to in my hydrotherapy class as “cold wet socks”, this treatment isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. In fact, many people find it relaxing once both pairs of socks are on and you’re lying in bed under the covers.

Besides, it’s a powerful, cheap, and easy way to treat the common cold, influenza, sore throats, sinus infections, upper respiratory tract infections, congestion, sinusitis, coughs, and headaches. Anytime there’s heat and congestion in the head and chest, it’s your go-to treatment, especially alongside individualized and integrated care that includes rest, hydration, breathing techniques, nutritional strategies, and the use of specific botanicals and/or homeopathics.

What you need

1 pair of medium weight 100% cotton socks
1 pair of thick 100% wool socks
access to cold water, maybe warm water and a towel

How to do it

  • If your feet are cool or cold, warm them by running under warm water for a few minutes and dry off with a towel.
  • Soak cotton socks in cold water. Wring out excess water until wet but not dripping.
  • Put on wet cotton socks.
  • Put dry wool socks on top.
  • Cover well with blankets and go to bed. Stay warm in bed with feet covered overnight. When you wake in the morning, your feet will be warm and the socks will be dry.
  • Repeat for 3 nights in a row or as directed by your naturopathic doctor.

*Caution: People with chronic health concerns or conditions, or those with compromised immune systems, should consult with a health professional before starting this treatment. Consultation with a naturopathic doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone interested in the state of their health.