Well Adjusted: The Warming Sock Treatment
Originally posted to The Mountain Times on 06/01/2022
When you are sick and miserable from a cold, your body craves care and attention. Whether it is self-treatment, or a parent fussing over their child, the little things you do to support the body during an illness can make an enormous difference in how bad it gets and how long it lasts.
Along with the coloring books from the grocery store and extra Sesame Street time, I appreciated the home remedies that my mom used to soothe my symptoms and speed up my recovery. Indeed, I have used the warming sock treatment for myself and my kids over the years, and it has been a big help!
Add warming sock treatment to your home care arsenal when you or your child has a cold. This centuries-old hydrotherapy treatment originated in Europe. It is free and easy to do with materials most people have.
How does the warming sock treatment work?
Warming sock treatment is known as a heating compress. The body reacts to the cold socks by increasing blood circulation, boosting the immune system, and decreasing congestion in the lungs and sinuses. In addition, it wakes up the immune system to gird for battle against whatever is making you sick. If done correctly, this treatment relaxes and calms. The improved circulation clears the lungs and sinuses, soothes the nervous system, alleviates aches and chills, and sets the stage for restful sleep.
Warming sock treatment can be helpful for sore throat, ear infections, headaches, migraines, upper respiratory infections, coughs, bronchitis, nasal congestion, and sinus infections. It should be discussed with your doctor and used with caution in people with Raynaud’s syndrome, arterial insufficiency, advanced intermittent claudication, or diabetes.
Supplies for warming sock treatment
– One pair of cotton socks
– One pair of wool socks
– One bowl of ice water
Step 1: Soak your feet in warm water or take a bath for 10 minutes, then towel dry. You can also warm your feet with a heating pad or hot water bottle. Do not skip this step, as starting with cold feet can make warming sock treatment less effective or detrimental.
Step 2: Wet cotton socks in ice water, wring them out, and place on your feet. You could also run socks under water, wring them out, and put them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3: Put dry wool socks over wet cotton socks and go to bed immediately wrapped in blankets and dressed warmly to avoid getting chilled. You will wake up with dry, warm feet.
Your feet will start to warm up within a few minutes and will totally dry within one to four hours. Congestion will begin to improve within approximately 30 minutes. If you find the socks aren’t completely drying in this period, you may need to wring them out more before putting them on.
Warming sock treatment do’s and don’ts
It’s best to start this treatment on the first night of an illness and repeat it for three nights. Avoid synthetic socks. Use at least 60 percent wool or cotton if using blends. Do not use tight socks that could impair circulation.
The next time you or a loved one has a cold, give warming sock treatment a try! Along with hydration, nutritious food, and rest, it will help you minimize symptoms and get better faster.
Although warming sock treatment sounds intense, it is relaxing. It can work better than a decongestant or antihistamine to relieve congestion and help you get some sleep.