How to Do Wet Cold Sock Therapy

Wet, cold sock therapy has been used for centuries to help boost the immune system, increase circulation, and enhance sleep.

How to Do Wet Cold Sock Therapy | Real Food RN

Some remedies seem to run counter to common sense. For example, how would you feel about putting on a pair of wet, cold socks and wearing them to bed? Maybe you wouldn’t even do it as a bet.

But plenty of health practitioners are encouraging their patients to do just that at the first sign of a cold or other respiratory illness, and they are reaping the benefits.

The content of this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

What is Wet Cold Sock Therapy?

Wet, cold sock treatment is just what it says on the tin. As a formally documented treatment, this therapy goes back to the nineteenth century and the beginning of the Natural Hygiene Movement in America. Although some form of wet, cold sock therapy has been used in folk medicine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It’s essentially another form of compress or poultice.

The theory is that by putting on a pair of wet, cold socks, your body reacts by speeding up the circulatory system to try and get you warm again as fast as possible. This boosts your immune system, relieving congestion and encouraging your body to rid itself of toxins.

How Do You Do Wet Cold Sock Therapy?

Wet cold sock therapy is straightforward and easily done at home, without any need for brewing herbs or applying ointments.

The most common technique uses two pairs of socks: one pair of thin cotton socks (like these) and one pair of heavy wool socks (like these). First, soak your cotton socks in cold water. Then, soak your feet in warm water until your feet turn pink (5 to 10 minutes). When your feet are ready, dry them off and wring out the cotton socks and put them on your feet. Put the dry wool socks over the wet cotton socks. Go to bed, and then the following morning, remove both pairs of socks. It’s that easy!

How to Do Wet Cold Sock Therapy | Real Food RN

Wet Cold Sock Therapy

The theory is that by putting on a pair of wet, cold socks, your body reacts by speeding up the circulatory system to try and get you warm again as fast as possible. This boosts your immune system, relieving congestion and encouraging your body to rid itself of toxins.

Materials

  • One pair of thin cotton socks
  • One pair of thick wool socks
  • A towel
  • Ice
  • Water
  • A foot bath, bucket, or bowl of warm to hot water

Instructions

    1. Put the thin cotton socks in a bowl with the water and ice. Soak the foot part of the cotton socks and have both pairs of socks nearby while you do the next part of the therapy.
    2. Soak your feet in the warm water for five to ten minutes. Make sure your feet feel toasty warm.
    3. Remove your feet from the footbath and dry them quickly with the towel.
    4. Quickly put the icy, wet, cold cotton socks on your feet and then the wool socks.
    5. Go straight to bed and keep the socks on all night.

Notes

Repeat this treatment for three nights. Some practitioners recommend that you place a second clean set of pajamas next to the bed, as this treatment can promote sweating as part of the healing process. If this happens, change into the dry pajamas but leave the socks on. Remove the socks in the morning or when they are dry. As long as they are wet, they are helping heal your body.



Wet, cold sock therapy should be accompanied by other modalities to help support your health, such as nutrition, hydration, and supplements recommended by your health provider.

Here’s a video demo of me doing wet sock therapy on my little Jake who got so much better after we did this!

What Is Wet Cold Sock Therapy Good For?

Practitioners recommend wet, cold sock therapy as a form of hydrotherapy. The treatment is designed to dilate your blood vessels with hot water, constrict them with the icy, wet, cold socks and then to dilate them again as your feet slowly warm up. This process is designed to pump immunological factors into your blood, circulating to all parts of your body, and so, kick-start the body’s own natural immune system. It is recommended as an immune boost to stave off ailments like the common cold, upper respiratory infections, sore throats, coughs, and sinus infections. We have used it successfully for the treatment of low-grade fevers in our home (always consult with your medical practitioner when it comes to fevers).

Wet, cold sock therapy is good for pain relief and is often recommended for migraines, chronic headaches, nasal congestions, and a range of other inflammatory conditions. It can also help to stimulate and support the healing process during infections.

Patients have reported that they sleep a lot better after a course of treatments. Even if you’re not sick, wet, cold sock therapy can be used as part of your detoxing regime. It encourages your body to naturally get rid of toxins accrued due to oxidative stress and the toll of living in our supercharged stressed twenty-first-century world.

You can use wet, cold sock therapy in conjunction with other natural holistic health and wellbeing techniques like vitamin boosts, essential oils, herbs, and teas.

Ginger or yarrow tea can be soothing complementary therapies to wearing wet, cold socks.

Is Wet, Cold Sock Therapy Safe?

Wet, cold sock therapy is simple, costs nothing, and is non-invasive. It is safe to use on normal, otherwise healthy adults and children who are showing signs of developing a cold or other respiratory illness.

Wet, cold sock therapy is a natural, drug-free way of boosting your immune system and helping to fight off inflammation and infection.

If you suffer from any chronic health condition or take regular medication, you should consult your health care practitioner before trying any sort of home remedy. If you have a compromised immune system, you should be especially careful.

You should also not attempt wet, cold sock therapy if you are:

  • Debilitated or suffer physical limitations, which make handling hot water dangerous.
  • Chilled with a body temperature of less than 98 degrees F.
  • Suffer from a high fever.
  • Have a skin condition on your feet.

Pregnant women should avoid prolonged immersion in hot water.

Conclusion

Wet, cold sock therapy has been used for centuries to help boost the immune system, increase circulation, and enhance sleep.

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How to Do Wet Cold Sock Therapy | Real Food RN

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