Many years ago when I was in naturopathic college I recall hearing about a hydrotherapy technique (that is, a technique using water to treat an illness) called the “cold wet sock treatment”. Although the descriptive name of this technique is not appealing in the least, its effectiveness to treat certain ailments is remarkable. And if there is one thing I love it is simple, low-cost, and gentle therapies. Years later, I heard a colleague refer to it as the “Magic Sock” treatment...a much better name, in my opinion!
What is it?
The “Magic Sock” treatment involves the patient wearing icy-cold, wet socks to bed at night to relieve congestion affecting the head and/or respiratory tract. The “magic” of this treatment is due to the reflexive increase in circulation to the feet, drawing blood and congestion away from the upper body. Increased circulation helps to move lymph and stimulate the immune system. The treatment also is quite relaxing and can benefit the sleep quality.
What conditions could benefit?
• Migraine/ headache
• Sinus congestion/ infection
• Throat infection
• Ear infection
• Chest infection & cough
What tools do you require?
• 1 pair of white cotton socks (60% or more cotton)
• 1 pair of 100% thick wool socks
• Warm pajamas and/or blankets
• Shower/bathtub or foot bath
• Icy-cold water (use ice cubes to get the water REALLY cold)
How do you do it?
Firstly, do this treatment before crawling into bed for the night. It is best to carry out this treatment at the first signs of illness and continue for 3 nights in a row.
Step 1 – Immerse 1 pair of white cotton socks in a sink/bowl full of water with ice cubes;
Step 2 – Take a hot bath/ shower OR immerse your feet in a hot foot bath (test the water first so you don't burn yourself!) for at least 10min. Your feet should look pink or slightly red.
Step 3 – Put on some warm pajamas and ensure your bed has enough warm bedding.
Step 4 – Wring out the excess water in the white socks and put them on;
Step 5 – Put on the wool socks over top of the icy-cold wet socks;
Step 6 – Crawl into bed and go to sleep! The socks should be dry by morning.