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Warming Socks

Hydrotherapy is the use of hot and cold water, in very specific ways, to stimulate the healing capacity of the body. Treatments are very inexpensive and effective and can usually be done at home with readily available items. Please consult your naturopathic physician or healthcare provider before doing this, or any other treatment. One of the simplest and most effective hydrotherapy treatments is called warming socks.

Warming Socks

Warming socks is an excellent supplementary treatment for colds, flu, sinusitis, congestive headaches, ear aches, sore throats and any condition with congestion, heat or “excessive energy” in the head or throat. It is very helpful for insomnia from over thinking, and is also helpful for swollen ankles due to sprains, or strains, and tired aching feet from standing all day. If done daily for at least a month, it will permanently correct chronically cold feet.

This treatment is great for kids and adults, and a good introduction to the simple, but amazing benefits of hydrotherapy. This treatment is not recommended for people with advanced diabetes, Raynaud’s syndrome or other vascular diseases, or those with loss of sensation in the feet. It is safe for any child over 6 months of age, but should not be done on infants younger than 6 months.

The directions must be followed exactly. DO NOT make changes or substitutions. This treatment should be done last thing at night, when you are ready to go to bed.

  • Take a pair of thin (summer weight), 100% cotton socks, soak in icy cold water and wring out as tightly as possible. (Socks can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge.)

  • Soak the feet in very hot water (or take a hot bath) for no less than 15 minutes, no more than 20 minutes. The feet should be rosy pink and very warm.

  • Quickly dry off and go to bed. Try to keep warm.

  • Once in bed, quickly pull on the cold, wet, cotton socks.

  • Immediately cover with a pair of dry wool socks (at least 80% wool) which are bigger than the cotton ones.

  • Cover up well and don’t allow yourself to get chilled. Wear warm pajamas, and a toque if that helps you stay warm.

  • Your feet should feel cold and uncomfortable for about 1 minute, then, start to warm up as your body moves blood to your feet.

  • Leave the socks on until morning or until they are completely warm and dry and your feet are hot.

  • Do not use a hot water bottle or other heating source to warm your feet up. This therapy works by forcing your body to warm your feet up.


Most people also notice that they get very sleepy with this treatment, as the blood moves from the head, to the feet to warm them up. You should notice that any congestion in your nose, sinuses or throat starts to diminish within a few minutes. The “shock” of the cold will also stimulate the immune system, and most people notice they sleep very well with this treatment which also helps with healing.

Try it! It really works!

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