Warming Sock Treatment

The season of the sniffles has started. People are asking me about how to deal with stuffed up sinuses that make them feel like their nose is the size of a sausage and that prevent them from falling asleep. One of my favorite treatments is called for!

Let me just begin by saying I hate cold feet. A lot. I also hate wet feet. Even more. I’m the type of person who if I step on a drip of water I need to change my socks. When I was first introduced to the warming sock treatment I though “No, way – there’s not way I can do this!” It didn’t help that when I first heard about it it was called the “wet sock treatment.” It made me want to run. BUT, I had to try it out and see for myself.

I am a convert. I refer to it now as the “warming sock” treatment in an attempt to make the name sound a little friendlier. I tell everyone I can about this because it is so simple and so effective.

  • Take a pair of thin cotton socks and put them in a bowl of ice water. This is the wet sock part.
  • Take a very warm shower or bath. Warm yourself up thoroughly. You could even use a warm footbath in a pinch.
  • When you’re done, wring out the cold wet socks thoroughly. Now they should be cold, but slightly less wet.
  • Put them on your feet. This was the most uncomfortable part for me. You get over it in about 15 seconds.
  • Put the wool socks on OVER the wet socks.
  • Go to bed.

There is a reflex arc in your nervous system that connects the feet to the head. The quick switch from warm dry feet to cold wet feet stimulates that reflex. “Why?” you ask. That part isn’t clear. What is clear is that it works. About 10 minutes after you’ve bundled up into bed you will feel your sinuses start to drain. You know that weird snuffling sound that happens somewhere between the back of your eyeballs and your front teeth? That’s what happens. By this time you don’t even notice your socks being cold – they’re not anymore. But they are wet. That is what keeps the reflex arc going. I’ve had all my sinuses completely unplug by using this treatment. Once you can breathe you can fall asleep. Once you can sleep you can heal.

When you wake up in the morning you’ll notice that your feet are cozy and warm. That’s the final part of the reflex – your body heats up those socks until they’re totally dry (hence the “warming sock” name). How amazing is that?

I recommend doing this for three nights in a row when you’re fighting something off. You can also use it for stubborn seasonal allergies, though I’d also try a neti pot.

This treatment is very safe and I even recommend it for kids. Don’t forget to check out my disclaimer, though.

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