As we head into the thick of winter, spending our time indoors and less time in the sunshine, we can be more prone to those pesky cold and flu viruses. Nobody likes feeling run down with runny noses, congestion, cough, fever, or body aches. What if you knew of a low-cost treatment that could help boost your immune system while you sleep? Read on so that you’re in the know!
This “warming sock” treatment is an old hydrotherapy technique that helps increase circulation, decrease nasal congestion, improve fevers, and improve the effectiveness of your immune system to fight off viruses. Many of those who have tried it also find that they sleep much better!
However, you will soon find out that the “warming socks” term is a euphemism… You will actually be putting cold wet socks on your feet, but they won’t stay wet for long as you will end up drying them while you sleep, with the help of dry wool socks and tucking into warm blankets. While the idea of putting cold wet socks on your feet may make you cringe (trust me, I get you on that one!), if you actually follow through, you should feel much better! Just follow the extra tips I give you in my instructions, and you should have smooth sailing.
What You Will Need:
-1 pair of THIN cotton socks
-1 pair of THICK wool socks
-Hot water foot bath (or alternate way of warming your feet)
-A bit of courage
1) Get ready for bed. Getting the warming socks on should be the last thing you do before you tuck yourself in.
2) Warm your feet in a hot foot bath for 5 min (or using an alternative method).
3) Dry your feet well with the towel.
4) Run your thin cotton socks under cold running water to get them wet, then wring them out thoroughly. Don’t skip the wringing step – there should be no more water dripping from them!
5) Take the wet cotton socks and dry wool socks to the bedside. Make sure your feet are still warm and toasty. Don’t proceed unless they are!
6) Put on the wet cotton socks.
7) Follow immediately with the dry thick wool socks.
8) Tuck yourself into bed with warm blankets. Make sure not to get chilled.
9) Go to sleep for the night.
10) Do this 3 nights in a row (ideally).
What Can You Expect?
You should wake up the following morning with dry socks since your body increased circulation towards your feet to keep you warm. This pulls the congestion away from your head, decreasing the nasal congestion symptoms. It also leads to improved immunity (the hot/cold contrast helps improve the effectiveness of your white blood cells to fight bacteria and viruses), and less cold and flu symptoms. The best time to start this is at the first sign of a cold or flu, but you can start anytime.
Disclaimer: If you have a chronic health condition or another serious medical condition, make sure to check with your doctor before starting this treatment. If you try this treatment and your symptoms get worse, also be sure to check with your doctor.
This is just one tool that naturopathic doctors have to help you get over colds and flus fast. If you want an individualized plan of action to help you get over colds and flus fast this winter, make sure to book in and we will put together a strategy plan for you!
-Image from 123rf.com
Dr. Tamar Ferreira is a Naturopathic Doctor in Brampton, Ontario. Her areas of focus include digestive health, hormone balance, and skin conditions.