Cold Sock Hydrotherapy Treatment to relieve Congestion


This has been a week of patients coming in with nasty, gunky colds.  Since so many folks can’t reach their physicians in the next few days,  Here is my first line solution to nasal/sinus congestion or headaches.

May your holidays be happy.

Cold Socks Treatment

The Cold Sock Treatment is a simple hydrotherapy technique that is especially effective for relieving nasal congestion in bed at night (frequently better than medications and without the side effects).

It also helps to stimulate the immune system in the upper respiratory tract and is relaxing for aches and chills, and helps bring on a more restful night’s sleep when sick.

I find it helpful in such conditions as colds, earaches, sore throats, sinus infections and headaches. It is useful with people of any age from infants to the elderly.

The Cold Sock Treatment is especially good to use with the nasal congestion of colds and influenza.

Preparations. Prepare by having a pair of cotton socks and a pair of wool socks. Most sporting goods stores and some department stores carry wool socks, get the highest percentage of wool that you can find. For small children: hold an adult wool sock on to their pajamas with safety pins. I’ve even tucked a tiny baby inside a wool sweater using the arms of the sweater as leg coverings and pinning the sleeve openings shut.

Step 1. Soak the foot part of the cotton socks in cold tap water and wring them out thoroughly. Place the socks close to the basin or bathtub used in the next step. 

Step 2. Take a warm bath to stimulate your circulation.  If the idea of a bath is unappealing, you can warm only the feet. 

Step 3. Remove your feet from the hot water and quickly dry them off. Immediately put on the cold wet cotton socks, and then over them, put on the dry wool socks.

Step 4. Go directly to bed and keep the feet covered.

When the Cold Sock Treatment procedure is followed correctly the feet will start warming up within a few minutes of getting covered in bed. The congestion will usually start to be relieved within 30 minutes.

It is not uncommon to see an infant or small child immediately fall asleep after they are put to bed with the Cold Sock Treatment. After approximately four hours, the socks should be totally dry, the feet warm, and the symptoms will be much improved (if not gone).

If necessary the Cold Sock Treatment can be used on consecutive night to move long standing congestion along.

How does this simple technique eliminate congestion?

Our bodies are amazing systems.  When one area of the body gets cold, our circulatory system speeds blood flow to that area in an attempt to warm it. 

Reflexively, the blood flow increase will increase blood flow through areas of congestion, bringing the excess fluids in the congested area into more generalized circulation for processing.

Whenever my twins were dealing with ear pain, nasal congestion, coughs, chest congestion or headaches, they would quickly ask for cold socks.  
As a bonus, they would end up napping, a benefit for both them and I.