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The Warming Socks Treatment

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

At-Home Hydrotherapy for Cold and Flu Season

The Warming Socks Treatment is a traditional hydrotherapy remedy developed in Europe centuries ago. The treatment works by stimulating the body’s natural healing response and encouraging an increase in peripheral blood circulation in order to warm up the socks. This treatment is thought to stimulate the immune system in the upper respiratory tract by increasing blood flow to the lower parts of your body, drawing fluids downwards to relieve congestion. It encourages lymphatic drainage and may increase white blood cells, which are necessary for fighting acute infections.

Alongside an individualized and integrated health plan that encourages rest, hydration, nutritional strategies and the use of specific herbs, supplements and/or homeopathics, the Warming Sock Treatment is an affordable, safe and effective way to improve any of the indications listed below.


  • Nasal Congestion • Cold/Flu Symptoms

  • Sore Throats • Coughs

  • Bronchitis • Ear Infections

  • Respiratory Infections • Fever/Chills

  • Headaches/Migraines • Difficulty Sleeping

Supplies & Instructions

  1. Draw a warm/hot bath; the water should cover the top of your ankles. Place an ice basin of a similar water depth next to your bath tub, with cotton socks in the ice/cold water basin.

  2. ** Contrast Hydrotherapy: Place feet in warm bath for a few minutes until feet are warm and pink. Then contrast into the ice water basin for 30 seconds, and back into the warm bath until feet are warm and pink again. Rotate hot-cold a minimum of 3 times, ending on warm.

  3. After your last warm foot bath, remove your feet from the water and quickly dry them off. Immediately wring out the cotton socks as best you can and put them on your feet (it’s important to get as much water out as possible). Put the DRY thick wool socks on over the wet cotton socks.

  4. Go directly to bed and keep your feet covered in blankets throughout the night.

Your feet should start warming up within a few minutes of getting into bed. Congestion typically improves within 45 minutes. After approximately 4 hours, the cotton socks should be totally dry. If you find your cotton socks are not drying out within 1 hour, they were likely not wrung out enough. Start over, repeating all steps.

This treatment should be repeated 3 nights in a row for full benefit, and can be used as needed to help resolve any ongoing symptoms.

** Contrast Hydrotherapy is not typically part of the warming socks treatment, but can be added to encourage circulation prior to the warming socks treatment. If you’re not feeling up for the contrast, simply skip step 2.

Cautions & Contraindications: The Warming Socks Treatment is safe even for very young children, and can be helpful for nap/bedtime owing to its soothing sedative effect. However, people with chronic health concerns or compromised immune systems such as diabetes, Raynaud’s phenomenon/syndrome, arterial insufficiency or advanced intermittent claudication, should ask their Naturopathic Doctor if this treatment is appropriate for them before trying.

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