You’d probably never guess that a pair of wet socks could pull congestion from your head and stimulate your immune system. Sounds like hocus-pocus promoted by a traveling charlatan, right?
Guess what. It really does work.
Historically, this hydrotherapy was called “Wet Sock Therapy.” At some point, a marketing savvy naturopath explained to young patients that the overnight drying of the socks was a “healing magic trick” and the name quickly evolved into “Magic Socks.” Kids love it and it actually does work like magic to arrest the onset of mild colds and flus. Here’s how:
When covered (insulated) with wool, damp socks draw congestion from the head and work overnight to stimulate systemic circulation. This treatment reflexively decreases congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat.
The socks will dry overnight as the body brings warm, fresh blood to the feet. This, in turn, invigorates the immune system and helps fend off acute illness. Magic Socks can be used nightly when any concern exists about the onset of an acute infection or illness and with any ongoing insomnia.
For best results repeat treatment for three nights in a row or as instructed by your doctor. If you develop a loss of sensation in your feet while using Magic Socks, remove the socks and check in with your doctor. Do not use this therapy with any condition that has resulted in loss of sensation or circulation to the feet unless first consulting with your doctor.
Make a Pair of Magic (Wet) Socks
- Before bed, wet a pair of thin, cotton anklets in ice-cold water.
- Wring out excess water and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. The wringing out is very important–you don’t want them dripping wet!
- In the meantime, soak your feet in nice warm water to make sure your feet are starting out all nice and warmed up.
- Take the socks out of the freezer and immediately put the socks on your feet. Yes, they will be cold, and yes, you may yelp a little!
- Pull a pair of DRY heavy wool socks over the anklets and climb into bed.
- Cover well; sleep all night with the socks on.
- In the morning the cotton socks should be warm and dry and you can take them off until the next time.