Wet Sock Treatment

So how does wearing wet sock at bedtime treat colds? The cold socks stimulate the body to reflexively increase blood circulation, which helps to decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages head and throat. The increased circulation supports lymphatic movement in the cervical region and stimulates the immune system to begin fighting the cold. It is also effective to relieve pain and support he body’s own healing response. The wet sock treatment is actually considered a “warming treatment” because it allows the body to heat itself during the night and you will wake up with less congestion and dry socks!



Sore throat or any inflammation or infection of the throat, neck pain, ear infections, headaches, migraines, nasal congestion, upper respiratory infections, coughs, bronchitis, and sinus infections.



Use with caution in diabetes, Raynaud’s phenomenon or syndrome, arterial insufficiency or advanced intermittent claudication.



1 pair white cotton socks

1 pair thick wool socks


Warm bath or warm foot bath



  1. Take a pair of thin cotton socks and soak them completely with cold water. After wetting the socks, wring them out thoroughly so they do not drip. You may consider placing them in the freezer for 10-20 minutes (during the duration of step 2) to enhance the cooling effect (socks do not have to be put in the freezer. Cold water from the faucet is sufficient).
  2. While the socks are cooling, warm your feet in a warm bath for 5-10 minutes. This is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful if your feet are not warmed first.
  3. Dry off feet and body with a dry towel.
  4. If needed, remove the cotton socks from the freezer, and bend or thaw them to the point where they can be worn. Place socks on the feet and cover the cold socks with a second pair of thick, dry wool socks. Go directly to bed.  Avoid getting chilled.
  5. Keep the socks on overnight. You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry by the morning.


Effects of the Wet Sock Treatment

This treatment acts to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It has a sedating action and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment. This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections.