image via lovethispic

image via lovethispic

Did you know wearing wet socks to bed could help cure your cold? 

Hydrotherapy is the use of hot and cold water in therapeutic ways to help strengthen the immune system and heal the body.  There are so many different forms of hydrotherapy ranging from Japanese onsens to Finnish saunas to Naturopathic constitutional hydrotherapy treatments. 

One particular treatment that I love and use all the time is the warming socks hydrotherapy treatment. 

Begin by making sure your body and especially your feet are not chilled or cold.  Either take a hot shower, bath, do a foot soak or if you're feeling too sick to do those or just lazy, simply run your feet under hot water to warm them up. 

Then take 100% cotton socks and run them under COLD water.  Wring them out well and put them on.  This is not a typo.  You read this correctly.  Yes I just said put on wet socks. 

Then put DRY 100% WOOL socks on over the damp cotton socks.  Make sure the socks are 100% wool and not a wool blend.  (You can find wool socks at outdoor stores or sporting good stores in the camping or ski sections). It will feel a little strange at first but I promise you, it actually sounds stranger than it feels.  Once the wet cotton socks and dry wool socks are on, go straight to bed and in the morning your cotton socks will be completely dry. 

Your body will work to increase circulation to dry the cotton socks and mimic the beneficial effects of a fever, stimulating blood flow.  Not only is this unusual but effective treatment great for colds and flus, it's also great for headaches, congestion and sleep issues. 

During my first year of medical school, I barely knew anything about herbs, homeopathy, nutraceuticals or any other actual treatments but I had already learned about hydrotherapy.  I caught the worst flu of my life while traveling to India and simply did this treatment every night and by the 2nd or 3rd night, I was already 70% better.  To this day, it's one of the first treatments I do when I start to feel under the weather.