Sock Shock Therapy – Can Socks Help You Fight the Flu?

By: Bel Marra Health | Cold and Flu | Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 02:41 PM

Socks fight Cold and FluIt’s cold and flu season, and chances are that the cold will strike you at a most inopportune time. If you want to fight the influenza virus and regain your health fast, the thing to do is to boost your immune system. Be sure to get plenty of rest, consume an abundance of fluids, and avoid immune suppressing sugary foods at all costs.

An older, more traditional approach to revving up the immune system to fight off the cold and flu is sock therapy. But sock therapy, often recommended by naturopathic doctors for influenza, does not simply mean putting on a pair of dry socks and expecting your influenza virus to magically disappear.

Hang Cold and Flu Symptoms Out to Dry with Sock Therapy

According to the Heartland Naturopathic Clinic, sock therapy involves the following steps:

Step 1: Sock Soak. Before you go to bed, soak the foot part of a pair of cotton socks in ice cold water. Then wring out the excess water and place the socks next to your bathtub or water basin.

Step 2: Sole Soak. Fill a basin with hot water and place your feet in the hot water for a few minutes, until your feet warm up. Alternatively, you can have a full body hot bath.

Step 3: Sock Shock Therapy. Dry your feet with a towel. Then put on the cold, wet socks on both of your feet and pull on a pair of dry, thick, wool socks over the wet cotton ones.

Step 4: Sleep it Off. Go to bed immediately and keep your feet covered in both pairs of socks as well as warm bedding.

Step 5 (optional): Rinse and Repeat. Repeat the process in the middle of the night, but eliminate step 2. Just apply cold cotton socks and dry wool socks over your feet and get back in bed.

In most cases, unless the cold and flu symptoms or the influenza persists, Step 5 will not be necessary.  Your feet will start to warm up after just a couple of minutes of getting under the covers, and after about 4 hours your socks will be completely dry and your cold and flu symptoms will hopefully

To give that influenza a real fight, begin sock therapy as soon as you notice cold and flu symptoms, and repeat the therapy for a total of three nights.

Can Socks Really Fend Off Influenza?

According to Dr. Jamey Wallace, ND, sock therapy can help fight cold and flu infections as it helps to activate the body’s immune system. Here’s how it works – The cold of the socks triggers the body to increase blood circulation.  The increased blood circulation then helps to rev up the immune system and lymphatic system, and puts them head to head. It’s like giving the immune system a wake up call to defend itself against the cold and flu virus.

Sock therapy is considered particularly effective when it comes to fighting upper respiratory congestion, such as a stuffy nose or plugged up ears. In addition, this therapy has been found to have a sedating effect, encouraging a good night’s sleep, which further enhances your body’s ability to heal itself. In addition to cold and flu, sock therapy is also used to treat other non influenza conditions like bronchitis and sinus infections.

For years now, sock therapy has been used effectively to treat influenza. So when you start to feel the spray of coughing and sneezing in the air, set out those socks and let them fend off the flu.


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