Is there a way to be prepared if you have a sick child and there’s no doctor available? —or if you are starting to feel ill and really need to stay well in a grid-down situation?
Though you may have never heard of it, heating the feet first and then wearing cold wet socks to bed increases your circulation and regulates your temperature. And these effects can help stimulate your immune system, achieve quality sleep, aid digestion, undo a hangover, and relieve pain.
Should you try it? To give you a clearer picture, I will start at the beginning.
Begin with warm. End with cold.
The Romans used hot and cold water for health benefits in their ancient baths.
Around the time of the Spanish Flu and WW1, nurses trained staff in care facilities to use alternating hot and cold towels for healing the sick and injured. I learned of it in nursing school and wrote about it here: ‘Fomentation’: The Lost Treatment for Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Spider Bites.
And we can easily reproduce the same effect AT HOME using wet socks.
Wet Socks Can Help You Sleep, Breathe Better & Moderate Fever
The experts at Bastyr Center for Natural Health often prescribe the wet socks treatment to their patients and see them come back touting a variety of overnight benefits. The doctors found that the increase in circulation has a sedating effect on patients, allowing one to fall asleep quickly and experience deep sleep. It also increases activity in the lymphatic system. Numerous naturopathic hospitals and clinics here, here, here, here, and here use this modality, and I could list more.
Dr. Mary Bove explains in her book, An Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants, that this method has been traditionally used as a replacement for fever-reducing medications
Many say it cures hangovers.
The increased blood circulation affects every area of your body just like taking a brisk walk, only you do it while you sleep.
This supplies your body with steady nourishment and oxygen from your red blood cells, which can trigger a healing reaction with reduction of pain.
Although it may sound uncomfortable, for those that try it, it actually feels quite nice.
This treatment can be used on both adults and children.
What You Need:
- A tub
- A towel
- A pair of thin cotton socks
- A pair of thick wool socks
- A refrigerator
- A warm bed
- Ready a pair of thin cotton socks in the sink with cold water. Wring them out so they’re not dripping wet. Throw them into the fridge to stay cold.
- Run a very warm (but not hot) bath for your child. Soak for about 15 minutes and maintain warmth so as to not chill. (This will not work if the feet are not very warm first).
- Get your child out of the bath, put on warm pajamas, and place the cold wet socks on their feet with a few drops of *diluted* Thieves (here’s my version) or Purification (here’s my version) essential oils on each sole.
- (Remember, your feet are very warm so the cold will feel OK)
- Place thick dry wool socks over the cold ones. (The Kirkland brand from Costco or any super thick wool socks will work).
- Put your child (or yourself) to bed within 30 minutes. Use extra blankets, if needed, for added warmth.
- When you or your child wake up in the morning, both socks will be dry.
Note: You may repeat 2-3 additional times during nap or overnight to continue to support the immune system. Warm bone broth and these 9 key nutrients will prime a child’s or teen’s immune system.
Dr. Katie Corazzo of Mind Body Green explains what then happens in your body:
“The vessels in your feet constrict (close down) as your feet cool down, which sends all the extra blood and nutrients into your organs and tissues. These nutrients are needed to stimulate healing. Then when your feet will start to warm up again, your vessels will dilate to release the heat. This is when the junk in your tissues is dumped into your bloodstream so that your body can dispose of it. The alternating of hot and cold creates a pumping mechanism that stimulates your circulation and lymphatics. The results are a regenerated immune system and decreased congestion.”
“Water, bestowed by the Creator of man, and plants selected from the plant kingdom form the essential elements needed to cure diseases and make the body healthy” ~Sebastian Kneipp (1821–1897)
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