Overview of Heating Compress

The heating compress is an application of a cold compress to an area that is initially cooled by the water and then warmed by the influx of blood to the area. It is an effective therapy for sore throat, cold, flu, and sinus congestion when it is administered to the throat or feet. When the feet are treated, it is also known as warming socks or a wet socks treatment.

Heating Compress Procedure

Make sure feet are warm and dry. If necessary, warm up feet in warm water before beginning treatment. Wet a pair of white cotton socks in cold water, and wring them out well. The socks should be damp, not dripping wet. Place the socks on both feet. Place wool socks (preferably 100% but no less than 80% wool) over the cotton socks and go to bed. In the morning, the socks should be dry. Perform this treatment every night while congestion/illness lasts.

Heating Compress Contraindications

  • Skin conditions irritated by moisture
  • Weak persons with low vital force

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 01 Jan 2001

Last Modified: 22 Sep 2015