Ear candles bring together the elements of fire, heat and scented smoke – all used since antiquity as healing tools and still valued today.
Ear candling is an ancient and natural therapy handed down by many civilizations (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, …). Historical roots can be found among the peoples of the Siberian prairies, Asia, the Native North and South American Indians. The candles were probably initially used for cleansing, purifying and healing on a spiritual basis and later the physical benefits would have become known.
Traditional practices faded out in many parts of the world, but in America some members of the Hopi Indians kept the ear candling tradition alive. The Hopi Indians are renowned for their extensive knowledge of healing and their spiritual lifestyle. Hopi means ‘peaceful ones’. Ear candles are often referred to as ‘hopi candles’, but to respect the wishes of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Society, the use of the name ‘Hopi’ on ear candles is being phased out.
Heat was recognised as a useful tool to relieve painful conditions such as aching muscles and earache. Smoke in scented form was used to cleanse and clear negative energy. Ear candling has evolved as a user-friendly way of bringing together the elements of fire, heat, smoke and herbs to promote healing and a sense of well-being.
Ear candling is a pleasant and non-invasive treatment of the ears, used to treat a variety of conditions. Some of the common conditions that may benefit from an ear candling treatment are :
- excessive/compacted ear wax
- glue ear
- mild hearing loss
- ear aches
- sinus problems
- sore throats
- snoring (in some cases)
- hay fever
- Meniere’s disease
- pressure regulations, diver’s ear, flying problems
Ear candles are hollow tubes made out of cotton, flax or hemp, sprayed or dipped with beeswax. Some have been infused with extract of honey and herbs. Burning time per candle is generally around 10 minutes per ear. A filter is used to prevent particles dropping into the ear. There is also a marker line indicating the burning level and a protective disc to protect the outer ear and face.
Due to the shape of the candle being a hollow tube, it has a chimney effect when lit and a mild suction action. The mild suction and the heat of the released vapours circulating inside the ear gently massage the eardrum, helping to soften and loosen compacted earwax.
The ingredients of the candle vapourise and circulate around the outer part of the ear. This futher promotes the natural release of excessive earwax from the ear canal. Earwax is softened and is usually naturally expelled up to 48 hours after the treatment.
The change of temperature leads to a change in pressure and expansion in these areas – e.g. in the sinuses, this will lead to congestion clearing. Gentle heat is experienced around the ear, promoting the flow of blood and lymph in the ears and surrounding structures, which can promote healing.
Both the sound waves and pressure waves from the vapourised ingredients have a gentle massaging effect on the eardrum and consequently on the structures of the middle and inner ear. The ear, nose and throat are all connected so this has the effect of balancing and regulating pressure in the area.
Many of the constituents of the candles have properties that calm and soothe the nervous system and also have the effect of lifting depression and promoting a ‘feel good factor’.
The effect of the treatment will be further enhanced by a specialised massage of the face, neck, ears and scalp, balancing the body and giving a feeling of well-being.