The Chinese method of ear wax removal is often considered a modern form of alternative medicine, but it actually extends far into history. Ear candling is believed to date back 2500 years and has roots in not only Chinese, but also Egyptian, Tibetan and Native American cultures. There is much research on the benefits as well as the dangers of this practice.
Reasons for Trying Ear Candling
You may be looking to ear candling for different reasons. You may want to relieve pressure in your ear canal and your sinuses; you may suffer from ear infections or pain in your ear or head; you may have ringing in your ears; you may have a job that requires you to be in water constantly, like a life guard; and you may just wish to clean out your ears more thoroughly. Whatever your reason, ear candling may be an option for you.
How Ear Candling Works
Proponents of ear candling assert that it works by the burning wax creating a vacuum that pulls wax and debris from the eardrum. It is also claimed that the smoke dries the ear canal, allowing for dead cells, toxins, and other debris to be naturally expunged. Critics have been very critical of these possibilities, but supporters of ear candling seem to be very satisfied with their ear health after these treatments.
Keep in Mind
If you are suffering from a serious medical condition, it is important that you seek attention from a licensed medical doctor. Ear candling should not replace responsible medical care. Seek professional advice before you launch a home ear candling program.
Procedure of Ear Candling
Before you start, you will need to gather the following: ear candles which you can purchase from Internet sites, alternative medical stores, or whole food grocery stores; a pair of scissors; matches or a lighter; a covering for your upper body, like a towel; two styrofoam plates covered in aluminum foil—one with a one-inch hole in the center for the candle to be pushed through and the other with wet paper towels placed on it; and lastly, a friend to help and oversee.
Lying on one side, place the candle in the ear facing the ceiling, positioning the candle as vertically as possible. Have a friend maneuver the plate to cover as much of your face as possible. Have your friend light the wick of the candle and let it burn until there is one inch of ash and cut halfway down the ash. Make the cut as horizontal as possible. Use the flat sides of the scissors to balance the cut ashes and transfer them to the other plate. Allow the candle to burn until it is 1 to 1 1/2 inch over the plate and then remove the plate while holding the candle steady. Check your ear to be sure that there is no debris in it; if so, use body oil or bay oil and a cotton swab to gently remove debris without pressing it into the ear canal. You may cut open the candle to observe its contents--usually a dark, waxy substance--and decide if more than one treatment is needed.