Ear candling is a traditional therapy used by the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, Mayans and Incas. The original use of ear candling was for aura, spiritual cleansing and purification. Ear candling was used to cleanse and harmonise the different energy fields of the body. It was also used during initiation rituals and healing ceremonies. The importance and use of ear candling has been illustrated in numerous ancient wall paintings, including paintings found within caves of the Grand Canyon, USA.
What is an ear candle?
An ear candle is a hollow cotton tube, approximately 30cm in length. The cotton is impregnated by beeswax, honey and oils. The most common oils being chamomile, which is an anti-inflammatory and a gentle anti-spasmodic sedative, sage, which stimulates the lymph system and can increase circulation, and St John’s Wort which is a restorative tonic for the nervous system. Other oils can be used including peppermint, lemongrass and eucalyptus.
How does ear candling work?
The client lies down, fully clothed, with their head to one side. One end of the candle is lit and the other end is very gently placed just inside the ear canal. The therapist will hold the candle continuously throughout the treatment. By placing the candle approximately 2mm inside the ear, a gentle suction will be experienced and a vacuum will occur which will draw out impurities from the ear canal. The vacuum is caused by warmed air from the flame combining with the colder air within the candle The burning action infuses the herbs and essential oils into a vapour which is drawn down into the auditory canal, performing a massaging function. The client may hear a fire crackling sound and may have some gentle “popping” as the pressure equalises within the ear canal.
Benefits of ear candling
Ear candling can benefit conditions affecting the head and ears such as migraine, tension headaches, tinnitus, sinusitis, glue ear, hay fever, rhinitis, excessive ear wax, colds, vertigo, asthma, snoring and stress.
Other benefits can be the stimulation and detoxifying of the lymphatic system, a catalyst to clear nerve endings and promote hearing, it can provide a boost to the immune system, it can also improve mental functions, vision, hearing, taste and colour perceptions, and can also bring about a more balanced emotional state and clearer thinking.
When not to use ear candling
It is suggested that if the client has a current ear infection, any ear inflammation, a perforated ear drum or if you have had recent ear surgery or grommets are in situ ear candling should be avoided. If you are allergic to any of the products of the candle one should not have this therapy.
It is advised that due to St John’s Wort being a component of the ear candle, that if you are on the following medications you should not have an ear candling treatment:
certain antidepressants such as SSRI’s.
It is also highly recommended that olive oil or other products used to soften ear wax are not placed into the ear canal at least 5 days prior to a treatment. Hair products should also be avoided on the day of the treatment as the majority of hair products are flammable.
What happens during an ear candling session?
You will be asked to like down with your head to one side. The ear candle is lit one end and the other end is placed just inside the ear canal. The therapist will hold the candle in place throughout the treatment time which could take approximately 5 minutes per ear. The client may hear the sound of fire crackling and may experience a gentle ear popping as the air pressure within the ear canal equalises. You may feel warmth in the ear and perhaps through the Eustachian tube. Once the candle has burned down to the safety marker the candle is removed from the ear and is extinguished in water. The ear is then very gently massaged. The client will then turn their head to the other side and the treatment is repeated.
Once both ears have been treated the therapist will massage the ears, the face and along the jaw line to encourage lymphatic drainage. This will also enhance the healing effects of the candling.
The client is offered a glass of water and is encouraged to swallow following the completion of the treatment.
Some clients may experience a relief from the symptoms on their first treatment, but if they have had the ailment for some time the client may need two or more treatment sessions.
Is ear candling for me?
If you have an ailment to do with the head and ears (and do not have any of the contra-indications as mentioned above) and are looking for a deeply relaxing experience this may be for you.
Generally, ear candling is a safe, simple and relaxing holistic therapy and maybe helpful in relieving a range of ailments. It is very important to seek out a qualified practitioner who is able to carry out the treatment professionally and ensure that the practitioner is fully insured.
Please note: to receive this treatment the client is required to lie down and remain still for approximately 10 minutes for each individually treated ear – if you are unable to do this, for safety reasons, you will not be able to have the treatment.