Ear candling, also known as "ear coning," is a 3,500 year-old holistic healing method that was believed to have been practiced by the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Mayans and Tibetans and was usually reserved for royalty and warriors. Today, ear candling is used by the Amish and other holistic practitioners the world over because the method is less invasive than conventional medicine has to offer.
Ear candling involves placing a long wax cone in the ear and lighting the end of the stick furthest from the head. The candle is made of a cotton muslin cloth dipped in beeswax that has been rolled into a cone shape and left to dry. Sometimes, the beeswax contains infusions of healing herbs and essential oils like lavender and sage.
The tip of the candle cone that is placed inside the ear is sometimes dipped in a special ear oil you can get at the health food store that contains extracts of mullein, garlic and St. Johns Wort. Garlic helps kill the bacteria that may be trapped in the ear, mullein lubricates the ear canal and St. Johns Wort works as a pain-killer.
Mullein is a common plant, seen growing along roadsides with a tall, yellow flower spike with wooly-feeling leaves. Mullein is used for treating inflammations and swellings and cleanses the lymphatic system. It's very good for earache. The ointment can also be used after the candling session is over to prevent the return of any potential ear infection.
The candle is placed in a hole cut into a paper plate or small metal pie pan to prevent the wax from dripping onto the person having the candling done on. As a safeguard, a glass or bowel of water is kept handy to extinguish the flame. Extreme caution should be practiced when doing candling since it is a potential fire hazard.
The way it works is the lit candle creates the phenomenon known as convection which causes softer ear wax to be drawn up into the base of the candle. It is believed the softer waxes can contain trapped allergens, molds, yeasts, bacteria, viruses and ear mites. When excess wax is removed, the trapped material goes with it. A vacumn-like force is created by the rising heat and smoke of the melting candle suctions out impacted ear wax containing foreign bodies affecting the ear canal.
These foreign bodies have been implicated in chronic earaches and ear infections, tinnitus, sinusitis, post-nasal drip and even bronchitis. It is particularly effective for small children who suffer from constant earaches and/or ear infections. It's believed that once the germ-infected debris is removed, a return to health will occur. Ear candling can also restore balance and equilibrium, improve hearing, prevent sea and car sickness since the germ-ridden wax debris affects the fine hairs of the ear which are responsible for not only hearing, but balance and spatial orientation as well.
These hairs can be hampered by excess ear wax build up and even destroyed by the harmful germs trapped in the ear. Ear candling can be performed once a year, once a month, or once a week depending on the needs of the person. Swimmers or others who spend lots of their time in the water should have it done once a week as a preventive measure.
The ear candling should be performed by only someone who is properly trained in ear candling because the ear drum could be damaged by having the cone inserted too far into the ear or at the wrong angle, or by burning wax that drips down the inside of the cone into the ear. The experience is very relaxing and the practitioner usually massages the sinuses while the ear candling is being performed. A slight crackling is heard inside the ear and this is a good sign since it means the excess water and wax inside the ear are evaporating from the heat of the burning candle. The end result is that there is a glob of wax at the ear-end of the cone, proof there the accumulated ear wax and other impurities are now gone.
While certain medical and government agencies claim ear candling can not cure anything, the ancient art form is still practiced widely. The only contraindication is that it should not be practiced on anyone with a hearing device, a perforated eardrum, an ear tube or any other serious ear condition.
Ear candling can also provide subtle energy benefits - clearing up blocked chi, improving lymphatic flow as well as unblocking pressure on nerve endings to improve mental functioning, color perception, taste, smell, hearing and vision.
Kathy Anne Resasco is owner of KFW The Spa 4 Skin, a full-service skin treatment spa offering a variety of services including laser hair removal, cellulite reduction, light rejuvenation and oxygen facials, age spot and stretch-mark removal, ear candling, massage and essential oil therapies. KFW The Spa for Skin is located at 60 Lorraine Court, Holbrook, NY 11741. For a free, no obligation consultation by appointment, call Kathy at (631) 737-2070 or visit:www.kfwthespa4skin.150m.com.