Ear Candling- What Is It And Is It Really Safe?

  • Parents Only

By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist

Ear candling- you’ve probably heard of it, and maybe even tried it, but if you’re anything like us, you’re merely left with a heap of questions. What is it? Is it safe? Can you do it yourself? Although it is known that some ear wax is necessary as a natural ear lubricator and infection preventer, excess can leave you feeling grimy as well as impairing your hearing and causing discomfort. Ear candling seems to be a rather contentious way to deal with this.

How Is It Done?

It’s basically performed by lying on your side, putting a lit, hollow candle (cone of beeswax-soaked cloth or gauze) in your ear and leaving it there for about 10 minutes or so. The heat from the burning candle is meant to soften the ear wax inside you, drawing it into the cone in a vacuum like effect. Depending on the quality, candle sets can be purchased online for anything from $2 to $50 or more. It can be performed at home, however the safety and effectiveness of the process is heavily debated.

[caption id=“attachment_115583” align=“alignnone” width=“750”]ear candling 1 Source: Natures Way[/caption]

Proceed With Caution, Say Doctors


According to many doctors, ear candling is mere quackery, with WebMD putting it on their list of 5 home remedy No-Nos. They have quoted Dr. Jennifer Smullen as saying: “You can actually lose your hearing from ear candling. I’ve had to treat bad consequences of ear candling, including burns in the ear canal and on the eardrum.”

According to her, a better idea is using some toilet paper on your hand to wipe away excess wax from the outer ear, and seeking medical advice if this isn’t enough. Also to avoid: cotton buds!
Check out this video from a doctor who warns against the possibility of causing more harm than good through ear candling.

Source: Business Insider Youtube

A Ritual To Share In

Kathryn Jezer-Morton wrote an interesting “Letter of Recommendation” about ear candling in the New York Times. Although she claims to appreciate the advice of doctors, she believes ear candling with friends is a ritual as simple and mandatory as getting your nails done. She describes both the sense of calm experienced during this process, and the way it can bond people through their mutual helping one another with the candle mere inches from their heads. Although she admits that the result of the candling process doesn’t have her entirely convinced, and that for real ear wax problems it’s probably a better idea to seek out a doctor, she won’t be stopping this ritual anytime soon.

[caption id=“attachment_115587” align=“aligncenter” width=“520”]ear wax? Source: Ideal Self Today[/caption]

Things We Cannot See?


According to We Are All Ears, ear candling is not a mere hygienic practice, but a spiritual one. It is said to help with the following:

  • purifying the blood

  • clearing the eyes

  • opening and aligning the chakras

  • reducing stress and tension

  • strengthening the brain

  • sharpening the senses of smell, taste, and colour perception

  • opening the spiritual centres and cleansing the auric bodies

Despite this impressive list, We Are All Ears¬†claims that any health benefits are mere placebos, and that the practice is all together “NOT safe.” While many people swear by the practice, there is in fact, no scientific evidence to prove that it even removes wax- and that the crumbly product that emerges out of the process is just a by-product of the candle melting. Some food for thought: “Your hearing is too precious to leave to the hands of quacks and charlatans”.

Whilst the spiritual effects of ear-candling cannot be proved and yet cannot be disproved, we recommend that for serious ear wax removal- seek medical assistance.

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