Ear Candling: Healing or Hoax?
01/25/2012 | 05:32 PM
What is Ear Candling?
Ear candling is a process that proponents say cleans the ears by drawing out any dirt and debris. Proponents say that the negative pressure formed by the candle draws out ear wax and other toxins, which forms a black residue. Ear candles are made out of cotton or linen arranged in the shape of a cone and then immersed in melted wax. One end of the candle is lit and the other is placed in the ear canal. The specially crafted candles are designed to burn for about 10 minutes, the length of the procedure. To prevent any wax or ash from getting on the client, a plate or aluminum pie tin is used to cover the patient’s face, with the candle snugly fitting through a hole at its centre.
Some consider ear candling as a new kind of therapy. There are a number of spas and health clinics that offer the treatment. It is claimed that the process was developed as early as 2500 B.C. in Egypt as a natural method to clean ears and sinuses.
Ear candling: How it is Done
The most popular method is to have the client lie on their side. A damp towel is used to cover their face, neck and shoulders. The candle is placed in the ear, and the other end is lit. The heat and smoke is supposed to stimulate the ejection of all parasites, debris and earwax.
After the ear candling activity, some dark-colored, wax-like particles are evident on the candle’s stub which was inserted in the client’s ear canal. These particles are said to be the debris and earwax that have been removed.
Ear Candling: The Health Claims
Ear candling is a popular alternative treatment. Practitioners claim it has a number of health benefits, including enhancing hearing ability, eliminating vertigo, stopping tinnitus, alleviating stress, increasing energy, improving the immune system, and relief from sinusitis.
Ear Candling: The Evidence and Risks
There are no scientific studies from reputable sources to support the medical claims attributed to ear candling. Candles that are sold with health claims are classified as medical devices by the FDA, and since they have not been approved, they are illegal. The FDA has banned the importation of auricular candles into the United States, and although you can buy them, the seller cannot make any claims on what the ear candle is for or that it actually works.
While the health benefits are dubious at best, there have been a number of fires resulting from the procedure, and incidences of people who have had hot wax spilled on their ear drum. Burns from the flame or hot wax are another health risk.
Ear Candling: Conclusion
Ear candling is promoted as an ancient and natural process that can be used to treat a variety of medical problems. However, the procedure lacks scientific credibility, has been widely discredited by medical professionals, and can cause harm to your health