Ear Candling (Thermal Auricular Candling)
It’s January, and already lots of people, myself included, have succumbed to the lurgy!
I, for one, have felt a bit rough but am now on the mend, not least because I like to practice what I preach to my clients, by using a wide range of tools and techniques to help me along the way.
First of all, I’ve made sure I got plenty of rest and lots of fluids – you need both of these to assist your body to heal more quickly. You need to listen to your body.
Secondly, although I haven’t had much appetite, I’ve tried to eat regularly, if only small meals like porridge or soup, but necessary all the same. As my car doesn’t run without diesel, my body can’t recover without the energy that food provides.
I’ve been using a range of holistic treatments too – essential oils, eucalyptus balm and tonight, I’m getting my husband to carry out an ear candling treatment for me, which brings me to the subject of this months’ blog.
Ear Candling or Thermal Auricular Candling, has been receiving a bit of stick lately in some quarters. It’s one of those treatments that doesn’t have a big evidence base to prove its efficacy, so it must be a load of ‘Woo-woo’! Forget the fact that there is evidence of ear candling taking place thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, and a whole host of very satisfied customers, many of them from my couch! There’s no doubt, that in the wrong hands there can be hazards to using ear candles; it’s like anything – if you don’t know what you’re doing, things can go wrong. All I can say is that in the four years I’ve been using them, I have never had a problem or a complaint from a client.
Anyway; I digress!
What is ear candling?
A candle is made from linen or muslin cloth and coated in beeswax and essential oils, such as Chamomile, Eucalyptus and Lavender. Each candle has a filter fitted into the base of the candle, to mitigate the risk of any candle debris falling into the outer ear canal.
What happens during a treatment?
Following a consultation to rule out contra-indications, the client lies on one side and the candle is gently but securely inserted into the outer ear canal. (I use a metal shield, rather like a small saucer, around the candle to prevent hot candle debris falling onto either my hand or the clients head). The candle is then lit, and allowed to burn down to a specific level, indicated on the outside of the candle. How long this takes can vary greatly from one client to another, ranging from 5-20 minutes; sometimes longer. When this is completed, the client turns over and we repeat it on the other side.
A light suction action occurs (rather like a chimney) and the movement of the flame creates a vibration of warm air within the candle, generating a massage-like effect, on the ear drum.
It is important to note that the candle does NOT ‘suck’ the wax out of the ear; it stimulates the ear to eliminate the wax naturally. This process can continue to occur for several days after treatment, which is perfectly normal.
Inducing a pleasant feeling of warmth and relaxation, there is a balance of pressure in the ears, forehead and sinuses. The client may also be able to hear fizzing and popping as the candle burns down. The physical effect of this is often described as being a very soothing, pressure and pain relieving sensation, mainly in the ears and head area.
Treatment may spontaneously cause freer nasal breathing and an improved sense of smell, even when the nose has been previously blocked.
Furthermore, the whole ceremony brings about wonderful sense of relaxation, security and peace.
In the case of my clients, they get a significant bonus in the form of the wonderful Emmett Technique. I use a range of lymphatic drainage techniques around the head, neck and chest area before and after the ear candling, which definitely enhances the effects and the experience.
What are the benefits?
Besides being wonderfully relaxing, ear candle therapy can help to alleviate:
- Tinnitus, compacted ear wax and glue ear
- Sore throats and hay fever
- Headache and migraine
- Sinusitis and rhinitis
- Catarrh and asthma
Ear candle therapy can also improve:
- Stimulation of blood and energy flow
- Regulation of pressure in the ears and head
- Relaxation in conditions of anxiety and stress
Who isn’t suitable for ear candling?
It’s worth remembering, that ear candling is not for everyone, and that’s why it’s so important to have a really good understanding of what you’re doing. So; it’s clearly not for everyone – here are a few of the contra-indications:
- In cases of acute infection or inflammation around the opening of the ear canal
- Perforated ear drum
- Grommets in place
- In cases of any allergy to any of the components of the candle e.g. beeswax
So, in the right hands, and in my opinion and experience, ear candling is a safe, therapeutic and wonderfully relaxing treatment – I’m certainly looking forward to mine!