Ear candling. Sticking a lit candle in your ear. It’s touted as a solution to ear wax buildup and many other things.
What is an ear candle?
Ear candles are hollow cones of cloth soaked in paraffin or beeswax, placed over the ear and lit on fire.
The general idea is that the heat from candling softens and melts the wax from inside the ear, drawing it up and out of the ear canal via the vacuum created by the burning candle.
What do they claim to help?
These are just some of the claims that proponents of candling ascribe to the practice:
- provides relief from sinus pressure and pain
- cleanses the ear canal
- improves hearing
- regulates pressure
- purifies the mind
- strengthens the brain
- cures swimmer’s ear and other ear infections relieve earaches
- sharpens the senses of smell, taste, and colour perception
- stabilises emotions
- stops tinnitus
- relieves vertigo
- fortifies the central nervous system
- clears the eyes
- purifies the blood
- acts as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, or antibiotic
- aids sinusitis
- releases blocked energy
- reduces stress and tension
- opens and align the chakras
- opens the spiritual centres and cleanse the auric bodies…
Of course, there is little if any scientific evidence to support most of these claims.
While candling promises to remove impurities, blockages and wax in the ear canal, it rarely if ever delivers even on these promises. In fact, it often ends up only adding extra wax to the inner ear, hot wax at that, which can be dangerous. Any effect it has on health is a placebo.
The practice has led to the emergency room and worse, as could be expected from lying down on your bed with a burning flame jetting out of your ear.
Examining the myths
No serious doctors would recommend such a practice, but there are many claims about ear candling as a solution to earwax buildup. Let’s examine a few:
“They can cleanse your entire system through your ear canal.”
Nope. Liquids and gasses can’t pass through normal healthy eardrums.
“They create a vacuum above your ear canal.”
No again. They create heat, but no kind of vacuum of any force sufficient rot draw anything from your ears.
They are NOT safe. You’re balancing a lit candle on your ear, in many cases without any supervision. This is the opposite of safe. This is unsafe.
The practice has been repeatedly debunked by actual doctors and medical fraternities.
So, when someone tells you it’s a good way to clear your ears, don’t believe everything you hear.
Your hearing is too precious to leave to the hands of quacks and charlatans. If you have a wax build up, you should go to visit a doctor or audio specialist and have your ear canal inspected by a professional.