Ear candling, also known as ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy, is a controversial alternative practice that involves placing a hollow, cone-shaped candle in the ear canal and lighting the other end to create suction. It is claimed to remove earwax and impurities, but there is little scientific evidence to support its effectiveness and concerns about its safety. It's essential to exercise extreme caution if you choose to try ear candling, and it's strongly recommended to consult a medical professional for ear-related concerns. If you still decide to proceed, here's a general guide on how to use an ear candle:
Materials You'll Need:
- Ear candle (typically made of fabric or wax)
- A tray or protective paper plate
- A towel
- A helper (recommended for safety)
- A cup of water for extinguishing the candle
1. Prepare Your Environment:
- Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can lie down or sit with your head at a slight angle.
- Place a towel over your shoulder and under the ear where you'll insert the ear candle to catch any wax or debris.
2. Prepare the Ear Candle:
- Trim the ear candle's wick to about 1-1.5 inches in length.
- Examine the ear candle for any cracks or damage, and make sure it's in good condition.
3. Position Yourself:
- Lie on your side with the ear you're treating facing upwards.
- It's strongly recommended to have someone assist you in this process to ensure safety.
4. Insert the Ear Candle:
- Gently insert the small, tapered end of the ear candle into your ear canal. It should be a snug fit but not forced.
- Make sure the ear candle is perpendicular to the ear canal and not tilted.
5. Light the Ear Candle:
- Light the larger end of the ear candle with a flame.
- Hold the candle at a slight angle so that the flame is directed slightly away from your face.
- As the candle burns, it creates a chimney effect, which is claimed to create a gentle vacuum and draw out impurities.
6. Monitor the Candle:
- Keep an eye on the burning candle, ensuring it doesn't get too close to your face or hair. It should burn down slowly over about 10-15 minutes.
7. Extinguish the Candle:
- When the ear candle has burned down to within a few inches of the ear, carefully extinguish it by dipping it into a cup of water or using a fireproof tray.
- Do not blow out the flame, as this can cause hot ash to fly.
8. Remove the Ear Candle:
- Gently remove the ear candle from your ear, and extinguish any remaining hot embers in the cup of water.
- Examine the contents of the ear candle. Some practitioners claim you can see earwax or impurities in the residue.
9. Repeat the Process for the Other Ear (if desired):
- If you wish to treat the other ear, repeat the process on the opposite side.
It's crucial to emphasize that ear candling should be approached with caution, as there are serious risks involved, including burns, ear canal damage, and the potential for melted candle wax to enter the ear. The claimed benefits of ear candling are not supported by scientific evidence, and it's generally not recommended by healthcare professionals. If you have concerns about earwax or ear health, consult with a medical practitioner or an ear specialist (otologist or otolaryngologist) for appropriate evaluation and treatment.