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Ear Candling

Ear Candling is a natural way to clean out earwax, dead bugs, impurities, and debris from your ears. The candles are hollow and cone shaped, with a filter at the pointed end that goes into the ear. They are made with special cotton fiber mixed in with the wax to ensure slow even burning. The idea is that the smoke and fire create a vacuum that pulls out junk and earwax from the ear canal into the hollow candle. People have been doing this for centuries. But does that necessarily make this a good idea to try?

Even though this has been around for longer than I’ve been alive the reviews are very mixed. Some people, like my chiropractor, swear by it. Others warn against the waste of money and unnecessary risk. When my chiropractor’s son was around five years old, about twenty years ago, he wouldn’t respond to anyone if they spoke to him and he couldn’t see them. His father was afraid that his son might be hard of hearing. That was until he tried ear candling. Once they did that, his son’s hearing was back to normal. After he told me this story I thought that I should try it too even though I don’t have ear hearing issues. I just get a lot of ear infections. Plus, I use Q-tips all the time to get water out of my ears after showering. I never find any earwax so I assume it’s deep within the ear canal if there even is much. My boyfriend, let’s call him Larry, has a lot of ear wax so my hypothesis was that his ear candles would be full of ear wax and mine would be fairly empty if this procedure actually works. They will appear the same if it doesn’t work because the debris found in the candles are actually from the candles and not from the inner ears.

We prepared for ear candling by reading the ear candle packaging, watching a YouTube video, and speaking with my chiropractor the day before on proper technique. We had a bowl of water in case something was to happen concerning fire, a wet washcloth for protecting the face, a paper plate covered in tin foil, a lighter, and the ear candles. First, I cut a small hole in the middle of the paper plate just big enough to get the ear candle in. Second, I covered the plate in tin foil with some extra to make the catching area larger, just in case. I marked a line on the candle about 4 inches from the ear tip side so I would know when to stop. Then we were ready to start. Larry laid down on the bed with his head horizontal on a small pillow with a wet wash cloth on the side of his head. Then he situated the ear candle/plate thing. Once the candle was completely vertical and not tilted I lit it. I was a bit surprised at how big the flame was and how dangerous this procedure actually was. It took about 10 minutes for the candle to burn down to the line I had marked. Larry took this surprisingly well considering the fact that he hates fire and anything hot. So when it was time to take the candle out of his ear I gripped it with one hand from below the plate and with the other I held the plate watching carefully for falling ashes while I walked it to the bathroom to gently blow out the fire. Be sure not to blow very forcefully or else you will get ash everywhere. Water also helps to extinguish the flames and ambers. He said it didn’t feel that weird or hot. He couldn’t feel anything coming out of his ears either.

Now the fun part! We cut open the candle and found a lot of powdery wax and some drippy type of wax inside. Very weird. It appeared to work though. His ear felt a little more open but nothing actually noticeable. We were still not convinced. We made sure to soak everything with water before throwing it away to be sure it wouldn’t start a fire. Now it was my turn.

I figured that since I had done it first on him and showed Larry by walking him through it the first time it wouldn’t be that difficult. So we did everything the same as above and now I was the patient. It started off ok. Then the candle started tipping, I of course couldn’t tell, so Larry kept having me move my head to try to keep it vertical. Ashes started falling more than with his run because he kept adjusting me. Good thing for the plate! Then somehow he didn’t keep an eye on the line that was marked so the candle burned down too low. Then the wash cloth was in the way of him gripping the candle. So eventually he just swatted the candle and plate off of my head onto the bed and floor. There was fire on the bed, floor, and in my hair. I started screaming! I ran to the bathroom to put out my hair fire while he stood there freaking out. Once my hair was under control I grabbed the bowl of water and put out the flame on the floor. He grabbed up the candle and put the one on the bed out. What a mess! The ends on part of my hair were singed. The carpet was burned. There was a hole now in a perfectly good comforter. What a horrible end to what was a great day spent together celebrating Valentine’s Day. I was beyond pissed. Screaming, swearing, and completely freaking out. I don’t think I have ever felt or reacted like this in my life. How could he do this to me? I already have trust issues. I do everything myself because I don’t trust others to do it correctly like I would. I told myself this will work out fine; I just need to trust him. It’s a trust exercise. Have faith. And what happens?! The shit hits the fan. Never trust again. Never trust anyone with fire near my face. I could have gotten ash or burning candle in my eyes, or it could have burnt my face. He could have burned down the apartment! It was horrible and it could have easily been even worse! What a terrible idea to try. It broke trust between us and put us in an awful place. I never want to do that again. And since he let it burn down too low I couldn’t even see what came out of my ear! My experiment was also ruined!

I would recommend that anyone that wants to try ear candling to not do it. It didn’t really work for us to say the least. If you really want to try it as a natural way to clean out your ears get it done professionally. A $10 at home kit now will cost us hundreds between buying a new blanket and the apartment security deposit for the burnt carpet. Plus the non-monetary distress it put our relationship in. If you can’t trust the person you are dating it doesn’t leave you in a good place. I just hope we can get past this and be stronger and wiser from it. I try to see the good from situations, like maybe there was a lesson that needed to be learned. This might prevent an even worse event from happening to us in the future. It’s so important to properly prepare, look carefully at the details, and never assume. Perhaps by writing this someone doesn’t have the same misfortune that we did or worse. I wish you luck on your journey to health and hopefully you have learned from our mistake so you don’t have to make the same one!

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