Friday, May 09, 2008

Beeswax ‘Ear Candles’ Used to Clear Congestion

Hopi: A Candle Brought Music to My Ears
Daily Telegraph (UK), 5/5/2008

…"London is LOUD, isn't it," I texted a friend. God, I felt good, euphoric almost - as though my brain had been "freed up". This must be how normal people feel all the time, I thought; people whose auditory canals and sinuses are as clear and free-flowing as a mountain stream.

My own anatomy in this region had more in common with the old Leeds and Liverpool Canal - static and stagnant - until a kindly therapist stuck a burning candle in each ear, decongesting them, releasing pressure and triggering a wonderful ripple effect throughout all interconnected tubes and cavities.

Therapist Marie Coudounas was diplomatic. "There's a lot of build-up, particularly in your left ear," she said. "You may need to come again." What she meant was, "You have a disgusting amount of wax and one treatment won't shift it."

I am now addicted to what is known as thermal auricular therapy, or ear candling. Though subsequent treatments have not proved as dramatic as the first, the decongested life is a revelation, and more pleasant than knocking back Sudafed.

Ear candling, a traditional therapy used by the Ancient Greeks, was popularised by the Hopi Indian tribe of the American south-west. The narrow, hollow rolled column of cotton flax is impregnated with beeswax. Now know as Hopi candles, they also contain honey, sage, St Johns Wort, and camomile. The patient lies on their side and a candle is gently inserted as far as is comfortable into the ear canal. It doesn't hurt, but it feels odd...


Anonymous said...

This is mostly untrue. Hopi's have never practised ear candling and in fact the practice has been widly condemned as dangerous. Snake oil comes to mind!

Anonymous said...

Ditto. Ear-candling has been debunked for many years as yet another alternative therapy who's primary use is to separate client from wallet.

Though it's awfully nice some folks are using beeswax for the practice now! :)

Wikipedia article
Quackwatch article
WebMD article on cleaning ears

-a. beekeeper

Anonymous said...

I agree with the two other comments here.

Firstly: The human ear produces wax for a very good reason, to trap and prevent any potentially dangerous foreign bodies entering the ears. Removing all of it is actually a bery bad idea, and you could end up with some kind of infection.
Yes the traffic would be loud alright, I just hope you havent damaged your hearing by completely removing what your body has made to keep you healthy!

Secondly: Doctors strongly recommend that you never put anything smaller than your elbow in to your ear. Yes, this means that using cotton buds is a bad idea too.

I wish people would stop falling for these ridiculous "cures" and just get on with life.

Jili Hamilton said...

I know now that the Hopi have never practised candling, somerthing I didn't know when I wrote my book, Hopi Candles.

However, they are not used to clean the ears as the warmth and energy of the flame spiralsdown and works in a completely different way. Having used them for 20 years I have had some amazing results and I recommend people to learn something about them before condemning them out of hand. They are IN NO WAY dangerous.

Jili Hamilton said...

When I wrote my book Hopi Candles in 2003 I was unaware of the fact that the Hopi did not know of this treatment. However my next edition will not mention them.

They are not used for cleaning the ears as the warmth and energy of the flame spiral downwards and their effect is completely different.

I've used them for 20 years and have had some amazing results with them, so before cirticising them out of hand, do learn something about them. They are in no way dangerous.

greenman said...

there are a lot of things science has not "proven". the most important proof is did it work for you?