Had a cold or flu? Urrgh know the feeling all too well. Why does it linger on after for weeks on end with nasal congestion, sinus irritation, niggly coughs, tinnitus and hearing problems?
Inflammation … that’s why. Decongestants and steroid sprays to the rescue? Well, they can help a little, and that’s all your GP and chemist can offer.
But there are other options. Do check out my post on vitamins for boosting the immune system if you’ve a few minutes to read over it, good health comes from within after all. But if you’ve been there and are doing that, but are not feeling better, then perhaps an Ear Candle treatment may just be what you need.
Ear Candling, as a professional treatment is a very effective one following a cold and well worth the couple of treatments you might need to clear up the annoying niggly problems it can leave behind.
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What are they? They are not like the solid wax candles we all know. But are long thin hollow tubes, usually made from a natural fabric soaked in beeswax and sometimes also honey and herbs. There are many variations in composition and style. Some are more cone shaped some are large and chunky while others are long and thin. But they all work the same way, a tapered end is designed to be inserted into the ear while the other end is burned. This method creates a warming suction effect that has been used for thousands of years for all manner of illnesses and religious and spiritual ceremonies. But the predominant use is for cleansing and nowadays it is largely used to help clear ear and nasal congestion.
How? Well it’s not as woo woo as it might sound. The burning of the candles has a direct and often immediate effect on the Lymphatic System to enable your body to clear itself through this incredible internal cleaning system that we all have. But it often becomes sluggish following illness such as a cold.
So how does ear candling specifically do this? Through a combination of heat with a mild suction that they produce inside the outer ear where they are administered. Heat is very well known to stimulate the circulation and the lymphatic system and the gentle suction is like a very light and soothing massage for the ear. This helps the ears to clean themselves, naturally, the way they are supposed to. But after a virus there can be lingering inflammation in this area that prevents this process. With the lymphatic system stimulated and working better, it can carry away the excess fluid in surrounding tissue that causes congestion and inflammation is reduced.
No, no matter what you might read, the candles don’t suck out all the bad stuff, that isn’t how they work. Nor will they remove a large plug of wax as many people think they can. They are too gentle for this. It’s your own body that does all the clearing in response to the Ear Candle treatment.
Yes excessive wax problems can be improved long term through regular treatment and dietary changes. Again it’s all down to your Lymphatic System, once it starts working properly, the ears will drain themselves efficiently again.
While you can easily buy and carry out ear candling treatment safely at home working with a partner (please do NOT try to carry out a self-treatment), there are further benefits to seeking professional treatment.
Reputable therapists will be members of a professional body and their treatment should include a facial and neck massage as part of the ear candle treatment. This is highly beneficial and increases the treatment results. When looking for a therapist, ask them what their treatment involves and if they are a member of any professional bodies if their website doesn’t tell you.
Most people have some muscle tension in their neck and scalp which also prevents the lymphatic system doing a good job. A good massage focusing on releasing tension and improving lymphatic drainage can have outstanding results.
If you think for a moment what happens with blocked pipes or if you stand on a hose, water cannot flow through. Your tight muscles do this by squeezing the lymphatic and blood vessels, restricting the flow of waste and fresh oxygenated, nutrient dense, blood.
So freeing up the muscles alone is very beneficial but coupled with the direct benefits of the candles and you have a very good system for clearing away those cold remnants.
But, is it safe? The internet is full of scare stories! Ear candling is believed to have been used worldwide for thousands of years across many cultures (although not originating with the Hopi tribe as some have claimed!) using all kinds of tube devices, from reeds to clay as well as the cotton/linen types we see today. Good quality modern candles are made with the best materials and are thoroughly safety tested. I only use and recommend Biosun candles.
Beware of cheap and unbranded candles as there is no guarantee of quality and they may not be safe (hence the scare stories). Quality, branded candles have a filter to prevent any debris going back into the ear.
When a professional therapist carries out the treatment, administered properly with quality branded candles, it is a safe and effective treatment.
There are some circumstances when ear candling should not be used, such as if an ear infection is present or suspected, there has been a recent trauma or perforation of the eardrum and in very young children.
As with all self and natural treatments a visit to your GP first is essential, please do not self diagnose.
If you are local to Inverness, Scotland and would like to book an ear candle treatment or know more about the other therapies I offer, then please visit my therapies website.
About the author: I’m a qualified and experienced professional Ear Candle Practitioner (since 2001). I am by no means an expert. Everything mentioned here is my own opinion, based on research and experience of my own clinical practice in Inverness, Scotland. It is NOT medical advice and should not be taken as such or relied upon. You are advised to do your own research and seek a professional medical diagnosis before starting any natural or self treatment.