Seventy-Two. Ear Candling.

June 5, 2011 § 3 Comments

I clean out my ears pretty regularly. Like every time I shower. However, I have heard some horror stories about swimming in the ocean with clean ears and coming home with the ear infection from hell. So when I go to the beach, I try not to stick a Q-Tip in the ears a few days before in an attempt to prevent coming home with an earache. And since Day Seventy-Two was our first day back home, I figured my ears might be dirty enough to try ear candling.

There is much debate over the value of sticking a hollow tube of paper wax in your ear canal and setting the end on fire. The alternative medicine nuts claim that the heat from the candle forms a vacuum that pulls ear wax and other debris/toxins out of your ear. People swear that it has worked for them. Many reasonable, rational men and women I had asked about the procedure claimed it had cleared their sinuses, ears, and regained hearing. Most people were much more skeptical, like me. But I still wanted to try it.

Fire Hazard

I cut a hole in a paper plate and stuck the candle through, inserting the tapered end into my ear. Then I lay on my side and had Patrick set fire to the tube sticking out of my head. I heard the crackling of the candle as it burned down and felt the heat from the flame, mostly on my hand holding the paper plate steady. When the candle had burned down to about four inches from my face, we removed it and put it out in water. I cut open the remainder of the wick and looked inside, curious about what I would find. It was little orange balls of wax, supposedly from your ears, but more likely from the candle itself. If it were from my ear, I need some serious Q-Tip time.

Allegedly My Filthy Ear Toxins

I turned over and repeated the process for my other ear. The entire activity took about half an hour or so. I took a shower and cleaned my ears out with a Q-Tip afterward. And you know what, my ears were pretty darn spotless, especially after not cleaning them for several days. So maybe the candle did do something, though I kind of doubt it. I probably wouldn’t try this again; the risk of setting myself on fire certainly outweighs the possibility of a vacuum sucking out my ear wax.


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