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Ear Candling: Is It Safe?

Ear Candling Dr. Andrew Weil calls ear candling "hocus pocus" and he's not alone. Why then, do so many people still believe in a practice that is, at best, useless and, at worst, potentially harmful? Let's examine the "natural" practice of ear candling.

What Ear Candles Are

Sometimes referred to as ear cones, ear candles are long strips of beeswax-soaked fabric that have been wound into tight cone shapes. (Some manufacturers add ground herbs or essential oils but this practice is controversial among ear candle aficionados.)

After placing the small end of the stiff fabric cone into the ear canal, the practitioner lights the large end of the cone and allows the cone to burn down to within a few inches of the ear. After the cone is allowed to burn down to the appropriate length, the flame is extinguished and the remaining end of the cone is examined for toxins.

What Ear Coning Is Supposed To Do For You

Proponents of ear candles claim that candling creates a "gentle vacuum" that "opens the chakras". Ear candling, according to believers, can help relieve symptoms of tinnitus, migraine, sinusitis, and more.

But think about this for a moment. Earwax is very, very sticky and your eardrum is fairly fragile. Any "gentle vacuum" that's strong enough to "draw any impurities to the surface" would have to be strong enough to damage your eardrum, wouldn't it?

Quite simply, ear candling can't work as its cheerleaders claim.

Is Ear Candling Safe?

It's impossible to tell exactly how many people practice ear candling but a 1996 survey of 144 physicians found that these physicians had treated 13 instances of external burns, 7 cases involving obstruction of the ear canal due to melted wax and at least one perforated ear drum. Clearly, ear candling can be dangerous if not performed carefully.

About The Author:
Lisa Barger is a traditional naturopath specializing in natural health education. To learn more about Ms. Barger's belief in "Empowerment through Education" or to take a free online natural health class see her website, http://www.LisaBarger.com

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