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I have suffered with bad ears since childhood, having glue ear, recurring ear infections and earaches. They seem to have calmed down a bit now but I still get the odd earache and itching deep in my ear.
My partner recently had an ear infection which came back twice and was finally cleared after two lots of antibiotics, although he was still left with a bunged up kind of feeling in his ear. This is when someone suggested ear candles.
Thinking I hadn't heard right I asked "did you just say candles!?", apparently she did. She went on to explain that her young daughter gets very waxy ears and every couple of months she uses these ear candles on her.
So I pop to the chemist and the next chemist and the next chemist and there's no sign of them. I forgot about it and the next time I saw her she told me to look online.
I first ordered some lavender and rosemary candles, which worked but I didn't like the scent so I purchased these non-scented ones the second time around. They cost me around £9 a pair, although I have recently bought some in a health store at £7 a pair. It may seem a lot as they only last around 10 minutes per candle but they are not something you would use often so it is worth it in my opinion.
The candles are made from natural products and look like a straw with a slightly pointed end which you put in your ear. Smoke comes from the pointed end of the candle and circulates around your ear loosening and releasing excess wax and clearing your head. No smoke should escape from the candle or the ear, if there is smoke remove the candle from the ear and unblock the end which is to put in your ear.
HOW TO USE THEM
You need someone else to do this for you as it is not only tricky to do but also dangerous. I used a square of tin foil about the size of a small plate and put the candle through the middle of it. It is also advised to have a damp towel around your hair and head just to be on the safe side. Have a glass of water ready to put the lit candle out in when you have finished. You then need to put the pointed end of the candle in the ear, you will need to use scissors to cut the pointed end off until the end is the right size to fit into your earhole securely.
You then lie down on the opposite side of your face so that the candle is sticking vertically upwards out of your ear. Then light the top of the candle and let it do its magic.
There is a line on the candle to tell you when to stop. Then remove the candle carefully and put into the water. Any time I have used them the burnt candle has stayed in one piece, but it always looks as if it's about to fall off which is why you need the foil and towel for protection.
The candle takes around 10 minutes from lighting to get down to the line. Repeat for the other ear if necessary. When I did it for my partner he only had one irritated ear so he only used one candle, he used the other a few weeks later on the same ear.
When the candle is removed you can sometimes see wax in the end of the candle that has been drawn out of your ear, some wax may be left in the opening of the ear so they recommend using a damp cotton swab to clear any loose wax. For my partner he didn't really notice much difference, for me on the other hand I wish I had found these years ago.
I didn't have any wax in the candle, but I felt it moving in my ear and had a little bit in my ear at the end and at one stage my ear actually popped which was very strange. You will also hear some strange noises, but don't worry about this as it's just the sound of the burning candle echoing in your ear.
Not only do they clear your ear of wax, they are also said to help with tinnitis, earache, glue ear, sinus problems, headaches and allergies. I also suffer with bad sinuses from time to time and did find that they seemed to clear my head too although not for long. I do know people who have used them and not noticed any change in their ears. Others may notice a change after using them a couple of times. They do not claim to remove wax and are supposed to be used as a relaxant.
The first time I got these candles I found them anything but relaxing as I was more worried about having a lit candle hanging over the side of my face, amazingly the burnt material has never fallen off even though it looks like it will but it is better to be safe and cover your face just in case.
These are completely painless and easy to use, they cost about £40 to have both ears done in a beauty salon. It is much better value to do it in the comfort of your own home and I would recommend these to anybody, especially with ear irritations or colds.
similar review may be on Ciao with same username
The first discovered hopi ear candles when i was suffering from a 'popping ear' and was a build up of wax. I had it done by a professional at first as I had no idea what they were or how to use them. I saw what she did and she explained how I can do it myself.
I used to buy the hopi ear candles from holland and Barrett but at over £8 a pair I found them a lot cheaper on amazon!
I would highly recommend these candles if you suffer from a build up of wax or ear popping, they are easy to use by yourself but you will need a mirror to judge that the candle is in an burning correctly and when the candle has burnt down to the safety line. They take about 10minutes to burn down and whilst they are burning you will hear a crackling sound which is quite relaxing.
Once the candle has burnt down to the safety line just gently remove it from the ear and blow it out, putting it out in a small dish of water too. You can peel open the candle to see just how much wax has been removed from the ear, it's quite surprising at first!
They sorted out my popping ear problem and I use them every so often to keep my ears clean.
I recently purchased these ear candles, having been recommended by a friend, as I had constantly blocked ears. I also purchased a pair for my husband (who was skeptical, but I knew would want to have a try after I had!).
When I received the package, the candles were a lot lighter than I had anticipated them to be.
I would definitely recommend using them with someone else there to help you, as when you're laying down, it's very difficult to gauge if the candles are upright or not, also to be warned when to remove the candles as it can be hard to tell when you can't see them.
Once the candle has been inserted, after about a minute or so, you start to hear a crackling sound (that feels more internal than just being the candle itself being on fire). I took this as the wax being sucked up (not sure how true this is) into the candle. Once the candle has been removed, you can see the wax that has been removed. It definitely has the gross factor but was very effective as straight away, I could hear clearly! As predicted, my husband wanted to have a go straight away and had the same result. We will definitely be buying these again.
Years ago, one of my housemates was getting selective hearing. He was unable to hear us at the door when we were drunk and had lost our keys. He couldn't hear his potatoes boiling over, or another housemate screaming "Dave, it's YOUR turn to buy the bogroll!!" He pleaded that he had wax in his ears. This led a girl from upstairs to source ear candles from her mother's shop, a place where the persistent fug of incense was presided over by crystal dragons. Needless to say, he ran a mile, convinced we were going to set fire to him.
Although I was intrigued at the time, I wasn't much up for playing with fire so close to my head. This was all forgotten until someone suggested the process might be helpful for my persistent Vertigo. For the last few years, I've suffered from BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), the symptoms of which are bouts of dizziness that leave me feeling sick and unable to move. My most recent bout has been triggered by a cold and when the Epley Maneuver I normally fall back on failed to fix things, desperate measures were called for. I couldn't take another day with the feeling like I was hungover and riding the waltzers, so when it eased sufficiently for me to move, I headed to our local Chinese medical practitioner.
Ear candles are tall cones of paper, beeswax and resin; the thin end of the cone is placed inside the ear and the wide end is lit, while it burns down, you get a head and sinus massage and the idea is that the warmth of the candle and the vacuum it creates draw out impurities, while the smoke cleanses the little tiny hairs in your ear. 'Hopi' refers to the Native American tribe who supposedly used the candles for healing.
Devotees of ear candles claim that they can relieve sinus pressure and pain, cleanse the ear canal, improve hearing, assist lymphatic circulation, regulate pressure, remove wax and reduce problems like tinnitus and vertigo.
Operating out of a side alley in a run down shopping centre, the small shop had an interesting supply of herbs in little pots and no visible custom other than me. I went over to the counter to ask, only to discover someone was already in the treatment room and that they were so busy I needed to book a slot. The fact that they were so busy increased my confidence no end and at ten past two, I was walking briskly back from the 99p Store and telling The Boyfriend and M&M that I wouldn't be long. The treatment room had one of those hospital type couches with a paper cover and a strong smell of surgical spirit. It looked a lot more medical than spiritual.
I bravely lay down on the couch with my head turned to one side. The practitioner was telling me how relaxing people find it, but I found it hard to relax, paranoid about fire so close to my head and out of my line of sight. He lit the first cone and pushed my hair out of the way. It tickled a bit as it went into the ear, but nothing terrible. He massaged around the ear, rubbing the side of my head and strategic points, which I suppose must have been pressure points. This wasn't especially comfortable and I was glad once it was over. There was a sensation of warmth and the crackling of fire and towards the end, a sucking, squeaking noise. He removed the candle and blew it out, putting it in a dish to the side and cleaning around my ear.
I lifted my head from the pillow, anxious to see the results. He cut the candle open, ignoring the particles at the bottom that had come from the filter, higher up was a dark orange swirl of gunk. It seemed to me that this had come from my ear. We repeated the process with my other ear, but this yielded nothing and I was sufficiently convinced that the cause of all my ear problems was now in the dish instead of inside my head. I relaxed enough to enjoy the neck and back massage that formed the last part of the process and climbed down from the couch with a spring in my step. The cost for all this was £20. Considering that it was £8 just to buy the candles on their own, I thought that was a fair price.
There's no denying that I felt a lot better, the dizziness and sickness had gone. I found The Boyfriend and M&M and shared the good news. It couldn't just have been psychosomatic. I found that swift head movements which had previously triggered the BPPV were fine. I also felt that my head was clearer and the fog the vertigo leaves me in was diminished.
It was only when I began looking on Youtube that any doubts crept into my mind. I'd been looking for a video to show Dad what it was I'd just so extravagantly spent twenty quid on and here were people demonstrating that the candles got that orange gunk in them without even entering the ear. People were saying that it was beeswax which had dripped from the top of the candle. And the horror stories, like the woman who punctured her ear drum, or people complaining of burns from the hot wax. If I'd read all this before, I wouldn't have gone.
In conclusion, I think this must work to some extent and I'm pleased with the results. I do feel a lot better and vertigo is such a pain to live with. But on balance, perhaps it is a bit dangerous, especially if done at home. If you want to try it, I'd recommend using a qualified practitioner and ideally letting someone else go first....
I always used to have lots of wax in my ears and had to have my ears syringed once a year for about 20 years, it was so annoying when my ears popped as I knew it was that time of the year to go and have them done again.
Not being able to hear used to drive me insane and my nurse at the surgery told me about these candles and to give them a go in between visits to the surgery and so I went and bought some to try and see if they worked.
I bought them from a health food shop and they were priced at around £6 for a pair and they are a waxy kind of long tube and 1 of the candles can be placed into a small piece of cardboard with a hole in the centre which is then placed over the ear area, and the tube slotted inside and all that is then needed is for you to light the end of the tube with a lighter or matches and leave it to melt down to the bottom, but the head must be kept very still as it can be dangerous if not as the wax can become hot and burn the ear or even the hair and that is why the cardboard is recommended for any bits of wax that may fall off and the card can then catch it if this happens.
It sounds complicated but it is perfectly fine once you have used the candles once and when the wax is burning to the bottom, the inside of the ear feels nice and it has a crackling noise and feels very strange indeed, but once it has finished burning to the bottom, which takes around 10 minutes or so, the inside of the ear has a little wax at the top of the ear and can easily be wiped from the ear with a tissue but the tissue must not be poked into the ear at the bottom as the particles from the tissue can go inside the ear and cause extra problems. It does not burn the inside of the ear, it just makes the noise.
The wax that is on the surface of the ear is very soft and it is amazing how much wax can be seen and brought to the surface.
I used these candles for around 6 years until 18 months ago when my left ear was so bad I could not hear from it at all and thought the wax problem had got worse but when I went to have them syringed in the normal way, my nurse told me I had no wax at all there and to go and see my GP, which I did and I had to see a specialist and I had hearing tests and the result was I was totally deaf in my left ear as I had an infection that left me deaf but when I told him I had been using these candles and if they had contributed to my deaf problem, he told me they had not and they were a good way of reducing wax problems, which was a relief to me as I had thought I had caused the hearing problem and he did tell me I could continue to use them for my other ear and it would be safe to do so and so I still buy them for the other one occasionally.
I do recommend them for a wax problem but to be very careful and read the instructions very carefully as it is extremely important and to be safe from burning the outside of the ears or face and to always use the cardboard as it is very important.
I give these a 5 star.
The whole concept of ear candles was a new one for me. I used to walk quickly past my local Chinese medicine centre, with its strange photos of people with lighted candles in their ears, thinking that this was the strangest and most unnatural thing I had ever seen!
My 14 year old son complained about constant ringing in his ears at the same time as I read a review of the Hopi ear candle - and I decided to give ear candling a go!
For some reason I was a bit embarrassed when I went into my local Holland and Barrett to ask for the candles - but the reaction of the sales assistant took me by surprise. "Fantastic", she said - "very popular" - "not at all weird". She recommended that I unravel the remnants of the candle once I had used it to look at the wax that had collected inside. Yeuk!
I bought a pack of two candles for £8.20 from Holland and Barrett. I also had the option of buying a bumper pack of 6 for £20.99, but thought that I would trial it before doubling my spend. The candle itself is a 21cm long narrow cylinder with a 7cm plastic filter at one end. The filter end is marked by a red ring. Looking down the tube, it is completely hollow apart from the plastic filter. The tube is impregnated with beeswax and honey. Once lit, the burning creates a vacuum effect that draws impurities and wax from the ear in a painless way.
The candles are said to relieve problems with excessive ear wax, ear noise (tinnitus) and ear ache. They can also be useful for people who suffer from headaches, migraines, or sinus problems.
~~my son's experience~~
I'm afraid that we were all a bit sceptical about the spiritual side of ear candling. The instructions told us that negative energy is drawn out through the ears, and that to aid the relaxation and the spriritual side of candling, American Indian music should be played, a warm environment should be provided in the form of a comforting blanket, and the lighting should be low and soothing.
This gave us all a fit of the giggles. We walked around trying to hum pan pipe music - not at all in a spiritual way. My son lay down on his side and I gave the candle to him so that he could insert the candle himself and ensure a tight fit into the ear canal. I then wrapped a towel around his head for protection and lit the candle.
He loved the feeling of the candle crackling in his ear - especially when I let him look in the mirror and he could see what he looked like! I held the candle in place throughout the burn to make sure it did not fall - it took about 10 minutes for the candle to burn down. When the flame reached the red filter ring, I removed the candle and extinguished it in a bowl of water.
My son said that he felt a real vacuum effect - the pressure built up and was then released with a whoosh of cool air. The aroma of the burning candle was very pleasant.
For the second ear, my son felt that he felt most spiritual lying in front of the TV watching The Mentalist - so we abandoned any attempt at pan pipe music or the correct ambience.
After the second ear was treated nothing seemed to have changed - no wax was visible in the ear, and the buzzing was still there. He went up to bed later on, but came down shortly afterwards in a state of huge excitement, showing me a huge lump of wax that had fallen out of his ear. Remembering what the sales assistant had told me, I retrieved the used filters and unwrapped them. It was amazing! One filter contained many, very big, very dark coloured lumps of wax. The other filter contained a huge long string of wax. All of the wax had been drawn out of his ear without him even been aware of it.
The next day, he said that the buzzing had decreased and the feeling of pressure had lessened.
Since using the candles, I have done some research into the safety of using them. The procedure is not without controversy.
Critics claim that since earwax is sticky, the amount of force necessary to draw the wax out would have to be so great it would rupture the eardrum. I have had physical proof that earwax is drawn out of the ear, with no pain at all - so I would not agree with this.
The most controversial aspect of candling is the claim that the inner ear, sinuses, and brain can be cleansed via the outer ear. I cannot believe that the brain can be cleansed through the ear! The procedure brought out a bit of wax, and that is all.
There is also a great deal of debate surrounding the spiritual nature of ear candling, and its ability to allow negative energy to escape through the ears, and help align the body's internal energy by purifying the mind. As I have made clear earlier, I do not believe in the spiritual nature of ear candling.
The most worrying aspect of the criticism comes from the medical profession. Ear candling is condemned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has not approved the use of ear candles as a medical practice since they have not been formally tested and proven effective. Some websites claim that there have been cases of wax from the candles dripping into the ear canal and causing blockages that must be corrected surgically, even causing ruptured eardrums. When I used the candles there was no wax dripping from them at all. The candle burned off to form a chimney of ash, that fell down already cooled.
I can only find concerns from US websites. The UK does not seem to have such a problem with supposed health risks, and most UK websites are pro ear candling. I wonder if the type of candles used in the US are different from UK candles.
I was very impressed with the results of the ear candling. I cannot find any research that would stop me from using them again, but I am very careful to ensure that the procedure is carried out safely.
My son feels that his ears are clearer and that his problems have started to clear up.
Ear candling is an ancient practice that dates back to the time of the Egyptians in 2500 BC, and is used by practitioners of Chinese medicine as well as being sold in reputable high street health stores. I feel that if it were a dangerous practice the candles would not be sold by high street shops, and there would be more warnings on the packets and on the internet.
I would recommend anybody with ear problems to give these candles a try.
Review of Biosun Hopi Ear Candles
==What are They?==
Biosun Hopi ear Candles are a tubular, hollow cylinder of cotton which is impregnated with bees wax and herbs. Ear candles are approximately 22cm long and have a burn time of around 10-12 minutes.
Hopi Ear Candles are a natural and safe method of relaxation and have the added advantage of assisting with the problems of excessive ear wax, ear noise (tinnitus) and ear ache. They are also used to assist people with headache, migraine, sinus, stress and nervous problems.
==How to use and why==
The principle behind ear candling as the technique is known, is simple. The hollow tube is lit and carefully positioned in the ear canal. The earcandles have a purely physical function, a chimney effect, a light suction action and the movement of the flame cause a a vibration of air in the ear candle which in turn generates a massage-like effect on the ear drum. This in turn induces a feeling of warmth and a balance of pressure in the ears, forehead and sinuses.
The treatment needs to be administered with the recipient lying on their side with their head on a pillow to ensure that the auditory canal is in a vertical position. A light blanket or covering is suggested to aid relaxation and comfort. To avoid ash falling onto clothing or hair, a cover can be placed around the treatment area. The room needs to be draught free to ensure that the flame burns evenly.
The earcandle should be lit at the labelled end and be placed in the ear canal. It should then be very gently twisted until the earcandle is sealed in place. If correctly placed the user should hear a pleasant crackling and hissing sound from the flame. The Biosun earcandles have a red line at one end, the candle should be allowed to burn to within 1 cm of this line before removing the earcandle. There is a safety filter just below this line, so it is imperative that the candle is removed before the flame reaches the filter.
It is vital that users do not attempt to try the remedy alone, a partner is required to light the candle and hold it in place throughout the treatment. The person administering the earcandle is advised to have a container of water near to hand to extinguish the earcandle as it does not go out on it's own.
It is recommended that you treat both ears, one after the other and follow the treatment with a rest of around 15-30 minutes to enhance the relaxation effects of the treatment.
The manufacturer recommends that gentle American Indian music should be played and aromatherapy oils burned before starting the treatment to crate a relaxed atmosphere.
The aroma given off by the earcandle is very relaxing, pleasant and therapeutic in my opinion, so much so, that we don't bother with oils or music as added relaxation methods.
The sensation caused by earcandling is rather bizarre. Sounds are muffled, yet you feel very aware of your surroundings. It is a truly relaxing process and one that I have used for the relaxation aspect whilst my partner, who has hearing difficulties, uses to aid his problems of excessive ear wax and tinnitus.
When used for excessive ear wax removal, earcandles are truly amazing! The very first time my partner used them, we were astonished by how much ear wax was softened and cleared. We unwrapped the unburned section of the used Hopi earcandle and found it literally coated. Revolting topic I know, but anyone who suffers with this problem, will appreciate the relief that removal of ear wax can bring! The day after my partner's first use of Hopi earcandles, he was still mopping out wax and felt his ears were not only cleaner, but his tinnitus had diminished to a bearable level. Has to be good!
==The History of Earcandling==
Earcandles have been used for thousands of years by the peoples of the Siberian prairies, Asia and the native North and South American Indians. Ancient rock painting have been discovered which depict the use of earcandles at initiation rituals and medicinal ceremonies.
Hopi earcandles take their name from the Hopi tribe, the oldest Pueblo people. The Hopi were noted for their great medicinal knowledge and spirituality. Earcandling has long been a part of the culture of the Hopi and in 1985, Biosun began researching the use of ear candling to re-establish their popularity and bring the technique to Europe.
Biosun Hopi earcandles contain bees wax, St Johns Wort, Sage, Camomile and pure essential oils. People sensitive to any of these ingredients should exercise caution. Earcandles should only be used when in the company of another person for safety reasons. Earcandles should be kept away form children.
The lighted end should never be permitted to come into contact with clothing, hair, furnishings etc.
A Hopi earcandle will NEVER self extinguish, therefore a container of water should be at hand during treatment in order to safely put out the candle.
Biosun have various online and High Street outlets for their earcandles. Holland and Barrett sell a two pack for around £7.99. The price may sound a little high but they are worth every penny in my opinion as they do actually work for ear problems. The pack contains a very full leaflet detailing the use of earcandling and the history of the method. This is the source of the information used in my review.
I know Biosun and other brands of earcandle are available from www.ebay.co.uk or www.Amazon.co.uk and they can be bought for less if you purchase in bulk.
==Thoughts and Conclusion==
OK, I know this treatment sounds weird, new age, hippy, call it what you will, but it works! Whether you want a reliable treatment to remove ear wax, help headaches, sinus problems or simply to relax, do give Biosun Hopi Earcandling a try. It works!
Thank you for reading
©brittle1906 August 2009
NB My reviews may be found on other review sites under the same user name -brittle1906
I found this whole procedure a little shall we say "odd" and perhaps "unbelievable". However I decided that as a friend was now qualified in the practice I would pay for the service.
I am a sceptic when it comes to things like this and could not understand how burning a candle held into my ear hole would remove the wax and leave me feeling better.
"Quite different from conventional wax candles, a Hopi ear candle is actually a cotton tube, impregnated with beeswax, honey and therapeutic oils, that is painlessly inserted into the ear to draw out impurities, relieve pressure in the head and sinuses, and aid hearing problems."
I was advised before the treatment started that I may not visibly see any wax in the candle when it was unravelled but that the treatment would have dislodged earwax even if it hadn't removed it. Thus leading to the wax being easier to remove within 24-48 hours later.
The therapist advised I removed all jewellery and makeup and lay on my side head on a pillow allowing access to the ear canal.
The candle was unwrapped and placed in my ear, then gently twisted into place. She said this was to secure the candle and seal it, and that we would know if it needed adjusting if the smoke gently rose from the base of the candle. It didn't and so all was well. If you talk with the candle in your ear before it is lit you will notice your voice sounds like it's echoing. When she lit the candle the sensation was extremely odd, aside of being slightly nervous at having a burning flame sticking out of my ear, it sounded like sparklers quite close up or another analogy the therapist used was "the sounds of the sea". Once I became used to the sound it was quite comforting and relaxing. The warmth was nice, not hot in the slightest. Infact I only realised the warmth after the candle was removed and my ear felt cold.
The procedure is repeated in the other ear. Each candle takes somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes to burn. The flame never gets too low as the therapist ensures it only burns down to the red line. After each ear she gently wiped the ear clean with a special fluid and a cotton wool pad.
The heat creates a suction, which draws "impurities" to the surface. The most interesting reports I had read about Hopi ear candling was that at the end of the treatment you can unwrap the candle and view the contents.
Being the sceptic I am I was eager to see the final result. On sitting up after my treatment my ears felt noticeable clearer. The therapist unwrapped the candles and pointed out the wax in each one. I'll admit I was disappointed with the results. There wasn't a lot but there was some.
She advised that should I clean my ears at home then it was likely that the wax would have surfaced and it would be easily removed and that she could see in my right ear that the wax had been drawn out though not completely removed. That was after I asked. She made it clear that she wouldn't recommend using cotton buds as it pushes the wax into the ear. She did say that there could be excess wax, which may leave the ear canal. This may happen in the night or over the next 24-48 hours. In reports I have read it is clear that this may be obvious on your pillowcase when you wake up the next day.
However I did use a cotton bud when I got home and was amazed at how much wax was actually there and how easy it was to remove. I didn't push it too deep and only removed the stuff that was at the top/edges of my ear. Obviously this treatment isn't for those allergic to the ingredients in the candles.
"The candles are made from natural ingredients that include sage, St John's wort, camomile and beta-carotene. Otherwise known as thermo-auricular therapy, the original source of the technique seems to be from medical ceremonies performed by a Native American Indian tribe called the Hopis (meaning 'peaceful people')."
It also isn't suitable for people with perforated eardrums, grommets, tubes or who have just had ear surgery. Also those with ear conditions are advised to consult a doctor in advance of having the treatment. You are also advised to drink lots of water after a treatment, as you would with a massage.
I personally enjoyed the experience and would go back. I would also recommend it to anybody.
I personally find I get itchy ears, which may sound odd, but I'm always trying to clean them even though I know it's not a good thing to do. I took the opportunity to have this treatment in the hope that it would clear my ears leaving the itch free. Whilst I cannot comment on the itchiness I can categorically say that my ears are a lot cleaner. I lot of wax was removed and I'm very impressed with this holistic therapy. I even enjoyed and found the crackling of the candle relaxing.
Quoted descriptions come from various therapy sites in an identical format.
Also on Ciao under Carysb
I have always suffered on and off for the past couple of years with sinus problems. A few months ago I was recommended Hopi ear candles by my holistic therapist as a holistic approach and alternative to syringing. I went and bought some from the Chinese medicine shop in town and was a little shocked at the price at first. After I got home and found a willing helper I placed the lit candle in my ear and relaxed for ten minutes. After extinguishing the candle when it had reached the red indicator line I peeled open the remaining stem and was amazed to find the amount of wax that had been removed. They act as a chimney sucking up the loosened wax, the vibration and heat created by the candle being on fire help to loosen the wax which in turn gets sucked up into the candle by the smoke and air going up it like a chimney. They smell pretty nice to and it's really quite a pleasant feeling, I felt much more relaxed after I'd finished. I noticed my hearing, balance; taste and sinuses had all improved after using the candles once a week for around one month. I found them on holland and barrets now also 3 packs for £20. I now use them once a month to keep on top of wax build up and can feel the difference. I'd say give it a go if you're not convinced you'll be surprised.
Ever since I have known him my husband, Dave, has suffered from a build up of wax in his ears. Every so often this becomes so bad that it affects his hearing - that's his story anyway! LOL! It also gives him a lot of pain if he leaves it to get too bad. He has been using Otex ear drops about every six weeks to clear the accumulated wax, a process which usually takes a few days of treatment before the ears are finally clear and the pain disappears.
My sister suggested that he try using ear candles - she and a friend of hers had both used them and both had good results. Dave said that he would like to try them as it would mean that he could clear his ears without actually putting anything into his ears.
Whilst I haven't actually used the ear candles myself I feel able to write this review as, because of how they work, I had to be present all the while Dave's ears were being treated and he told me exactly what happened and how he felt.
We have tried two different kinds of ear candles and the ones I am reviewing today are the Original Biosun Hopi & Aroma Ear Candles which I bought from Holland and Barrett for £7.99 for the pair (one for each ear!). These are slightly cheaper if bought in bulk via the Internet but obviously we just wanted to get one pair to make sure that they worked before we bought any more.
The ear candles are about 9 inches in length and are tubes of about a quarter of an inch in diameter and are sold contained in a long plastic bag sealed at the top. Full instructions are included. Take a look at the picture at the top of this review to get an idea what they actually look like.
The instruction leaflet not only tells you exactly how to use the ear candles safely it also gives a lot of ideas as to how to create a relaxing environment using scented candles, music etc. in order to make the best of the relaxing properties of the experience. To be fair we just used the ear candles to remove the wax from Dave's ears rather than making a whole relaxation exercise out of it, but the option is these if you want to do that.
There is also information about the Hopi people and the origins of the ear candles.
The way ear candles work is that you place the end in the patient's ear as they lie on their side. The other end is then lit and, as the candle burns down, the resulting vacuum created gently pulls the wax from the ear. If you imagine this process you will see why this cannot be done alone. You must have someone else with you to light the candle and to keep an eye on the naked flame to ensure safety at all times. The position the patient is in during treatment means that it would be impossible for them to monitor the flame or extinguish it when the process is finished.
The ear candles are made from 'premium quality, pesticide free, untreated cotton' and contain only pure beeswax, honey extract and traditional herbs such as sage, St John's Wort, camomile and pure essential oils. They will each burn for 10 to 12 minutes. There is a red line around the candle which is the 'maximum burn line' and when the flame reaches one centimetre above this point it must be extinguished as it will not burn out naturally. Inside this end of the candle there is also a safety filter which will prevent anything hot dropping into the ear.
To use the ear candles Dave lies on the sofa on his side so that the ear canal is vertical and I cover his head and shoulder with a towel for added protection from falling ash, although such ash will be cold at the point of falling. I also put a glass of water ready so that I can put the candle into it to make sure it is completely extinguished. The room must obviously be draught free so that the flame will burn properly and safely.
I light the burning end of the candle and place it into Dave's ear and he adjusts it for maximum comfort. As the flame burns Dave can hear a pleasant crackling sound and a slight hissing from the flame. The flame causes a chimney effect which will create a gentle suction to remove the wax from the ear, although Dave could not feel this happening.
The flame takes about ten minutes to burn down and when it reached the level of a centimetre above the red line I lifted it from Dave's ear and placed it into the glass of water to make sure it was completely extinguished.
Dave said that the feeling was very pleasant but he was not convinced that it had worked as he had not felt any movement of wax at all. He took the remains of the candle from the glass of water and unwound it to find a decent amount of wax inside the candle! He also said that he could feel the difference in his hearing.
The candles also balance the pressure in the ears, forehead and sinuses. It is a soothing experience which is helpful for the relief of earache, headache and stress. Treatment may also spontaneously cause easier breathing and an improved sense of smell even if the nose was blocked before the treatment began.
Since these ear candles also contain a combination of essential oils including lavender, camomile, ylang ylang, citrus oils, cedar and pine needle there is a slight but very pleasant aroma as the candles burn.
We have also tried a slightly different version with equally good results and I will be reviewing these soon. We now perform this ritual about every month before the wax builds up too much as opposed to leaving it a couple of months until it is a problem and then dealing with it, which is what he used to do.
All in all Dave and I both felt that the ear candles were easy to use, providing we took the appropriate care, were effective and gave a pleasant experience without the need to insert any substances into the ear. They are now a regular treatment in our house and we would both recommend them for the relief gained from their use.
This has also been posted on Ciao.
An ancient and natural therapy for ear care.