Ear Candling: The Alternative Treatment That Could Have Big Benefits For Your Health

There's more to the waxy looking therapy than meets the er... ear



As you’re well aware, team STELLAR have an insatiable appetite for unsavoury oozing body parts, but the latest gunk to be prised from an obstructed orifice… we were not expecting. Ear wax. Vom.

The pics, which can only be described as mini, half toasted pitta breads, are filled with an orange-y, creamy coloured gunge, believed to be the waxy stuff. Pretty nasty.

Naturally we had to dig a little deeper into this aural phenomenon *reaches for giant cotton bud* and what we found isn’t at all appalling – there’s a rather simple explanation. It’s called ear candling. And the stuff everyone thinks they expunged from their ears? It’s actually candle residue.

To help us decipher the popular therapy, we asked ear candler extraordinaire, Julie Pône, from the Dublin Holistic Centre, some cerumen related questions.


What is ear candling?

Ear candling is the process of inserting a hollow tube (the ‘candle’) made from cotton or hemp fibres and sprayed with beeswax, into the ear.

How does it work?

When you light the candle, the heat produced creates a soothing, massaging effect in the ear. It’s a very relaxing therapy.

Does it remove ear wax?

Ear candling loosens up any compacted wax inside the ear so the excess can be expelled naturally by the body – the candles do not suck out the wax. What you see when you remove the stopper and unravel the candle is residue from burning.

What else does it do?

Some people get great relief from sinus problems when they try ear candling. It’s also helpful for colds, if you have a blocked nose.

Can I get ear candling on one ear?

No, you must do both ears, even if your problem is just with the one. By doing this the ear pressure remains balanced.

How long does the treatment take?

It depends on how blocked the ear is, but it’s usually around 15 minutes per ear.

Are there any risks?

If you google ear candling, there have been reported cases of burn but I feel if you are an experienced therapist using good quality candles, it’s very safe – I’ve never had any problem. There are occasions where ear candling is not advised – if a client has grommets, damage to their ear drum or has used oil in their ears 48 hours before treatment.

Can we do it at home?

You can, but you will need somebody to hold the candle upright in your ear. The candles are available from your local health shop – my favourite brand is Biosun – just don’t forget to read, and follow, the instructions very carefully! If you do try it at home, I would advise the person to lie down for a while after the treatment.

Ear candling with Julie, which includes a facial massage, is €60. The therapy takes approximately one hour.