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#209624 - 05/28/08 12:10 AM So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot...
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
My wife has small ear canals and has always had trouble with earwax buildup. Up until now, she has been using ear drops to soften and then a syringe full of water to dislodge and remove the wax. She had heard of ear candling (or ear coning) before and has recently found someone who swears by it and is willing to introduce her to the procedure.

I, myself, want nothing to do with it and have flatly refused -- as a matter of principle -- to be my wife's practitioner. There is nothing but anecdotal evidence that it actually does anything (e.g. alleviates swimmer's ear, earaches), and the claim -- get a load of the second paragraph under the What Are The Cones Made Of? section for a good laugh -- that it removes earwax and toxins from the ear has been disproven. Basically, if it works I'm of the belief that it has nothing to do with the actual burning of a candle and/or that it's due to the placebo effect.

Before I completely close my mind to the idea that this could be useful to my wife, I wanted to ask if anyone here has tried it.
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#209637 - 05/28/08 02:53 AM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: pmbuko]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11237
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I hadn't even heard of it. The Wikipedia entry certainly makes it sound bogus, but if the price isn't too out there, it might be worth trying, if only to be able to shoot it down out of personal experience.

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#209642 - 05/28/08 05:14 AM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: pmbuko]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7143
Loc: Canada
Funny, I had it done once by an ear specialist to remove gobs of wax from one ear. It worked, though I don't understand why/how.
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#209648 - 05/28/08 06:23 AM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: pmbuko]
FordPrefect Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 1334
Loc: Ancaster, Ontario
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#209656 - 05/28/08 08:27 AM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: FordPrefect]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6865
Loc: PEI, Canada
I'd never heard of this before but it instantly conjured images of Homer Simpson downing a vat of melted candle wax so he could eat chili made with some super hot pepper. Of course he OD'ed on the pepper and ended up meeting his coyote (I think,) spirit guide who sent him on a multi-colored, life changing quest.

But don't let that stop ya!
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#209666 - 05/28/08 08:49 AM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: Murph]
Amie Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 1620
Although I haven't personally, Ian and several of our friends swear by it. Certainly no reports of any harm coming from it. Lots of spas and homeopaths do it around here.
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Axiom Audio

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#209667 - 05/28/08 08:59 AM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: Amie]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
My wife enjoys the occasional trip to a spa. She had this done once as part of a package of services. She enjoyed the experience and claims that it did seem to clean out her ears.

It seems pretty simple to me. Earwax is a wax that apparently will burn, and a candle's wick will draw up whatever fuel it can - just as it does in a lantern. Kinda gross to think about, but it's just wicking (literally!) out the wax from one's ear canal and using it for fuel. I'd have to think that it's safer than dumping lots of chemicals in there in an attempt to flush it out.

I don't think I'd want to do it at home though. I'd have to think it would be better to go to someone that at least has experience doing it.


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#209679 - 05/28/08 10:17 AM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Hutzal Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 2102
Loc: Hollywood. (Canadian @ <3)
I have tried it, and you will be amazing at how much crap your ears can store. I am a drummer so my wax builds up quite a bit with all the noise. It definitely works, not sure how it works, the heat softens the wax, and because of the fire burning, it sucks out the wax from the small opening, no doubt the fire craving oxygen.
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#209690 - 05/28/08 11:43 AM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: Hutzal]
HomeDad Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 3301
Loc: Central,California
I've never tried it, nor have I read much positive things about it, I'll have to check with my wife but I believe physicians use warm water when draining the ears. I would consult with your physcian before doing anything of that nature.
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#209693 - 05/28/08 11:48 AM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: HomeDad]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17791
Loc: NoVA
I am very skeptical about alternative medicines not proven by the ol' double blind tests. I would look very carefully into the risks involved. On the other hand, I also believe very strongly in the power of placebos. Unfortunately for me, I don't believe that any placebos work, so I don't think they'd work for me.


Edited by kcarlile (05/28/08 11:48 AM)
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#209705 - 05/28/08 01:16 PM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: Ken.C]
vassillios Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/28/07
Posts: 597
Loc: Warrenton, VA
This will probably spawn some gutter mind reply's, but my wife and I candle each other every couple of months.
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#209709 - 05/28/08 01:46 PM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot.. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6402
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth
Kinda gross to think about, but it's just wicking (literally!) out the wax from one's ear canal and using it for fuel. I'd have to think that it's safer than dumping lots of chemicals in there in an attempt to flush it out.

Except that in the Quackwatch link, it was established that

1. the process does not actually create the negative pressure required to draw the wax up against gravity,

2. The was on the plate that is allegedly from your ear is really from the candle, and that

3. 10% of ENTs surveyed had seen patients who had been harmed by candling (mostly burns).

I call bullsh!t. There are plenty of alternative medicines and procedures that have effectiveness, but this has not been proven to be one of them.
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"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#209739 - 05/28/08 03:58 PM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: Hutzal]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Yeah, Hutzal, what medic8r cited. The residue inside the candles will be there ever burning whether or not the candle is placed in your ear. That part is complete bs. I also found an account where a person used an otoscope to look into a subject's ear before and after a candling session and saw no difference other than a slight mark where the end of the candle had touched.

Have you tried verifying the results in this way?
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#209749 - 05/28/08 05:42 PM Re: So my wife wants to give ear candling a shot... [Re: pmbuko]
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
I've read it's supposed to be quackery... usually I just pour 3% hydrogen peroxide in mine every once in a while... a throwback to having an double ear infection for a summer at 13 from the water park... doctor after doctor saw me, prescribing various otic solutions until finally one East Indian doctor took a look in my ears, told me to put peroxide in them for a week and it'd be gone.

Dag gummit... if he wasn't right... I've been keeping it up ever since... every once in a while.

Bren R.

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