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Ear Candling

Have you heard of ear candles?  No, it’s not a candle made of ears!  (I researched it.)  It is a piece of cloth dipped in paraffin or beeswax that is inserted into the ear and burned at the other end to remove earwax buildup from the user’s ear.  Most times, a paper plate has a hole cut in it, and the candle inserted into it so that wax from the candle has no chance of getting in your hair.  For your enjoyment and education, here is an instructional video on YouTube on how to use ear candles.  As the young girl in the video said, the ear candle creates a vacuum that draws earwax out of the ear and deposits it inside the candle’s base.  My first question is: Why would anyone want to do this?  There seem to be plenty of other options besides lighting wax on fire and sticking it directly above your cochlea.

My second question is: How does this not burn your eardrum into an unrecognizable little lump of charcoal?  I realize, of course, that the young lady in the video with her head on a pillow on top of her kitchen counter explains this, but I am not yet fully persuaded.  My mother told me early on in life not to trust anyone who sleeps on the kitchen counter.  Or anyone who burns candles in their ears, for that matter.  She was very specific.  Also included in the list are insurance salesmen, people who sleep on kitchen counters, people who burn candles in their ears, Geraldo Rivera, Greeks bearing gifts, and all of the ’88 Chicago Bears.  I’m just saying it might burn you.

My third question: Who discovered this medicinal technique?  This is actually a rhetorical question.  Most ear candle manufacturers say it was a process invented by the Native Americans, Hopi specifically.  I don’t believe that flimsy story for one second!  It’s an obviously bogus claim.  A much more rational and thoughtful explanation as to why people would even try to put burning candles inside their ears involves:

–College students

–Assorted bottles of adult beverages

–A $20 bet

My fourth and final question: Is it possible to make a candle entirely of ears?  Look, I’m not saying they even have to be human ears.  That would be an obvious front-runner, but I’m not married to the idea or anything.  I should probably just drop the whole thing.

I actually have in my possession a locally-made ear candle (wax and cloth kind).  It seems to be of high quality, not that I’m any real collector of candles, ear or otherwise.  It doesn’t say ANYTHING about what you’re supposed to “do” with it.  Is ear candling such a wide-spread phenomenon that it needs no introduction?  False!  Ear candling is relatively unknown, probably dangerous, and looks really funny to do.  The owner of said local company probably is just trying to avoid any lawsuits that WILL arise if and WHEN you burn yourself all the way to your Eustachian Tubes (it connects your inner ear and nasal cavity, I promise).  I can just see him at his court hearing:

Judge: Sir, your “ear candles” have caused severe hearing loss in this young man.

Candle Man: Your Honor, I never had any idea that anyone would get the idea to stick a candle into their ear!  Why, it’s preposterous!  Nowhere on the package for my product does it say you should light it on fire and actually stick it in your ear!

Judge: Young man, is this true?

Plantiff: *sobbing*  He’s right . . . it’s all true.  His candle never said I should put it in my ear . . . it was my idea.  You see, a bunch of the guys and I were at the frat house enjoying some spirits when Calvin says to me, “I’ll bet you 20 bucks you won’t stick a lit candle in your ear.”  So I said, “You’re on!”  That’s how it happened, honest.  I’m sorry, Mr. Candle Man.

Judge: Case dismissed!

So, in order to have that defense, the owner has purposely omitted any directions and simply stamped: “For Entertainment Only”.  WHAT?!?!  What the heck does that mean?  How entertaining can it get?  Will some mild-mannered suburban family choose to do that over watching American Idol?  The candle maker seems to think so!

Father: Honey!  Kids!  Turn off that infernal TV and get in here!  It’s family game night!  Grab your ear candles, paper plates, and pillows!  Let’s see who can accumulate more ear crud inside their candle!  (Family frantically rushes in and gathers around the kitchen counter.)

Son: I’m gonna win!  I haven’t washed my ears in a week!

Daughter: Cheater!  Mom, tell Billy he’s a cheater!


Daughter: Mom!


Daughter: MOM!!!

Father: Your mother can’t hear you, sweetie.  She’s been a little hard of hearing since the last time we played this game.

Of course, with how dangerous ear candling must be, ear candles are not approved by the FDA.  There’s a huge market in the U.S. for “holistic” medicinal products that are basically placebos for hippies and homeschoolers.  This includes countless herbs, supplements, and teas that are available at your local pharmacy, grocery store, and at any downtown street corner from a guy named Rico.  Just so people who have any education beyond the 2nd grade will know not to use these products ever, there is a disclaimer on the box that says, “This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or disorder”.  Basically, “This product will not work for you or anyone else.  In fact, you’ll be lucky not to go deaf from using this.  Warning: This product contains human ears.”

  1. May 24, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Haha this amused me soo much!
    I’ve been working with someone who does Ear Candling for a living and it just sounds so weird!

  1. January 28, 2009 at 12:45 am
  2. January 28, 2009 at 12:49 am

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