ear anatomyI used to know someone who swore by ear candles as a relaxation therapy. I couldn’t understand it at the time. I mean, why would you want to stick a lighted candle in your ear? Surely wax drips on your face? It turns out, they’re not really candles at all, but tubes made out of beeswax, honey extract, herbs (sage, St. John’s wort and chamomile, if you’re interested) and pure essential oils. It sounds like the ingredients of an expensive floor polish, and as Annie peels the ear candles out of their wrappers, I find the aroma intoxicating.
Made by hand, these waxy tubes were first used in initiation ceremonies by native North and South American Indians and the people of the Siberian prairies and Asia. As Annie lights the first candle and places it in my left ear, I can understand the fascination this fire-based ritual has held for many different cultures over the centuries. (I should say at this point that I am lying on my side – not sitting with it sticking out of my ear at 90°, threatening to set fire to the Heaven Scent Bliss treatment room curtains!)
Ear CandlingWhile the tube gradually burns down, Annie tells me that ear candling is suitable for people of all ages. Not only is it deeply soothing, but it also has a whole host of other therapeutic benefits. Ear candles can help to cure any ear, nose and throat problem, snoring, hay fever, tinnitus, vertigo, migraines, labyrinthitis, excess ear wax, sinusitis, blocked tear ducts, rhinitis and asthma. That’s quite a list! Apparently, a vacuum is created inside the tube, which has the effect of drawing wax and debris out of the ear canal. Opening the ear candle up after a treatment will usually reveal either wax or powder inside. The wax can be either dark in colour – old wax, or light – new wax. Powder in the tube can indicate a blockage in the ear. I am strangely excited to see what my tubes will reveal.
Just as I am wondering whether the flame is getting perilously close to my head, Annie removes the ear candle from my ear. I can see that the flame has gone out, having been automatically extinguished when it reached a red line marked on the tube. I turn to lie on my other side and Annie inserts the second lighted tube into my right ear.
I’ve got small ears actually, and I always find earphones uncomfortable after a few minutes, but I have to say the ear candles don’t hurt at all. I suppose the tubes are quite slim, but I think it’s their wafer-like texture that makes them so gentle on the ear. In fact, they remind me of those wafer rolls you sometimes get with a posh coffee!
Another five minutes or so later, the second candle goes out. Annie finishes the treatment with a lymphatic drainage face massage using rose oil (one of my favourite essential oils) to complete the whole wonderful sensory experience.
ear_wax_in_candleSitting up, I drink a glass of water, while Annie opens up the ear candles to view the contents. Inside the first (left ear) is powder – but not much. Although I don’t want to find out I have a blockage, I’m a little disappointed. In the second is dark wax – quite a chunk of it. I feel a smug satisfaction.
I thank Annie for another amazing treatment. As usual, I leave Heaven Scent Bliss feeling much calmer than when I arrived. There are not many activities in this chaotic world that bring such a sense of peace, and I reflect on how Annie seems to know exactly how to create the perfect relaxing environment. And if you’re still wondering why I’m waxing lyrical (excuse the pun!) about ear candling, why not go to Heaven Scent Bliss and try it for yourself.

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