Ear Candling: Sure, It’s Waxy, But Is It Good?

ear_candle

Dear Dr. Kinsler,

What do you think of ear candling?  My sister swears by it but I’m skeptical.

P.M.

Cleveland, OH

Stop me if you’ve heard this one… 

A guy walks into an alternative medical provider’s office.

AltMed Guy: Can I help you?

Guy: What?

AltMed Guy: Can I help you?

Guy: I can’t hear so well.

AltMed Guy: I SAID “CAN I HELP YOU?”

Guy: I heard what you said.  I think I’ve got wax in my ears.

AltMed Guy: Well allow me to stick this cone in your ears and light it on fire to draw out the wax using negative pressure.

Guy: Hahahahahahahaha

AltMed Guy: What’s so funny?

Guy: I thought I heard you say you were going to stick something in my ears and light it on fire.  Wow, my hearing must truly suck!

AltMed Guy: Actually, that’s what I said.

Guy: Oh, okay.  Well, while you’re doing that, could you poke something into my eyes and set that on fire, too?   

You’ve heard of this I’m sure.  Ear Candles. Also known as thermal-auricular therapy.  A hollow candle is placed in the ear and the end sticking out is lit on fire.  Supposedly, the heat from the candle creates a vacuum thus drawing out wax in the ear.  The proof is in the formation of a dark residue inside the candle.

Only, it’s not proof because ear candling is crap.  And dangerous crap at that.  In fact, studies have shown that ear candling not only doesn’t create negative pressure…the same junk is found inside the candle whether or not it’s lit inside someone’s ear. candlecompare

Sounds like it’s a better idea to just light money on fire and see if that helps your ears.  Except the danger from ear candling isn’t limited to its scamminess.  There have been reports of serious damage from the practice.  Hmm…fire near the face inside an opening of the skull…nope, I don’t get it.  Hot wax placed next to the eardrum?  No, I still don’t see the issue.  Open flame and hair?  I just don’t see what you’re driving at.  Anyhow, I’m not sure where the danger comes from but nonetheless I must recommend against this one.

Bottom line: ear candles lack any evidence of efficacy for any condition and do more harm than good.  Period.

Say what, now?

Dr. Brett L. Kinsler is a Rochester, NY chiropractor and produces the skeptical podcast On The Other Hand.

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37 Comments

  1. scamvictimsunited said,

    November 15, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I wondered the same thing when someone suggested ear candles, so I DID burn one without putting it in my ear, and all that was at the bottom was some yellow powder like substance. Then, when I did one in my ear, the bottom two inches of the candle was clogged FULL of a much darker, harder substance which looked exactly like the wax I have gotten out of my ears with a q-tip . . . only a LOT more! Also, my husband always has softer, more liquid wax in his ear, and I have the hard solid kind . . . and when we compared the wax in the candles (his vs mine) his was just a yellow stain (like someone poured a liquid in the candle) and mine was a huge solid chunk.

    As far at the flame near your hair . . . the was no flame since the candle does a slow burn (not like a typical candle, more like incense. We also put the candle through the center of a paper plate, so if any parts of it fell off during the burn it would land on the plate and not your face/head.

  2. Kirsten said,

    November 15, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I agree with you on your many of your points. But for those who who use it and swear they get relief from it I say let them be. Maybe it’s just placebo effect, but if it works for them because they believe in it, maybe the benefits out way the risks.

  3. November 16, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Well, Kirsten, there is the problem with placebos. If you see my article “One Pill Makes You Larger And One Pill Makes You Lie” we address some of those concerns. I have a problem with people believing something works for all the wrong reasons — this is a fundamental problem in the chiropractic profession. Chiropractors explaining problems to patients using fuzzy science when simple explainations, albeit less magical, work just fine.

    So, is it okay to tell someone the ear candles work as antennae attracting thermo-magnetic waves from the universe which cures the ear pain? By your statement, as long as the person thinks they feel better, it would be okay. Is it?

  4. drkevdc said,

    November 16, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Doc, great post. I never understood how sticking a flaming piece of wax in someones ear would draw the wax upward into this cone. One night I burned one cone without placing it in an ear and one with it placed in the ear. The candles were identical.

    For the people who get relief after doing this, I offer this. The act of having a cone placed in your ear where there is heat and you hear a warm crackling noise is very relaxing. Is there a therapeutic effect to that? Possibly, but certainly not from any magical vacuum.

  5. Kirsten said,

    November 17, 2008 at 12:36 am

    It doesn’t matter to most people who are suffering and get relief, whether there is a scientific explanation or not, to support their beneficial response. And if a person gets relief, I can’t help but feel that’s a good thing period.

    Having said that, I do agree that lying and fuzzy science is incorrigible when used to influence the masses to achieve such effect. I think many people can, and do choose to believe in a treatment and get beneficial responses as a matter of faith. They simply choose to believe, science be damned.

    What harm is there in saying to someone that although there is no scientific data to explain it, some people get relief from this procedure. That way, it is their choice to believe in its “medicinal” benefits without being led astray.

  6. November 17, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Kirsten asked “What harm is there in saying to someone that although there is no scientific data to explain it, some people get relief from this procedure.”

    No harm in that…as long as the procedure is safe. The problem is that ear candling is not promoted as a procedure that has no scientific data that some people find helpful. It is touted as a fact and with scientific explainations which do not hold up to testing. Plus, it is dangerous.

    Those are the main differences.

    If I gave you a sugar pill, told you it was something that was unproven but you might find helpful, that is an ethical use of a placebo (unless you are a diabetic, of course). However, if I gave you colloidal silver and told you it was effective as a cancer cure (it’s not), told you it has no side effects (it does) and that it was completely safe (it isn’t) that would be a different case entirely.

    So, the question of ear candling as a totally safe placebo arrises. Is it?

    Well, a 1996 survey of 144 ear, nose, and throat physicians, found 13 cases of external burns, 7 cases of ear canal obstruction with candle wax, and 1 perforated eardrum.

    A Canadian newspaper reported a woman injured by a so-called “qualified” candler resulted a perforated eardrum. And two instances of significant fires associated with ear candling, one which led to the user’s death, were reported in Alaska.

    So, where is the harm? People can believe in whatever they want to but I will not allow people to puke on my tortilla chips and tell me it’s salsa.

  7. Kirsten said,

    November 17, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Selling the procedure of ear candling based on scientific reasoning is just plain deceitful.

    A person should be given all the REAL facts (in this case, that there is no scientific evidence to support its medicinal benefits) and should be made aware of possible adverse side effects, (accidental burns, ear canal blockage, etc)

    If after doing so, they still want to try it, the question is, should you try to talk them out of it? Or if they are long time candlers with those unexplainable positive results, would you be ethically bound to actively discourage them from continuing this unsafe procedure?

  8. November 18, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Yes, as a healthcare provider, I am ethically bound to actively discourage patients from continuing unsafe practices whenever possible. I encourage not to stick flaming objects in any body cavities — be they cigarettes or ear candles.

  9. October 14, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Great post, I was just working on a similar one and have linked to yours. I tried ear candling as part of my blog where I explore alternative therapies and it was useless.

  10. October 15, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    @ Northern Rites: Clearly you are braver than I am since I wasn’t going to stick that flaming thing in my own ear! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. brittany said,

    November 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Kristen makes a very great point. I have had my share of questions and concerns just like anybody else. When I came across this companies site I found that they are one of the only places that will give you a true understanding of the whole “ear candling” ins and outs. Very straight forward and informaitve… Let people think what they want but if you are really looking for some great info, look into it…

    http://www.wallysnatural.com

  12. November 13, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    @Brittany: That actually is an interesting website for an ear candle manufacturer. While they don’t exactly relay the dangers of ear candles and they don’t exactly state they are worthless, they do steer people away from the hype and some of the misinformation regarding the “suction” and the so-called formation of earwax in the bottom of the candle. Not exactly a balanced report but certainly more so than most sales channels. Thanks for sharing that link.

  13. Brittney said,

    December 12, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I am a licensed Cosmetologist in the state of Nebraska. Yeah, letting ordinary people go buy these products and light them on fire and stick them in their ear (or someone else’s) can be dangerous. That’s why only trained professionals should be doing it! And no, they don’t just hand us the candle and say here ya go. A licensed instructor demonstrates the service, while we watch, they have us perform the service on each other numerous times, and then once they certify us in training, then we can perform the service on clients. While the client is lying on their side, we use flame retardent material to drape and cover the client’s head, hair, and face. (And yes, there’s always a fire extinguisher on hand on case there is some huge fire that you all think can happen… but because we perform the service in a licensed salon, there is a law to have a fire extinguisher(s) on hand.) Pretty much eliminates the possible fire hazzard, right? There is always a container of water to trim the burning part of the candle into to put the remaining flame out. There are safety lines marked on the candles we use, so as long as you are paying attention (which you should be) and have read the instructions that state “do not burn past the lower line”, the flame never actually gets close enough to burn the client anyway! I really don’t necessarily believe in the whole “organic” or “home remedy” hype that is going around, but I have had many problems with my ears and sinuses since I was little, and I have had this service performed on me many times and it ALWAYS relieves the pressure from my ears. So please “don’t knock it ’til you try it”!

  14. Jonathan Winn said,

    December 22, 2009 at 2:38 am

    After reading the afore mentioned comments, I felt I should add my thoughts. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist that completed coursework at a nationally recognized program, and have also served as a Strength and Condtioning coach at an NCAA University. During this time, I have worked on hundreds of NCAA athletes for sport massage therapy and have known some of them to try auricular treatment. I myself have had the service performed by a licensed cosmetologist, and I believe it was beneficial.

    My problem is that although there may not be numerous studies completed with empircal data conducted with multiple sample groups, you frequently see Medical Doctors rushing forward to downplay, critique or dismiss any therapy other than that which is provided by a Medical Doctor. I have read numerous blogs where M.D.’s ridicule chiropractic therapy, massage therapy, holistic medicines, etc. I have even seen blogs where M.D.’s critique and downplay D.O. (osteopathy) because they did not receive an M.D. rating, even though they are still considered “doctors”.

    It seems that unless people only visit a M.D., and have that “doctor” prescribe numerous (pills, prescriptions, etc.), then they will be criticized. I also find it interesting that many M.D.’s not only prescribe medicines, but they are at times provided commissions or “incentive” pay by the pharm. companies for the frequency or quantity of their prescriptions. Not to mention that some M.D.’s actually own stock in companies that are making the medicines that they are prescribing to their patients. I don’t how many cosmetologists that actually own stock in the ear candle company they might use.

    Again, just my thoughts. It just seems that there is far too many M.D.’s ready to dismiss or critique anything that doesn’t fall within their prescription mantra.

  15. Nancy Frick said,

    December 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    My children had frequent ear aches and ear infections. One of our children had an apparent ear infection going and we took him to the doctor. The doctor was suggesting we may have to get tubes put in his ears because this was becoming too frequent and we did not like him having antibiotics so often. Well once again, he suffered through a session of our trained (MD) professional trying to get wax out of one of his ears. It was so thick that he could not see the eardrum and the pain of taking it out was too much for our child. So, we went home and used an earwax candle. The next day we went back to our “trained professional” (MD) and he could not believe how clear the canal was. He asked us how we got the wax out of the ear canal. We told him we used the earwax candle and he became a believer. We used them often from there on out. We combined that treatment with other homeopathic remedies (grapefruit seed extract and colloidal silver) and have never had to go to the doctor again for an earache for any of our children.

    We are believers in earwax candles and claims of anyone getting wax in their ears or getting burned are probably from the same people who don’t use common sense for anything they do. A hole in a piece of tin foil with the candle placed through it provides all of the protection needed.

    Many MD’s think they have the sole understanding and capability for providing remedies for maladies. Their horizons need broadening and their minds need expanding!

  16. Darsh said,

    December 28, 2009 at 3:29 am

    “So, where is the harm? People can believe in whatever they want to but I will not allow people to puke on my tortilla chips and tell me it’s salsa.”

    Even if they did, in the end, it’s still you decision to eat them or not. No one says you have to. Some may choose to, if they like it then let them be. There are many things in the world that do more damage then ear candling or placebos all together. The mind rather incredible, sometimes people only need to think they are getting real treatment to feel better. No one is forcing anyone to do it, so I don’t see your need to attack it. Just because you don’t like it? It would make sense that a doctor would want a patient to spend their money on more extensive “professional treatment”. I wouldn’t be surprised if a placebo effect worked on you yourself. But I’m guessing you would never admit that.

  17. greenjenn said,

    January 6, 2010 at 2:50 am

    I love earcandles, I use on my patents and strongly recomend wallys ear candles http://www.wallysnatural.com they’re the best!

  18. Eric said,

    February 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I had a big mass of wax in one ear, bigger than in years past (I’m a youngish 63). My wife (an RN) looked into it with an otoscope, and couldn’t see my ear drum. She flushed it with water from a plastic syringe. No wax came out. I GENTLY inserted a Q tip into my ear and scooped it around slowly. When I took it out, there was no wax on it.

    That night I put in carbomide peroxide, then hydrogen peroxide to loosen the wax, and olive oil to soothe the pain. Next day, same pain, and so much wax clogging I could barely hear on one side. Chronic medium pain lasted for the whole day.

    My naturopath suggested ear candling–no more than 3 on one day. So I did three ear candles. Each time. the unburned end of the candle contained thick brown wax, a little darker than maple syrup. When I stuck a screwdriver into it, it had the consistency of the wax that I sometimes get out of my ear with a Q tip.

    I wondered, too, if the residue was from the candle or the ear. She had been told in nursing school that this was a scam. So I did a control. I made a fist, stuck the narrower end of a 4th candle into the top of my fist (like inserting it into your ear), and lit it. I let it burn halfway down, then blew it out. I looked into the narrow end, under a magnifying lamp my wife has on her sewing table.

    The control candle had stuff in it, too. But this was yellow like sponge cake. And when I poked it, it turned out to be powdery, like sulfur powder. It’s definitely not the same stuff that was left in the cone when I lit it over my ear. Also, this time when I GENTLY put a Q tip into my ear, it came out with some light brown wax.

    This all happened today. Tomorrow I’m going to put in a remedy my ND had me buy (for just $9.95, way less than Big Pharma’s drugs). It contains citrus extract, jasmine tea, and green tea. We shall see.

    He also told me not to do the candling more often than once every 3-4 days. I didn’t ask him why.

    So once again, the NDs and the RNs may not have been taught as much about what heals as they still can learn.

  19. Flameout said,

    May 7, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Next we’ll hear about anal candles. Goodness knows what they might cure…

  20. May 7, 2010 at 11:37 am

    People would probably be more concerned about those and less likely to experiment.

  21. Rhiannon said,

    June 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I am really suprised at all the bashing on ear candling. Did anyone think that maybe its the person doing the candling and not the concept. first of all you should use something in between the client and the candle like a pie pan. to prevent any external burns. And futher more why should people have to go to a doctor and pay an expensive co pay in some cases to sit there and have there ears scraped out in a very uncomfortable matter, just because the doctors are telling them that another method which does work isnt save. my mother is a great examples of this. my mother gets tons of ear wax in her ears . I ear candled my mother one week prior to checking both of her ears for ear wax. when i checked my mothers ears a week later there was still no was in the inner ear. I believe in ear candling and its effectiveness and for me i charge less then most peoples co pay. for me the only thing i state is that it cleans your ears. The other claims should only be discovered by a client who really does experience the additional effects of ear candling. But f i would think spraying any liquid in your ear and sucking it out with one of those bulbs could do more damage than a tube that cant go as deep in your ear as the liquid and the bulb could. im sure there are incidents where patients ears have been hurt in the process that doctors do as well, but to discredit it would hurt your pockets and well thats why we dont have those posted all over the internet.

  22. June 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    So your logic is that even though this procedure has been shown to be bunk over and over, it is really still valid in the right hands. Special pleading, perhaps?

  23. Michael said,

    July 1, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Guys this is absurd. I just saw a picture of this and decided to look it up and found Rochesterchiro’s blog. If you understand physics, then you know this absolutely 100% will not and cannot work. Anyone who says differently is under a placebo effect, or is flat out lying (maybe to promote their ear candle company?).

    Think about the science and physics of ear candling. A candle that sucks up and also melts ear wax? Not on our planet anyway. To legitimately get the same results as the ones ear candling supposedly provides, you would need flame to be shot into the ear canal, and a vacuum cleaner tube to suck the melted ear wax out. The equivalent would be someone coming up to you and saying “Hey, 2+2=5.”

    I’m not trying to make anyone feel stupid, I’m simply trying to find the best way to say that ear candling is completely absurd. But don’t take my word (or a medical professional’s, if you feel they ‘have something to gain’) for it, ask a scientist.

    Aside from the health risks of candle wax falling on you and fire near your head, the process by which the candle supposedly removes the wax from your ear is not scientifically possible. It’s just not. Thanks Rochester for trying to help people by bringing this up.

  24. July 1, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Hey, who let the rational, scientific, logical people in here?

    Thanks for your comments. Well said.

  25. kittole said,

    July 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I used them a couple of times. You can actually feel and hear the wax in your ears move. I think it feels amazing as I love the feeling. They may not work as well as people say, but I like to use them. It’s a very relaxing experience.

  26. Caleb said,

    August 2, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I just wanted to expand upon what Michael (the logical guy) said.

    If anyone would just stop and THINK what actually has to happen for this wax to magically appear in this candle from your ear, you wouldn’t even give this ‘therapy’ the time of day. You’re telling me that wax, hard, solidified, stubborn, deep-impacted earwax that you cannot remove by any normal means… when applied to this “negative pressure”; magically transfigures and essentially vaporizes, floats up into the candle then re-solidifies (for some reason it stops and lands inside the candle, rather than following the “negative pressure” out beyond the flame). ALSO note that you apparently don’t feel this mass exodus of wax passing out of your ear for some reason either.

    So the basic transport of the wax doesn’t conform to physics, but let’s keep going with this:

    The procedure purports to work via negative pressure right? And this pressure is so great, it can suck this stubborn old wax completely out of your ear, BUT for some reason it doesn’t so much as tug on your eardrum? Pressure capable of such a feat would certainly let you FEEL it (think the ‘popping’ sensation you get when you change elevation quickly).

    And thirdly, as Michael made clear; in order for this wax to liquify, it has to be heated significantly. And this candle is not creating a significant heat source INSIDE your ear canal, nor would it be safe to.

    I mean it’s just so ludicrous. If people would just break things down logically and analyze stuff, we wouldn’t fund all of these scam artists throughout the world. But alas, the greater population cannot think this way. There will always be “Kinoki Foot Pads”. *sigh*

  27. Brett L. Kinsler, DC said,

    August 2, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Good points. And speaking of physics, doesn’t heat rise? How is heat that is going away from the ear supposed to melt the wax? It’s a little like cooking something that is next to my stove. Thanks for participating.

  28. Lee G. said,

    August 10, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    OMG! Ask and you shall receive.

    http://www.buttcandle.com/

  29. Brett L. Kinsler, DC said,

    August 10, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Frankly, I am just stunned. I cannot imagine how on Earth the people who invented these ButtCandles(TM) were ever able to test them on themselves with their own heads wedged so far up their own asses.

    I’d like to thank you for sharing but I now have to spend the rest of the evening erasing mental images from that site’s instructions such as spraying one’s spouse’s hairy bottom with a plant mister prior to use of the ButtCandle.

  30. Robert Bulley said,

    January 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Well I guess that many if not all that have claimed this is junk science know nothing about science or how to perform a scientific test, or are much too young to remember heating your homes with a wood stove and how if the heat was too low or the draft leaver closed too much would not create the natural pull or lift of the smoke up the chimney (heat rises for those who dont know) therefore resulting in the smoke coming back down the chimney and into the home choking everyone out. Any idiot can claim they burned a candle without sticking it in their ear and getting the same results, or just a powdery substance in the bottom of the candle, but that just means they either had very clean ears or didnt do it right, perhaps they didnt have any or much ear wax to be removed. The powdery substance they talk about is a byproduct of burning the candle and not anything from someones ear. However if you cut the remainder of the candle open and find chunks of yellowish or brownish solid wax that is not from the candle but is indeed from the persons ear. I doesnt take a genious to know the difference between ear wax and candle wax. When ever I’ve had mine done in the past when finished I take a pair of scissors and cut the remainder of the candel open and examine the catch. Again you dont have to be Einsteine to know what is candle wax and what is ear wax. At first glace ear wax has a yellow ish somtimes even a bit of brown to it and no other wax has the same smell or feel if you were to rub some between your fingers then smell it you would know its ear wax. You dont have to be a doctor, I’m sure everyone knows this. However they were right on one point there is an element of danger when doing ear candeling if the bottom of the candle starts to fill up too much some could run back into the ear and cause injury. Thats why you have to know what your doing and know when to pull the candle and put it out, also thats why they make an L shaped tube to place in your ear and you stick the candle into the L shaped tube. and place a moistened towel over the head to protect the hair and face just in case even though it is a slow and controled burn you can never go too far when it comes to precaution. I don’t know what it is about me or my daughter but we seem to over produce ear wax and if left alone our ears get so plugged up we cant hear. Ear candleing works to clear it but often takes us 3 or 4 candles in each ear before we get a candle with little or no wax in it. My wife and son on the otherhand get very little if any wax on the first candle. So those of you who have tried it and got nothing in the candle for wax that is, just simply had clean ears to begin with. So stick that in your perverbial non scientific pipe and smoke it. If you want to talk facts lets talk ALL THE FACTS not just the ones you want people to know.

  31. Robert Bulley said,

    January 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Wow after I replyed to the first few comment I read, I read a few more, and I have to say ya someone does have their head up their ass. I dont think that idiot ever went to school a day in his life. Daaaaa!! Nor did he ever take science in school if he did go. Heat rises idiot and causes a chimney effect in the candle drawing the wax out (like a vacume) but more gentle, I had to spell it out for this poor idiot’s sake so he will maybe understand that. Stick a flame in someones ear and a vacume tube to suck it out he says. Man they just dont make people any dumber. You really dont have to be Einstien to understand that. But its clear to me now that some would be considered very lucky to be considered alive. I may be wrong but i was always under the understanding that you had to have more than just 1 brain cell left to be alive but looks like I was proven wrong this time. lol

  32. Robert Bulley said,

    January 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    One more point the wax in our ears isnt solid like a rock, the heat and moisture from our own bodies keeps it soft enough in most cases to allow the chimney effect of the candle to draw it out, and if anyone has had ear candling done, before they mocked it without any scientific thought, or any thought at all, you would know that during the proccess you do feel a small amount of heat in the ear cannel from the candle but not enough to burn you or cause injury, just enough to further soften the wax kept somewhat soft already by the heat from your body. If you wanted to someday be slightly intelegent possible to the point of being alive, try it sometime by a licened outlet who knows what their doing cut the remainder of the candle open and have the contents scientifically anylized and if it isnt ear wax i’ll eat it. End of story. Not all things on this earth can be easily expained how they work when your dealing with closed minded idiot. I have to stop reading these negative comments before it drives me to look up these close minded, or mindless idiots and give them a shake to wake them up or at least determine if their even alive. Its so hard for me to concieve how so many people can go through all their lives so close minded and stupid and waisting oxygen. I dont run nor have i ever ran any kind of outlet to do ear candeling nor do i sell them, but i have tried it and i know for a fact it works. Perhaps for those who cant percieve how it works maybe you should try it and not only would you be able to hear better but maybe your brains would get the desparetely needed oxygen its needing and not getting through the notrmal methods.

  33. January 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    An “Einsteine” I ain’t and I do love your stovepipe analogy. Unfortunately, it is wrong. Seeley et al (Laryngoscope. 1996 Oct;106(10):1226-9) tested the ear candles with tympanometric measurements and found that ear candles do not produce negative pressure. Seems like they should given the whole chimney thing and all, no? (Seems also like vacuum and Einstein should have a silent e at the end, too) But they don’t. That same study also showed no removal of cerumen from the external auditory canal. And, as an unexpected added bonus, there was actually candle deposited in some of the tested ears.

  34. User said,

    January 28, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Anyone who has studied fire science and fire behavior, (firefighters) will tell you that heat not only causes updrafts through convection, but large enough fires can even create their own localized weather patterns. The updraft caused by the candle draws the wax towards it, in the same way opening a window in the wrong place in a burning house will draw the fire all the way through the house, and towards that open window. To state that ear candling can not work is a self declaration of ignorance.

  35. January 28, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Actually, to state that ear candles work because the

      theory

    of ear candles sounds like a good one is a misunderstanding of the application of science. This is how medicine has misused things like administering beta-blockers, cough syrup, antibiotics for ear infections, spinal fusion and arthroscopic knee surgeries. They just have to work — the theory is so sound. But they fall flat when tested. The fact that fire can cause an updraft is irrelevant in light of the fact that it does not cause a sufficient enough updraft in an ear candle to either be measured by an extremely sensitive instrument nor does it have a scientifically documented effect on the amount or nature of wax in the ear. It can, however, make things worst.

    Having worked in EMS for many years, I have great respect for the firefighters I have been alongside. I tend not to send my patients to fire scientists for any health condition other than being on fire at the time.

  36. jbsmith said,

    February 8, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Well I have a test that no doctor can perform or any machine can test. It’s called the power of the dog. I got my dog when i was young and single and when your a guy you learn the things your dog will eat, either for nutrition or to gross out your buddies. Well ear wax is one of those things that my dog will lick because he is a dog. And yes I know this is gross but tests proved to be accurate. My control candle proved to be totally uninteresting to my buddy pre lit and after smelling the paraffin residue post burn. Now after candeling my ear my buddy is showing definate signs of interest as if something had magically changed between this one and the other. And yes i did take into account that the tip of the candle was in my ear and it could have had that smell but the brown crusty waxy crap he kept going after, in my experiment, has proved to be ear wax. Now show me a machine (or a doc) that can produce results like that.

  37. Ein said,

    February 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I LOVE how most of the supporters of ear candling preach to keep an open mind, but when faced with the facts that it simply doesnt work, they resort to name calling and suggesting that science is some how wrong. Talk about throwing stones in a glass house.


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