Maybe you’ve seen packages of ear candles at your local health food store or have heard friends rave about the experience. You’re interested in giving ear candling a try, but you aren’t sure how to do it safely. We’re here to help. At Maui Holistic Garden Center, we provide ear candling services to our clients looking to clear their ear canals of built up wax, dead skin cells, bacteria, and even funguses and other little nasties that can collect in the ear over time.
Many of our clients tell us that the experience of undergoing candling is very relaxing and pleasant, and they’re always shocked by what we find in the candles afterwards! Here is a quick guide to becoming a master of ear candling.
A Quick Warning: When performed correctly, ear candling should be pleasant, painless, and safe. However, the process involves inserting an object into your ear canal and fire, so there are risks involved. Please take care and always have a partner to supervise the flame when performing ear candling.
Step One: Buy the Candles
The primary tool you’ll need to ear candle is the ear candles themselves. You can buy ear candles online or at many health food and alternative health stores. At Maui Holistic Garden Center, we use Wally’s Natural Ear Candles. If you don’t use Wally’s, we suggest using a beeswax candle, not paraffin.
Step Two: Assemble the Other Tools
You’ll need a few more things to perform your ear candling. Most of these you can find around the house or buy cheaply at your local grocery store:
- Sharp scissors
- Bowl filled halfway with water
- Paper towels
- Throw-away aluminum pie tin
Step Three: Cut the Hole
What’s with the pie tin at the end of the list? No, making an apple pie is not part of the ear candling process, but protecting yourself is. When you light the top of the ear candle (you’ll get to that part soon), you want to make absolutely sure that the flame never comes near your face, hair, or skin. Occasionally, pieces of the burnt candle stalk can also fall. Cut a small hole in the pie tin and place the ear candle in the hole. The pie tin will act as a shield between your face and hair and the flame. If any parts of the burnt candle fall, the pie tin will catch it.
Step Four: Light the Candle
Make sure the candle is in the pie tin. You want to push the pie tin down so that only the bottom tip of the candle is through the hole. Do not put the candle in your ear yet. Using the lighter, light the top of the ear candle. The flame should burn slowly. Wait a few seconds until you can see smoke come out of the bottom of the ear candle.
Step Five: Place the Candle in the Ear
When you see smoke coming out of the small hole at the bottom of the candle, it is time to place the candle in your ear. Lying on your side, gently guide the end of the candle into your ear canal. You want it to fit snugly, but it should not be painful. Do not force the candle further into your ear or you risk damaging your eardrum. The person receiving the ear candling should always be the one to place the candle, as he or she will be able to best judge what feels comfortable. If needed, adjust the pie tin. You want as much of the candle above the pie tin as possible so you can burn more of the candle and get more benefit.
Step Six: Enjoy the Process
Once the candle is in your ear, it will feel warm, but should not become uncomfortably hot. You’ll hear a faint crackling and may feel a slight tugging. Many of our clients tell us this is a relaxing experience. Feel free to put on some relaxing music before the ear candling starts or to light a nice-smelling candle. During the actual ear candling, stay on your side (ear candle pointing up), so that if anything falls off the ear candle, it will be caught in the pie tin.
Step Seven: Monitor the Ear Candle
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, always, always, always have a second person in the room with you who actively monitors the candle. Remember, this is an open flame. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, this person has a job. It is a good idea to cut down the candle as it burns to prevent pieces from falling. After a portion of the candle has burned, the second person should use the scissors to cut the piece off into the bowl of water. Always cut above the flame, for the candle will go out.
Step Eight: Complete and Repeat
When the flame gets close to the pie tin, it’s time to finish the process. Gently lift the ear candle from the ear and then douse the fire end of the candle in the bowl of water to extinguish the flame. At Maui Holistic Garden Center, we recommend two candles per ear if this is your first time candling. If you’d prefer to do just one candle per ear, then it’s time to get a new candle, turn over to your other side and repeat the process with the other ear.
Step Nine: Show and Tell
Often, our clients tell us that their favorite part of ear candling is the “show and tell.” This is when we unwrap the used ear candles to see what’s inside. Wax. Lots and lots of wax. The heat of the smoke melts the wax in the ear, which then re-hardens after the fire is extinguished. That is why we often see big chunks of hardened wax at the bottom of the used candle. It’s both gross and strangely fascinating!
We hope that this instructional guide will help you be a safe ear candling master. If you want to see us perform these steps on a real person, please check out my YouTube videos that walk you through the entire process. Finally, if you need a knowledgeable ear candling partner to help you do it right, then consider scheduling an ear candling appointment with Maui Holistic Garden Center.