One of these days my curiosity will be the cause of my death. But not today. To write this article on Ear Candling, yo girl went and started burning two candles in her ears. Why, you ask?
For science. Some time back, I came across a video on Facebook showing a father sticking a long candle into his daughter’s ear… and then lighting it. He extinguished the flames when the candle was left with a about four inches, and unrolled the candle to reveal a blob of gunk.
What sorcery? I decided to try it for myself.
I don’t know. *stares blankly back at you*
Just kidding. A quick search on Google informs me that Ear Candling is a type of folk remedy that’s been around for years – by burning a hollow candle, the hot air rising within the tube supposedly creates a ‘vacuum’, and the impurities in your ears gets drawn out (keyword: supposedly). It’s also supposed to help relieve symptoms of sinus.
Like any logical person would, I began scouring the Internet for reviews. The opinions surrounding the treatment however, were nothing short of ambivalent. On one hand, I found several online comments and articles that touted ear candling as completely bogus.
Okay, smart mouth.
Pretty legitimate if it’s coming from a practitioner, right?
I also found this reviewer on Qoo10 giving ear candling the benefit of doubt. Not sure if “ears too big” is an actual thing, but okay.
On the other hand, there were also claims like the review above that ear candling totally works.
Or that ear candling has a completely different use. I don’t know what ‘air in ears’ means.
From just the comments online, I was unable to come to a definite conclusion as to whether ear candling works or not. Which is why I offered myself up as guinea pig, right? That’s what I’m getting paid for.
One of the salons that popped up on the first page of Google was Blossom Beauty House. Located in Toa Payoh, the salon seemed to be really popular with the aunties in the area; one aunty was just leaving when I arrived, and another was asking about a beauty package of some kind.
I informed the staff that I was on a mission to debunk the myth about ear candling (obviously, I wasn’t convinced that it would work), and a lady tending to me explained that the procedure also has its roots in traditional Chinese treatments.
I was then ushered into a room and asked to change into one of those towel tube dresses. For S$19.90, the Ear Candling Treatment includes a neck massage, which was pretty nice. The lady explained that massaging the neck helps with the treatment as well.
The candle isn’t actually a candle; it’s a rolled-up piece of waxed linen that’s hollow in the centre – kind of like a straw. I’m not too sure how it forms a ‘vacuum’ either. I mean, doesn’t it have to be airtight or something? In any case, the lady lit up the candle and I accepted my fate.
It wasn’t inserted deeply, just at the entrance of the ear canal. And I could hear the fire cracklin’. The sound was actually really therapeutic and relaxing – kind of similar to ambient sounds like rain falling or rivers flowing.
It didn’t take very long per ear, and it didn’t feel like much either. I couldn’t actually feel or sense anything. At the end of the session, I asked to take a look at what had formed inside the candles.
Warning: mildly disturbing images ahead.
The candle/ waxed linen from my left ear unrolled… the slightly orange area is supposed to be the deposited ‘impurities’ or earwax. Doesn’t look like much.
According to the lady, the little pink sponge acts as a ‘filter’ to prevent the “toxins and impurities” from flowing back down. She then unrolled the candle from my right ear. Oh boy.
I did warn you. I was pretty shook. What on earth was that? If the candle was white or beige in colour I would probably still be pretty skeptical and brush it off as the wax from the candle, but as you can see, it was pink in colour. Which means whatever that… yellowish orangey thing is, it very likely came out of my right ear.
At this point, I should probably mention that I didn’t clean out my right ear for about two weeks, for the sake of this article. I still cleaned my left regularly. So. This looks pretty legit to me.
But I wouldn’t go as far as to claim that it works 100% – from the looks of the “impurities” deposited, it seems that ear candling may be more effective for wet earwax than dry.
Then again, maybe “my ears small”, so you should try it for yourself too.
Prices: S$9.90++ (half a candle per ear); S$19.80++ (one candle per ear), for first-timers only. Usual price S$68