Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spa Girl on Ear Candling

So many of us these days are looking for answers and often we find them in alternative medicine. And while many of these treatments are very popular, they can also be highly controversial.

Years ago I decided to try ear candling, also known as ear coning or thermal auricular therapy. I didn`t think much about it at the time, or do any research, I saw the candles in a health food store and thought this is a great idea for removing excess wax from my ears. And while I found it to be very relaxing and I could definitely hear better, little did I know at the time, the controversy surrounding this holistic procedure.

Depending on who you talk to or what you read ear candling is a common alternative treatment for the cure of various issues ranging from ear wax removal to relaxation. Some suggest it is an excellent way to draw out toxins and pollutants, cleanse the sinus cavities, improve hearing and other senses and revitalize the nerve endings, while others believe it has a psychic, emotional and spiritual impact on a person as it draws out negative toxins and revives the energy flow throughout the body.

While the exact history is obscure, the practice of candling is believed to be centuries old. Most candling practitioners explain that heat from the burning candle, which is placed in the ear canal creates a vacuum which draws out wax and toxins through a hollow disposable candle made from cotton or linen fabric coated in purified paraffin or bees wax. Some specialty candles can also contain herbs and essential oils.

The medical profession on the other hand state that ear candles do not remove wax, have no known scientific or medical benefit, and pose a significant risk. They believe candling to be quite dangerous and serve no apparent beneficial purpose. Reports from the USA, FDA (food and drug administration) and Health Canada warn of "burns, perforated eardrums and blockage of the ear canal which required outpatient surgery from the use of ear candles.” The FDA and Health Canada have taken actions against manufacturers of ear candles, including import alerts, seizures, injunctions, and warning letters.

Ear specialists suggest that nothing should go in your ear if it is smaller than your elbow!

And so this debate continues!

Spa Girls tip: It is important to do your research no matter what treatment (traditional or alternative) you are considering. Know the risks, weigh the benefits and make an informed decision.

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