But before you start having visions of someone trying to force a conventional wax candle into your ear canal, stop! Hopi ear candles are made out of hollow cotton tubes that have been impregnated with beeswax, honey and therapeutic oils, including St Johns wort and chamomile. Boasting multiple healing properties, the combination of these natural ingredients have been used by the Hopi tribe in north east Arizona for hundreds of years, which is also where the name of this treatment derives from (if you hadn’t already guessed).
How does it work?
Before the treatment starts, you will usually be asked to remove all make-up and jewellery, but that’s as far as the undressing goes for this treatment. You will then be asked to lie down on your side with your head supported by a pillow so your ear canal is vertical. The candle is then lit and the non-burning end is placed gently into the outer ear passage and turned lightly to seal it in place.
When lit, the candle vapourises the ingredients and generates a gentle heat which provides a light suction action known as the chimney principle. The candle produces a crackling sound and a warm, comfortable feeling while it draws out the impurities from the ear. After around 10 minutes, the process is repeated on the other ear, which is then followed by a period of relaxation. If you’re lucky some therapists also perform a facial massage focusing in on the sinus areas.
And if you're not feeling too squeamish, once the treatment is over you can unwrap the candle and see how much wax and gunk has been removed from your ears!
Is it for me?
If you suffer from inner ear problems, a build up of wax, ringing in the ears, tinnitus, hearing difficulties and sinus problems as well as colds, flu, sore throats, stress, headaches and migraines, Hopi ear candles are the treatment to light your fire.
The treatment is suitable for children and is a good alternative for people who have found syringing uncomfortable, but anyone who is receiving medical treatment for any ear condition should always consult their doctor first.
Good to know
If the thought of someone else removing excess wax from your ear doesn't appeal, you can still try the treatment for yourself as Hopi ear candles are available to buy in several pharmacies.