“Fire represents life” – a quote from one of America’s survival reality shows. Fire has a significant role in humanity’s development throughout the course of history as fire provides heat and light. Others say that fire is also a medium to call and communicate with spirits and as a source of spiritual energy. Candles lighted with fire are used as a source of light from the day of its creation until today. Aside from the mentioned, candles can be used for production and medicinal purposes, in which this article will introduce to us Candle Therapy.
Candle Therapy was considered to be a naturopathic remedy way back hundreds and thousands of years ago. There are several types of candle therapy, but this article will tackle on 2 types in regards to its holistic approach: the Ear Candle Therapy, and Candle Aromatherapy,
Ear Candle Therapy
Ear Candle Therapy, ear candling, or ear coning is used by many cultures since ancient times for spiritual cleansing, healing, and purification. The Hopi Ear Candling (Hopi means ‘Peaceful’) or Thermo Auricular Therapy and now widely used by therapists as a more traditional and natural way to relieve ear problems and difficulty in hearing due to the build-up of ear wax.
One end of a cylinder of waxed cloth (either beeswax or paraffin) is lit, while the other end is placed in the ear. The rising air column inside beings to heat up and creates a very gentle suction effect which helps to loosen and soften compacted ear wax. By this action, the eardrum and other structures of the ear including the middle and inner ear are gently massaged. After treatment, the ear wax may be expelled from the ear naturally, for up to 48 hours after treatment.
The candle to be used should be at least 9-12 inches long and is inserted in a paper plate to prevent wax and ash to fall and burn on the ear and face areas. The procedure should take around 10-15 minutes in each ear. The therapy is a relaxing, harmless, and painless natural treatment. As you undergo the procedure, you may notice some crackling and/or hissing sounds, as the wax burns and ear fungus (aka earwax) is being drawn up.
This ear candle therapy can help relieve the following ear problems:
- Build-up of ear wax
- Migraines / Headaches
- Sore throat
- Hay Fever
Not all can undergo ear candle therapy. There are obvious dangers which include burning or damaging the eardrum and temporary to permanent hearing loss; thus this therapy should only be done by experienced therapist/practitioner.
Avoid undergoing this therapy if you have the following:
- Perforated eardrum
- Fever and cold
- Inflammation or infection of the ear
- Eczema or Dermatitis
- Skin or scalp infection
- Recent head or neck injury
Or if you are:
Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
Allergic to any of the candle ingredients including beeswax, bee stings, honey, any herbal plant extracts (e.g. Chamomile, Lavender, Sage, St. John’s wort)
Caution: You may experience lightheadedness or dizziness after the therapy. You may also hear noises that seem louder due to earwax removal. Itchiness may also occur, so avoid constant scratching or insertion of any object to avoid inflammation. Again, this therapy should only be done by experienced therapist/practitioner and consult first before undergoing ear candle therapy.
Aromatherapy has been a popular kind of therapy that can be done during meditation, exercise, or just relaxation at home. It is a holistic practice that helps balance, promote, and relax one's physical and mental state. These are usually aided with essential oils from herbal extracts and gives off its therapeutic and pleasant scent.
Candles infused with aromatic oils are widely available in the market. When lit, it creates a calming atmosphere and releases scents for relaxation. These scents also create a healing effect. The candle aromatherapy is usually used when having a body massage, doing yoga, or meditation exercises. Some therapists also claim that aromatherapy has its healing effects on some illnesses. Classic examples are lavender that helps headaches, stress and insomnia; chamomile for burns and menstrual symptoms; and eucalyptus for cough and colds.
Caution: Not all can undergo aromatherapy. Patients with severe asthma, history of allergies and/or any hypersensitivity with regards to the ingredients used should be avoided. Pregnant women may go aromatherapy, provided with the full consent and under the guidance of an experienced therapist/practitioner.
Candle therapy is a great partner for meditation, as experts say it achieves calmness by emptying the mind from thoughts and worries, and relaxation by releasing body tension from fatigue and stress. Though research and studies have yet to explain its scientific approach, its holistic approach to balancing physical and mental health works its wonders. There’s no harm in practicing candle therapy, but just a safety reminder: After doing meditations, any other rituals, exercises, or when electricity is back after a brownout, always blow out all candles. In order to save you and your loved ones from any dangers of burning, always handle fire with caution and don’t get burned.