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Ear Candling: The Basic Facts

by Dr Patrick Quanten(more info)

listed in chinese oriental medicine, originally published in issue 110 - April 2005

History of Ear Candling

The principles of ear candling are several thousands of years old and have been used by people on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as below and above the equator. In other words, ear candling has been part of people's lives, all across the globe, for as far back as pictorial historic finds have taken us. In Europe the use of ear candling died out after the Egyptians. In Asia, with the dwindling of the Old Chinese and traditional Indian practices it faded out, but in the Americas the Natives have kept it alive, to this day. It got re-discovered, this time by the Western Culture, from the practices of the Hopi Indians in North America.

Ear candling is traditionally used in healing and spiritual ceremonies. It was an essential part of the Medicine Man's kit and knowledge, as was the knowledge of herbs and plants and their various uses. Originally it would have taken the form of something like a mudpack over the ear with a hollow reed put through it and set alight. Another well-known shamanic practice is the blowing of smoke, originating from burning herbs, into a person's ear. So, the healing and spiritual effects of these practices were known and used throughout the entire world for thousands of years.

Modernization has also reached ear candling, in as much as the hollow reeds have been replaced by hollow candles. These candles are made specifically to high standards of purity and effectiveness. This includes the fact that these candles do not leak melted wax either outside or inside the candle. We now have a modern tool, but the sad thing is that the ancient cultures have not left us with any information about how ear candling works. So the quest to find the answers to many questions concerning ear candling is on.

Ear Candling

Candle Burning

When we watch a free standing candle burn, we see black smoke coming of the top of the candle and white smoke escaping from the small hole in the bottom of the candle. If smoke is pushed down the candle, then there can be no 'sucking up' effect. If the burning flame created a vacuum inside the candle there would not be any smoke coming down 'the chimney'. Further evidence of the lack of a vacuum and a sucking effect inside the candle comes from observations made of candles burning in a variety of substances that we would expect to be 'sucked up', especially if we believe that the suction within the candle is strong enough to lift earwax out of the ear canal into the candle.

At no stage during the burning of the candle can any heat be demonstrated at the bottom of the candle. The temperature of the tapered end of the candle does not significantly change. If there is no increase in temperature, there won't be any 'softening' of earwax; no opening of blood vessels as a result of increased temperature; no 'easier' flowing of lymphatic fluid due to a higher temperature.

When a candle has burned down we always find some debris in the bottom of the candle. There are basically two substances found: dry white powder and a waxy substance, wrongfully identified as earwax. The fatty substance cannot be earwax as there is no mechanism to move it from the ear canal into the bottom of the candle. Equally, there is no mechanism to get the dry powder from anywhere inside the ear to move up into the candle. This powder is supposed to be dried up, evaporated, lymphatic fluid that somehow mysteriously has been drawn from the cellular structures, sucked up into the bottom of the candle where the 'heat' evaporates the water element. If the movement inside the candle is downwards then no matter can be drawn up into the candle!

The balance between the two substances found in the bottom of the candle varies from person to person and from session to session. If the substances were somehow leftovers from the candle's burning process itself then we would expect to have a consistency in those leftovers as the candles are all identical. This is not the case. The contents will range from only dry powder to only wax, and every possible combination in between. Furthermore, we see that excessive nasal and sinus mucus corresponds with the appearance of a lot more dry powder than fat. With increasing candling sessions on the same person the balance between the amount of powder and fat starts to shift towards less powder as the symptoms of mucus excess reduce.


• There is no suction effect inside the candle;
• There is no increased temperature at the bottom of the candle;
• There is smoke spiralling down the inside of the candle into the ear canal;
• The substances left in the candle after burning do not originate from the ear or ear canal of the person;
• The substances left in the candle after burning have some relation to the person and the changing symptoms.
Many of the effects of ear candling can be grouped as 'made lighter'.

Lighted Candle

Conditions and Effects

The heavy head from chronic mucus problems such as sinus congestion, postnasal drip, blocked nose and ear pressures, is reported to dramatically decrease. Nasal breathing becomes possible and natural again; mucus coughs disappear; earaches due to chronic pressure problems as well as acute irritations (i.e. swimmer's ear) or infections are said to improve quickly. As a consequence, it also helps to improve people's balance, and vertigo attacks diminish significantly both in number and severity. Snoring disappears all together. Smell, as well as hearing, even eyesight becomes clearer.

People report a more effective protection against regular colds, sore throats and bronchitis. More available energy is a common remark coupled to a more peaceful sleep. Toxic conditions such as acne, abscesses and boils clear up quickly.

These are just a selection of the most commonly mentioned positive effects that people experience. Other more subtle influences, such as an improved immune system and a calming effect on emotions, are very interesting and need to be studied in more detail.

And what about side effects? There are none. The only 'complaint' some people mention when they have used a lot of ear candles in a very short period of time is a dry irritation of the ear canal. This is easily rectified by regular applications of warm olive oil. But everybody feels better and functions better after ear candling.

The question is, how can effects like the disappearance of mucus, the diminishing of ear and sinus pressure and the clearing of the lymphatic system, be achieved when there is no proof whatsoever that ear candling has any physical effects on the ear at all? In fact, how can ear candling have a reduction effect when all it seems to be doing is depositing 'stuff' in the ear?

Given the historic significance of ear candling and the observations we have made, it is obvious that the effects of ear candling must relate to the fire itself and to the hollow tube leading from the heat source into the ear canal. What does fire do? Fire adds heat and dryness, and reduces materials (heavy) to dust (light).

What is it, in the case of ear candling, that the fire actually influences most? It burns away the very thin candle, leaving no trace other than black smoke going up in the air and a burned, fragile wick. The ring of fire at the top of the candle also heats up the air inside it.

So, all the effects, which are dramatic and easily reproducible, must have something to do with the fact that the heat alters the air at the top of the candle. From a process called implosion we know that heating up the periphery of an air column leads to a shift in oxygen concentration, which is now lower at the periphery than it is at the centre of the column. This causes the air to start moving in a whirling fashion, directing the spiral down into the candle (a vortical motion). As the air column gathers speed, the centre of the column cools down the quickest. This cooling effect will separate the solid particles out of the air in the same way that cooling steam results in water droplets being deposited. The centrifugal force of the vortex air movement directs them towards the periphery, where those particles of matter will now be pressed upon the surface, the inside of the lower part of the candle. They separate out from the 'air', from the smoke, and show up in material form. This process not only clears the 'air' of overload, it also energizes and purifies the air by off-loading the heavy particles and separating them from the air itself. What is left is a 'lighter', 'cleaner' and more 'efficient' air.

This explains the debris content of the bottom of the candle after burning, but how does it explain the healing effects people continue to experience from ear candling?

As we have already mentioned, those effects must have something to do with the flame at the top of the candle and we also know that there is no physical movement of materials between the body and the candle. There can only be one explanation, and that is that the 'air' inside the candle, which is changing, is unique for each person and each occasion. This we now know to be the case.

Modern photographic techniques show up the air around us in bright colours, changing with our moods, our diet, our thoughts. It is known as our aura. The 'air' around the body belongs to us, is an essential part of us. It is the energy field that makes us – the body we know to be us – the way we are. Changing the qualities of this air changes the way the body is.

Fire changes the personal energy field by warming it, drying it and making it lighter. If the qualities of the energy field are mainly heavy and damp (excess mucus in bodily terms), then the fire will burn this away and change it to a drier and lighter state, and the mucus will vanish in the same way water disappears out of the saucepan when you put it over a fire. The 'heavier' elements within the energy field will be driven out and materialize in dry powder. More warmth in the body will be captured in fat globules in the same way we store energy – heat – in fat molecules inside the body. The essential parts of the candle necessary for the best possible results are the burning time and the diameter of the candle: the longer it burns and the greater the heat delivered to the air column, the more powerful the effect. Hopi candles are short and thin, delivering more heat for a shorter period of time. Straight herbal candles are longer and slightly wider and are said, through trial and error, to be the most efficient as regards time and heat. Ear cones are wider at the top and are generally small, delivering less heat to the energetic field.

Ear candling is a very effective and safe method to improve your health, but we need to realize that it works only on an energetic level. This makes it even more powerful and allows for a much wider range of beneficial effects. It works every time; only the physical effects depend on the energetic state of the person, and this means that the real imbalances are not always obvious on a physical level. In simple terms, one could say that ear candling adds a lot of extra energy to the system, which the system will then use to the best of its ability, wherever it is needed the most.

• Ear candling does not remove earwax from the ear canal;
• Ear candling delivers energy, which helps the body to heal itself.


  1. Sailendra Narayan Jena said..


    I am getting white powder types scalps in my ear every day i am washing then but still its coming again and again. So can you please help me to get proper cure for this problem.

    Thanks & Regards
    Sailendra Narayan Jena

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About Dr Patrick Quanten

Dr Patrick Quanten MD has been on a long journey of discovery ever since he became aware of the ineffectiveness of the medical approach to diseases. He studied a great variety of alternative treatments and eventually realized that the answer is inherent in the structure of the creation. Finding answers to the fundamental questions in life became the main goal and seeing simple patterns return everywhere provided insight. (His book: "Why Me? - Science and Spirituality as inevitable bed partners" - ISBN 978-90-827854-1-8). Dr Quantem may be contacted on Tel: 07826 824232;

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