Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ear Candling

Years and years ago in Houston, I saw a man make a cone out of newspaper, stick the smallest part in his ear, and set the widest part on fire. Like so:

I asked him what he was doing and he said he was sucking the ear wax out of his ear. As crazy as it sounds I've wanted to try it ever since. A few weeks ago, my ear felt kind of cloudy. Kind of like swimmers ear, only I hadn't been swimming. I became really worried that I had a family of some kind of insect living in there ("The good news is we got the earwig out, the bad news is it was a female" - name that quote). I tried some holistic ways of cleaning out my ear and none worked. Eventually my ear felt fine and I concluded that I'd probably just had a cold.

But still. You just never know what's going on in that mysterious cavern we call an ear canal. And since the general rule is that you shouldn't stick anything larger than your elbow in your ear, there's no way of finding out what's going on. I mean, of course I clean my ears regularly - I'm not a monster. But you can only stick that Qtip in so far!

I never trusted myself to light a piece of newspaper on fire and stick it in my ear. Call me crazy, but when a flame gets too close to my body I get squeamish. Plus, I grew up in the era of Smokey the Bear giving nonstop lectures about fires and I've always been fairly obedient when it comes to talking bears.

Then some friends told me about ear candling. The "candle" is a hollow wax tube that works the same way as the newspaper does, only safer! (I assume... I mean, it must be, right? I have no idea.) I've been wanting to try it ever since they told me about it, and last night I finally did! I don't have a picture of myself, but I have a picture of my friends. Only one of these friends was really on board with ear candling, and had done it many times. The guy with her in this picture was trying to prove us wrong (failed). And the woman in the other picture was much more concerned about her hair burning than any wax in her ear. (A valid concern.)

The amount of ear wax that came out of our ears was suuuuuper gross. SLASH AWESOME! I couldn't resist doing some research on ear candling when I got home. I could have researched it before but I was afraid I'd talk myself out of it. Plus I've always preferred the "it's better to ask forgiveness later than permission now" philosophy. Turns out a lot of know-it-alls (researchers) are naysayers about ear candling. So I will give you that disclaimer before you try it yourself.

Will I do it again? Maybe! Probably? There's no way of knowing. It was pretty cool though. Have you ever tried it? Would you ever do it?

Oh, and because we couldn't get enough of fire after doing the candling, we blew fire in the back yard afterward. Don't worry Smokey, it rains so much in Michigan there's very little risk of anything starting on fire. And we were being careful.

Fire! Fire! Fire! Safe, adult supervised fire.


violet50 said...

A. "So I Married an Axe Murderer".
B. Good call on the burning newspaper.
C. Always listen to Smokey the Bear.

Cheeky Candid Contemplations said...

I love this post. Mostly because the drawing. Your art makes me happy. Second I want to try ear candling but would need the group peer pressure to try. Third my initial instinct to the blowing fire is "stop the mountain will catch on fire" but alas I don't think I am in Utah any more. So fun.

Brooke Romney said...

Now I get it!! Not trying.

Katherine said...

Ew. I mean, awesome!! I've always been curious about it, too, and am a little sad I missed out! Glad nothing caught on fire!

Suzy Stein said...

So, I want more details. Where does the ear wax end up? How do you differentiate between the ear wax and the candle wax? I'm assuming the candle drips. Doesn't the candle drip into your ear, since it is a tube? Maybe there's a video on youtube. :)

Melissa said...

Burning newspaper seems like a speedy way to catch your hair on fire - the candles were definitely a way better call. I am somewhat intrigued by this idea, but not enough to attempt it any time soon!

Nate Stamper said...

Yup. Been there done that. Earwax Candles are something of a marvel. I think it helps, but it's more of a relaxative than anything.