The Benefits of Hopi Ear Candling (Thermo-Auricular Therapy)

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Hopi ear candling is an ancient healing therapy, drawn from the Hopi – the oldest Native American Pueblo people. Worldwide, ear candling has been used as therapy for thousands of years in Greece, India, Mexico, Tibet, and Egypt – and by shamanic healers for rituals and ceremonies.

It is a non-invasive holistic treatment which can help relieve ear, nose and throat conditions, and restore a sense of balance and wellbeing. “Hopi ear candles seem to be particularly good for stress conditions, as well as for general ear problems,” says holistic therapist Angela Kirk.

Hopi Ear Candle Therapeutic Ingredients

The Hopi ear candle is a hollow tube made of cotton, which contains various healing ingredients including beeswax, honey, sage, St John’s Wort, chamomile, beta-carotene, and flax.

“Ear candles have a purely physical function,” says Angela. “A light suction action and the movement of the flame creates a vibration of air in the ear candle, generating a massage-like effect on the eardrum. This induces a pleasant feeling of warmth and balances the pressure in the ears, forehead and sinuses. They are particularly useful for clients who suffer from nervousness, headaches, earache and ear noise.”

Natural Relief For Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions

Hopi ear candling will help to strengthen the immune system, regulate ear pressure, and stimulate healing acupuncture points and reflexology zones. It can help with the following conditions:

  • excessive earwax/earache
  • tinnitus and ear noises
  • migraines
  • sinusitis
  • snoring
  • allergies and hay fever
  • stress
  • inability to concentrate
  • inner ear imbalance
  • insomnia
  • glue ear (children)
  • travel sickness
  • Meniere’s disease/vertigo

A Hopi Ear Candling Treatment

The therapist, to ascertain the source of the problem, will complete a medical consultation form. The client then lies on a couch, and the candle is lit and inserted vertically in one ear. It is left to burn for around 10 minutes per side. The candle gently draws out any impurities (known as the “chimney effect”) and will help decongest the ear, nose and throat, and regulate the immune system.

“I then look inside the ear to see the efficacy of the treatment,” says Angela. “If there is a lot of wax (from the candle itself, not from the ear) together with powder, it means it has worked well. The amount of wax and other factors determines when I would recommend the client return for a repeat session.”

Treatment typically lasts for 30 minutes, while a one-hour treatment will incorporate face and head massage, to prolong the effect of the candles.

“I have found it takes up to three sessions to make a real difference but even after one treatment you should feel a shift.” Intermittent monthly sessions will then help to maintain the effects, and prevent any further build up of wax.

Choosing a Hopi Ear Candle

There are various brands of Hopi ear candles on the market so it’s important to choose a good quality one. Angela Kirk recommends Biosun candles, which are made from linen, pure beeswax, honey extract, essential oil of St John’s Wort, chamomile and sage. “I have found Biosun to be one of the best. With this brand, different ingredients can be added to the candles. The main requirement is to have a filter at the end of the candle and you only ever burn them down to the red line.”

DIY Hopi Ear Candling

It’s cheaper, and more convenient to do it yourself at home but it’s not as relaxing, and safety is an issue. It’s not easy to gauge timings, which means it’s hard to relax when the candles are in place. A therapist can take care of the practical aspects, aid relaxation, and assess how much progress is being made during repeat sessions. He or she may also have other health/lifestyle suggestions based on the initial consultation form.

Contraindications of Hopi Ear Candling

Hopi ear candling is suitable for all adults and children, except for those who have the following:

  • ear infection or inflammation
  • recent ear surgery
  • perforated eardrum
  • cysts, grommets or tubes
  • allergies to candle wax

Hopi ear candling is a popular natural alternative to ear syringing, and can help cure various ear, nose and throat complaints. It is also excellent for stress reduction and general wellbeing. The ear is an erogenous zone, which is why the candling feels so pleasant and relaxing to receive.


Angela Kirk offers Hopi ear candling at the Wellington Natural Health Centre in Hastings, East Sussex.

Find a local practitioner via the Complementary Therapists Association.

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