The Hopi Ear Candle treatment (also known as Thermo Auricular Therapy) is a pleasant, non-invasive treatment which is beneficial for many problems related to the ears and head.

Ear candling is an excellent natural remedy for easing sinus and nasal congestion. Many people who suffer from hay fever symptoms have found relief from the congestion and fuzzy headed feeling with this treatment.

What are Hopi Ear Candles?

The ear candles are actually rolled cotton tubes impregnated with beeswax, honey, St Johns Wort and therapeutic oils which are painlessly inserted into the base of the ear to draw out impurities, relieve congestion and relieve pressure in the head and sinuses.

Where do they originate?

Hopi Ear Candles take their name from the Hopi Native American Indian tribe, a peaceful tribe with great medicinal knowledge. It is said that the Hopi Indians used the ear candles to clear their head before going on their shamanic journeying and indeed one of the most common benefits reported by clients is a feeling of being lighter and clearer in the head.

How do they work?

The ear candles have a gentle suction action (like a chimney effect) which loosens and draws out compacted wax from the ear canal to be collected in the base of the tube.  The movement of the flame creates a vibration of air in the candle which gently massages the ear drum and soothes the sinus and nasal passages.

How can they help to ease hay fever symptoms?

The candles are particularly effective at treating congestion in the sinus and nasal passages. Breathing generally becomes freer and the head feels lighter and clearer, helping to dissipate the fuzziness associated with hay fever.

I have treated numerous clients with hay fever during my 12 years as a therapist. Client A suffered badly with a runny nose, sore eyes and fuzzy head from the beginning of March to the end of August, despite taking general hay fever medication. During these months I usually see this client every few weeks to reduce the severity of his symptoms. He finds ear candling an enormous help – his symptoms are noticeably reduced, he can breathe more freely and his head is clearer.

What else can they help with?

Ear candles can also help ease tinnitus, sinusitis, rhinitis, glue-ear, excess or compacted wax, colds and sinus headaches. They help to regulate pressure in the sinuses and inner ear canal and balance fluids in the inner ear, so are very beneficial for people with balance problems such as Meniere’s Disease and vertigo. They help ease sore throats, reduce catarrh and can be beneficial to asthma sufferers. People who suffer from migraines often find that ear candling reduces the occurrence and intensity of migraines. Ear candling also stimulates blood and energy flow and stimulates the lymphatic system and metabolism. Ear candling is particularly useful for people who have found syringing uncomfortable.

I have found that ear candling can also help people who are prone to ear infections. Client B went through a phase of regular ear infections which re- occurred every few months, despite taking medication. I was able to carry out ear candling once her infection had cleared up. After an initial course of 4 treatments, her ears were much clearer and her hearing improved. She now has treatments every 3 or 4 months to keep her ears as healthy as possible.

The Treatment

The client lies on their side and the lit ear candle is inserted into the base of the ear. The therapist holds the candle in place throughout the treatment so there is no danger of it falling over. The candle takes approximately 12 minutes to burn down. During this time the candles often make a crackling, hissing noise which is entirely normal. Wax deposits and impurities, along with candle residue, are collected in the base of the tube. Once the therapist has removed the end of the candle, the client is asked to turn over and the process is repeated with the other ear. The treatment ends with a facial massage to promote sinus and lymph drainage and to allow the client a period of relaxation.

Four to six treatments are usually recommended to treat a particular condition. The first treatment seems to loosen up compacted wax and stimulates blood and lymph flow to the ear area, which helps to stimulate the healing process. Improvements can usually be seen after 3 treatments. Clients then usually take regular monthly treatments for a few months before finishing the treatment. With hay fever, I just see clients during the spring and summer months when necessary.


Ear candling is not suitable for people who have a perforated ear drum, grommets or implants, recently had surgery to the ear or head, recently suffered a stroke, or those with allergies to any of the candle contents. It should not be carried out if there is any pain or infection in the ear but can be performed once the infection has cleared.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. The Hopi Ear Candle treatment is available for £28. Please allow 1 hr. For further information about the therapies, courses and workshops Helen offers, please visit her website http://helenshortland.com.


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