How the Candles Work
If we take the view (which quantum physicists now seem to have proved beyond any doubt) that everything is energy, the body is no exception. When the body’s energy is circulating prop- erly we are healthy and positive. However, most of us eat food that may have been treated with chemicals and is often full of sugar, salt, and poor-quality fats from processed or junk foods, in- cluding vegetable oils such as corn oil, which are too high in omega 6 fatty acids; in addition, we live in polluted environments and lead stressful lives. All of these factors help to lower our re- sistance and then we fall ill.
One of the primary functions of ear candles is to stimulate the body’s energy, which they do very powerfully and effectively. This is why some people who have used candles for one prob- lem, such as migraine, have found to their delight that their sinuses clear, too. Or those who have used them for sinusitis have found their hearing improves at the same time.
The greatest advantage of the candles, therefore, is that they work on the immune system. Debris is carried along a network of capillaries by a fluid called lymph, and it is purified through the lymphatic ganglions, which are found all over the body; when lymph is flowing as it should, it prevents us from falling ill. It circulates through these capillaries in the same manner as blood circulates through the veins, but as the lymphatic system has no pumping mechanism to allow it to circulate, it relies on the movement of muscles to create peristalsis that pushes it around. The whole body receives a boost from candling, which, because it enhances energy naturally, affects the functioning of the lymphatic system (you will find more information on this in Chapter 4). This is also why candles can be so effective for constipated patients as, once the lymph is doing its job properly and removing waste products to be filtered and excreted, pa- tients invariably find themselves having more frequent and easier bowel movements.
Acupressure points, which are found everywhere on the body, are also stimulated in the re- gion of the ear by the candle treatment. If we take the shape of the ear as an inverted foetus (and it was Paul Nogier who discovered this fact in the 1950s), we can find to which zones these acupressure points relate. It is said that pirates had pierced earlobes because, represent- ing the eye reflex, this enabled them to see ships coming over the horizon before the ships’ lookouts saw them! It is also a fact that people who have piercings elsewhere on the ear can suffer from certain zones being over stimulated.
An extremely detailed explanation of the way the candles work is given in a paper entitled Ear Candling and Cancer Therapy by Patrick Quanten, MD (UK) and Greg Webb, RMT (Canada), which, with the authors’ permission, I have reproduced in its entirety in Chapter 5, so I won’t repeat the information here.
A crystal therapist, watching a treatment being given at an exhibition, claimed that she could see negativity being burned out of the aura (the electromagnetic field surrounding the body), and this is one of the more subtle functions of the candle. It is why it needs to be held upright and why getting up too quickly after a treatment can cause a feeling of light-headedness. One of the students on my professional course remarked that for him the act of burning a candle opened the door between the two worlds, and this does fit with what the crystal therapist was seeing.
It is extremely important to rest for 10-15 minutes once the burning has stopped to enable the effect of the treatment to circulate throughout the system. This also happens when we re- ceive a massage or any other complementary therapy: what the therapist has done is to stimulate the energy, and we derive far more benefit from it if we can take things easy for a while af- terwards. Therapists understand energy and how it works, but unless someone using the can- dles understands this, s/he won’t really be able to get to grips with the finer points of the treatment. Of course, the physical result will be there, but understanding how energy works opens us up to a whole new way of looking at ear candles.
This leads me to say that the act of candling is the start of a process to get the energies circu- lating. A positive result does not necessarily happen during the treatment, and the patient may even feel less well afterwards; s/he will have a better idea of the benefits of the treatment after a good night’s sleep, or even after another treatment. It is important to bear in mind that the longer someone has been suffering from a particular complaint the longer it may take to get to the root cause. As we are all different, it is never possible to say just how long, but as a gen- eral guideline I recommend three treatments over a period of 4-6 weeks to see if the candles can be beneficial for a patient. If they can (and although it may not seem to be so, a worsening of the pathology is actually a positive indicator), further treatments are definitely advisable. If the candles don’t appear to be making a difference, then an alternative therapy should be tried, although it should be pointed out that even if the initial problem doesn’t seem to have re- sponded, the body has found a more pressing need elsewhere for the energy generated by the candle. Energy flows to where it is most needed, so there will always be some benefit.
Why would a worsening of the condition be considered a good result? With complementary therapies, healing starts from the inside, whereas allopathic medicine is geared toward remov- ing the symptoms and not addressing the root cause. I had a rather frustrating case of a young woman who had taken several courses of antibiotics and wanted to try natural healing meth- ods. She enjoyed the treatment and was booked to return in two weeks. However, although I al- ways explain that complementary therapies take time to work for long-standing problems, that things can get worse before they get better, and gave her an information sheet—something I hand out to every new patient—the act of candling brought out a latent infection. She immedi- ately consulted an allopathic practitioner who gave her antibiotics, and she cancelled her next appointment, telling me she might try again when she had recovered!
The worsening of a condition is a call to listen to what the body is telling us. Nothing, I re- peat, nothing is ‘caused’ through using the candles. There are certain contraindications to treat- ment, which are described more fully later on: for example, if a patient already has eczema or dryness in the outer ear, the warmth of the candle will dry this out further and cause irritation and discomfort. If, however, someone has an infection that is lying dormant, perhaps already having been treated with allopathic medicine, the symptoms may have gone but the root cause has not been addressed, so the act of candling could well bring it to the surface, which is what probably happened in the case mentioned above. It is certainly not a commentary on ‘what the candles did’ but a valuable message to listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.
When the only physical action of the candles is to sit lightly over the entrance to the auditory canal and send warm energy downwards, it is evident that they can’t, in and of themselves, cause illness. The energy circulated by the action of the candles can never do any harm, either: it goes right to the spot where the patient needs it most, and even if s/he decides that the can- dles have had little effect on the initial problem, it could be that the energy systems of other re- gions of the body have a higher priority and, once these have been dealt with, the whole system will start to function at a higher frequency. That is where it is essential for a therapist to question the patient when s/he returns because, as I have already mentioned, so many general improvements may have occurred without the patient making the connection with the candles or even noticing their effect.
When people come for a treatment, I advise them against washing their hair the same day or using a mobile phone or an iPod, and in cold weather to bring a scarf or hat to cover their ears on the way home. I received one new patient at a health centre, and when I gave her this information she announced that she already had plans to go to the swimming pool for a swim straight afterwards! This is a contraindication, but it might not be evident to someone who is un- aware of how the candles work. Another patient told me she had slept with earplugs for many years (even when she goes away somewhere quiet) and could no longer sleep without them. She admitted she often had to have her ears syringed to get rid of the build-up of wax. The can- dles cannot offer much in this case, as our body’s intelligence is awesome and complete and no bodily orifice, each having its own particular function, should ever be blocked up systematically and for no good reason. Our cells and our autonomic nervous system never take a break, and essential work is being carried out while we sleep.
As I have mentioned earlier, there is a lot of disinformation around. For example, my atten- tion was drawn to an article by an ear, nose, and throat practitioner who expressed the view that the candles were useless and dangerous, as he had seen a whole catalogue of ‘adverse’ effects. At least one of these ‘adverse’ effects was physically impossible, and as for the rest: ei- ther the candle had exploded or the person treating was holding it lighted side down! I have given thousands of treatments over a quarter of a century, and the only ‘adverse’ effect I have experienced is when candling has set off a healing crisis and the stimulation to the immune sys- tem has awakened a latent infection in the body. (See above and the entry for Sinusitis in Chapter 2.) I am sure that if he had seen such problems after candling (which I doubt), they had all come from the same source.