What is Earcandling and what can it do?
Earcandling is a process which has been around for hundreds of years, but has primarily, been either forgotten or replaced by the wonders of modern medical science. According to some sources, the Egyptians used reeds, packing a bit of mud around the ears to from a seal. This process was also used in India, Tibet, China, the Mayan, Aztec and American Indian Cultures. Ear candles or cleansing cones as they were referred to in ancient times are a centuries old universal form of therapy, used by nations around the globe. Some form of ear coning or herbal therapy using fire and smoke, has been used to cleanse and/or create a movement of energy for healing by many cultures for thousands of years.
Fortunately, with the tremendous resurgence in popularity in alternative medicine modalities such as herbology, iridology, naturopathy, massage, to name a few, earcandling has also experienced a rediscovery as a very helpful treatment technique for many health problems related to the ear and sinus area of the body.
One of the wonderful things about the earcandling process is that with a bit of basic training and instruction, it can be done at home. In this age where so many of us are taking an active role in maintaining our own health and becoming less reliant upon the medical system, earcandling provides a marvellous, safe tool for us to have at our disposal. Simply lying someone down on their side, sticking a hollow candle in their ear and lighting it; what can be simpler than that. Some easy safety measures can be put into place to protect from the open flame, and there you go!
Well, in order to try and understand why the ancient cultures kept on using ear candling and knew that it worked, it would be wise to assume that they had a pretty good idea why it worked. So, what were their thoughts on how and why people become ill?
Summarising and condensing ancient philosophies and medicine we bring together the ancient cultures of Tibet, China, India and South America. There are basically three groups of disease-causes:
- External causes
- Internal causes
Let’s get the "others" out of the way first. They contain causes that relate to poor constitution, poor dietary habits, over-exertion, excessive sexual activity, trauma, parasites and poisons. We won’t be dealing with any of these, because I believe that it is quite clear that ear candling is not going to mend your broken ankle. Anyway, I will leave the final decision up to you as to what ear candling will and will not be able to help with, and in which way it contributes to "making things better", even if it doesn’t cure them.
The External Causes
These are of a physical nature and encroach upon the body from the environment. They include:
- Wind, which has the qualities of Light, Cold and Dry
- Heat/Fire with the qualities of Light, Hot and Dry
The Internal Causes
These are relatively subtle and arise from a direct relationship between the emotional life of a person and their physical health. Each internal organ is closely associated with a range of associated emotions. For example, a disharmony of the lungs will lead to sadness and melancholy; conversely, always feeling sad will weaken the lungs. Research in the last twenty years has confirmed that there is no distinction between mind and body; they are functioning as one through a direct two-way link. Now, the internal causes of diseases can be grouped as follows:
- Fear : excessive or prolonged fear drains the energy, leaving you Cold
- Anger : excessive and inappropriate anger causes Heat
- Joy : over-excitement, an abnormal degree of mental stimulation causes Dryness
- Shock : mental shock rapidly weakens and causes Wind
- Worry : excessive thinking, over-concern accumulates Dampness, Heaviness
- Sadness : sadness and grief drains vitality Dampness and Cold
So, internal and external causes can be described in the same terms. Their influence on our lives is exactly what the quality of the influence means; in other words emotional or physical characteristics of heaviness will make our system (all body and brain functions) more heavy. What kind of symptoms we can expect related to Dampness, Coldness, Dryness, Heat, or Heaviness and Lightness we discuss later.
How does Earcandling fit into Ayurveda?
At a time when Modern Medicine is failing to deliver on it’s promises about cures that are just around the corner, the interest in ancient knowledge is blooming. A 5000 year old philosophical and medical system such as Ayurveda, which not only has survived time and industrialisation but is experiencing a massive revival, is pushing it’s way to the forefront of science once again to provide answers and pose pertinent questions about Life.
Edward Tarabilda, who is a director of the Institute for Wholistic Education in Wisconsin, has proven in his book Ayurveda Revolutionized that all diseases can be described by three pairs of qualities or combinations thereof:
Hot — Cold
Heavy — Light
Oily — Dry
These qualities are the main ones which are used in Ayurveda to describe everything from the weather, to your constitution, to every influence on life. Simplifying that system we can categorise all diseases into the following groups: the disease of Heat, Coldness, Heaviness, Lightness, Oiliness, Dryness or a mixture. Each disease has a set of symptoms, which occur as a result of the influence of the offending quality. This way of looking at the ancient knowledge focuses our mind on qualities of disease, rather than qualities of constitution.
Today’s scientific research in nutrition categorises people into various types, a process called "Metabolic Profiling". According to this system, people fall into three profiles:
- Individuals who need more protein and fat in comparison to carbohydrates;
- Individuals who need more carbohydrates in comparison to protein and fat;
- Individuals who are more mixed and need an equal balance between protein and fat on the one side and carbohydrates on the other.
Put in terms of the ancient Ayurveda, the first group of individuals are more catabolic in nature (heat, lightness and dryness), the second are more anabolic in nature (coldness, heaviness and oiliness) and the third group are of mixed type. The comparisons between the two models is quite striking.
In Ayurveda the treatment used for the anabolic group (cold, heavy, oily) is mainly heat. This is used in various forms such as foods, drinks, herbs, essential oils, application of external heat, etc. By introducing heat into the system coldness is turned into heat; heaviness into lightness; and oiliness into dryness.
Earcandling is exactly that: it introduces heat directly into the system, only on a subtle level. It burns in the person’s aura and thus adds heat to the energetic body of the person concerned.
So, what are the kind of symptoms that are produced by the various qualities we have mentioned?
Dampness clogs up the system, particularly stomach and lungs. So, we see asthma, bronchitis, sore throats, sinus problems, vision disturbances, ear problems such as glue ear, infections, hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness due to overpressure in the middle ear. But equally recurrent vomiting, liver and gallbladder congestion.
Coldness produce lack of energy, aching muscles and joints, particularly first thing in the morning; stiffness in neck and shoulders, which can result in dizziness, headaches, heavy feeling like a band around the head; blocked feeling in the nose and sinuses; floaters in the visual field, poor eye sight; sudden hoarseness, tinnitus, tonsillitis, common colds.
Dryness causes skin irritation, muscle contraction and tension, tremors (in severe cases MS, Parkinson’s and paralysis), a feeling of tightness in the chest, gastric pain, vomiting, tinnitus and general weakness.
Heat makes you sweat profusely, produces night sweats, low back pain, stiff neck and shoulder, or a piercing pain in the head, angina, heart palpitations, vertigo, insomnia.
Heaviness gives you a slow digestion, excess weight (physically as well as mentally), excess phlegm, coughing, earache, lipomas, diabetes, jaundice, indigestion, and lack of energy.
Lightness makes you impatient, hurried and tense; neck rigidity, bitter taste in mouth, headaches, loss of appetite, burning in stomach, lumbago and pain between the shoulder blades.
Looking at that list of symptoms caused by the various influences, it seems obvious that the complaints people attend ear candling sessions with relate mostly to Dampness, Coldness and Heaviness.
How does the candle really work?
Through simple observation during the burning of the ear candle and careful examination of the contents of the candle afterwards, we can easily conclude:
- There is no "suction" effect inside the candle.
- There is black smoke coming out of the top of the candle and white smoke pushing down into the candle.
- There is no heat or warmth at the bottom of the candle.
- The contents of the burned candle (white powder and wax) vary greatly from person to person, from session to session; the same substances are found inside the candle when it is burned standing by itself in the room.
So, the candle does not draw out earwax or lymphatic (or any other) fluid. In fact, the candle does not draw out anything; it puts something into the candle! What we are seeing inside the candle at the end of the burning is a manifestation; a physical result from adding heat to the aura of a person, or to the atmosphere of a room for that matter.
Ayurveda teaches us that all is energy and that matter is a gross manifestation of the subtle energy. Nothing exists without it having some form of energy; without energy, no physical matter can be present. All real healing happens on an energy level. Our body is only the manifestation of an energy being, not the other way around!
And now the ear candle shows us in a simple way that things are created out of nothing!
How to explain the earcandle’s products?
We observe three elements as a direct result from burning the candle: white powder, "wax", and black smoke.
The black smoke comes out of the top of the candle and swirls straight up into the air, because it is light. In the bottom of the candle we find white, dry powder and "wax", which is a misinterpretation. Due to the fact it appears to come out of an ear the association was made with earwax. It has nothing to do with that and it is in fact simple fat.
What do these three elements materialised out of "air" tell us?
When we add heat to Heaviness, we produce Lightness. When we add heat to the energetic body it will materialise Lightness, i.e. the black smoke. As a result, the heaviness of the person will be lightened.
When we add heat to Oiliness, we produce Dryness. When we add heat to the energetic body it will materialise Dryness, i.e. the white powder. As a result, the oiliness of the person will become drier.
When we add heat to Coldness, we produce Heat. When we add heat to the energetic body it will produce heat/energy in the physical body. Energy is stored in our body in the form of fat, i.e. the "wax".
The three pairs of qualities, which describe our surroundings, our moods, our physical being, are always there in a variety of balances. When we are overloaded with one or more of these qualities we suffer the consequences in a material form as well as in a more subtle (energetic) way. Treating these imbalances on an energetic level is far more effective and far reaching than simply dealing with the physical manifestation of the imbalance. This makes earcandling not only a safe, but certainly an extremely effective treatment. When changes to lifestyle are added to it, we find that the balance of Life suddenly has shifted dramatically in favour of Health. Illness, or rather the fear of illness disappears because symptoms are now seen as road signs pointing us in the direction of imbalances at very early stages. By responding to these messages we not only make the symptoms disappear but by rectifying the underlying reasons we prevent the occurrence of any major illness. So, no more fear, in spite of what "the authorities" — "the specialists" are saying.
Acharya Mo Quanten
Dr Patrick Quanten M D