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ear candling (coning)
Ear candling or coning is a method of cleaning the ears and the mind, which allegedly alleviates a host of physical, emotional and spiritual ailments. A hollow candle is stuck into the ear and lit, allegedly sucking out earwax and negative energy. The process is ineffective for earwax removal. I don't know how anyone knows whether it sucks out energy, positive or negative.
What wax appears in the cone is from the melted candle, not from the ears. The suction created by the coning flame is insufficient to remove wax, which, by the way, is good for you. It traps dust and dirt and helps fight infections.
Though some people fear that coning will leave them mindless, the only real dangers are from burning, infection, obstruction of the ear canal and perforation of the eardrum.
The origin of this unnatural practice has been given as ancient Tibet, China, India, Egypt, and pre-Columbian America. Even Atlantis is cited as a possible origin. In other words, we don't have a clue how this thing got started.
We also have no idea how far this will go, but Butt Candling could be the end. Another candle in the dark blown out by an ill wind?
Seely, D.R., S.M. Quigley and A.W. Langman. "Ear candles--efficacy and safety," Laryngoscope 106 (10): 1226-9.
websitesEar Candling by Lisa M.L. Dryer (skeptical)
Keeping Ears Clean by Robert Jackler, MD
new The FDA has notified 15 companies that ear candles are unapproved medical devices that cannot be legally marketed in interstate commerce. The recipients were King Cone International; Indian Mountain Center; Bobalee Originals Manufacturing; International Ear Candle, LLC; Home Remedies Solutions; Harmony Cone; A..J.'s Candles Inc; Wholistic Health Solutions; Wally's Natural Products Inc.; Body Tools; Health, Wealth, & Happiness; White Egret, Inc.; Brennan & McCoy; Amasha; Unisource; and Herbs, Heirlooms and Homebrew. (Source: Consumer Health Digest #10-20)