from the archives: are you ears burning?

Candles were once just pretty accents at the spa – now they’re becoming essential tools of the trade thanks to those pesky ancient Egyptians. Ear candling (or coning, as it is sometimes called) began as a hygiene regimen along the Nile thousands of years ago and is today being touted as a natural way to clean out accumulated wax – not to mention the white, flaky fungus you now wished you didn’t know was building up inside your ears. As you lie on your side, a long hollow taper – candling, get it? –  is inserted into the ear canal and set ablaze. Heat from the burning cone softens the wax and a vacuum created by the rising smoke gently draws the detritus into the absorbent candle.  The meltdown lasts about 30 minutes and the gunk that comes out might just make you shudder. Reportedly popular among singers and musicians, the average spa-goer might find this therapy to be a one-time curiosity, though many swear by its ability to relieve inner ear pressure and infections, as well as noticeably improving hearing quality. It’s also handy for disproving Mom’s old maxim: never stick anything in your ear except your elbow.



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