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Advice to Beauty Therapists - Hopi Candles, WHY??

Updated: May 16, 2021

This is a copy of a letter I sent to all my local Beauty Therapy businesses and colleges..

Do you recommend Hopi Ear Candling for ear wax removal? WHY?

As an Audiologist I have seen an increasing number of patients who have been frustrated at their GP Surgeries reluctance to remove their ear wax, and so have looked for alternative solutions.

Some of these have been quite radical, some frankly dangerous, and some no use at all...

Yesterday I had a new patient who proudly informed me that he never has problems with earwax as he has had Hopi Candling done every 6 weeks for the last 2 years. His Beauty Therapist places a cone of wax in his ear and lights the candle. Once the wax has all melted, she unrolls the cone showing the melted wax and the absorbed earwax in the bottom of the cone, demonstrating that she has drawn up all the earwax into the cone.

So I asked: ... is there a hole in the bottom of the cone? Because if there is - doesn’t the melted candlewax drip downwards into the ear canal? Hot wax and sensitive skin, surely not a great combination...

If there isn’t, how does the earwax magically migrate upwards against gravity and being stuck onto the ear canal wall, and appear up and into the cone, through the wrapping?

Also what happens to candles as they melt? What did you expect to see in the bottom of the melted wax candle cone?

I then showed him his ear canal using a video otoscope... he seemed surprised that his canal was full of dark hard impacted earwax... where did he really think it had gone?

On a very serious note, this is an extremely dangerous and pointless practice. By providing this as a service in your salons as professional qualified therapists, you risk your reputation as well as the risk of being sued for false representation, and possible injury. I hope you have very good professional indemnity insurance!

If you don’t believe me, an Audiologist with over 30 years experience, look up the evidence for yourselves..

"Ear candling appears to be popular and is heavily advertised with claims that could seem scientific to lay people. However, its claimed mechanism of action has not been verified, no positive clinical effect has been reliably recorded, and it is associated with considerable risk. No evidence suggests that ear candling is an effective treatment for any condition. On this basis, we believe it can do more harm than good and we recommend that GPs discourage its use“

J. Rafferty, MB CHB, A. Tsikoudas, FRCS DLO, and B.C. Davis, FRCS ED (1 December 2007). "Ear candling: Should general practitioners recommend it?". Can Fam Physician 53 (12): 2121–2.

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