Thermo Auricular Therapy is also known as Hopi Candling -its origins seem to derive from Native American tribes who performed similar treatments for medical purposes. The candle is made of a cotton tube which is impregnated with beeswax, honey and therapeutic oils like St Johns Wort, sage and chamomile. The tube is placed into the outer ear canal and is lit. It burns down slowly – usually taking around 10-15 minutes. Whilst it is burning down it creates a gentle vacuum or pressure within the ear. Some people find this can be helpful in relieving sinus problems or hearing difficulties caused by raised sinus pressure.
This treatment works in several ways: First, the ‘chimney principle’ gently clears the sinus area through gentle pressure which may help move debris. It also is believed to have a ‘auric cleansing’ effect on an energetic level. In addition, there is an aromatherapy effect from the oils which can help with sinus clearance, in a similar way to inhaling eucalyptus oil when you have a respiratory virus.
A note about ear wax: there is a common misconception that ear wax is removed by the candle and can be seen within the candle at the end of the treatment – but this is debris from the burning of the candle contents. Ear wax is generally best left alone or softened with suitable ear drops from a pharmacy. If hearing loss or wax is a problem, it is recommended that you are examined by your GP or audiologist.
Thermo auricular therapy is a gentle treatment, but is contraindicated for people who have aural inflammation or infection, previous ear surgery, grommets, or perforated ear drums. It is most suitable if you are experiencing sinus problems, recent colds, energy blockage to the head area, or for relaxation purposes.