Candle In the Ear

No it’s not a new song from Elton John, but a kind of “ear therapy” I tried at the Raohe Street night market after seeing a blurb on tv about it. I’ve had chronic ear problems for four years now, ever since scuba diving with congested sinuses in the Philippines. My hearing is only 40% in my right ear, and I get earaches easily. I thought that maybe this ear candle business would do the trick.

They use conical, hollow, beeswax candles, because the beeswax doesn’t drip. After you’ve been seated, you put your head down on a cushion on a table. They light the wide end of the candle, and stick the narrow end into your ear. It feels warm and not entirely uncomfortable. You can feel the slight tug of the suction caused by the flame.

After about ten or fifteen minutes, the candle will have burned down quite low. The remove it and then cut open the bottom part of the cone to show you the gunk that came out of your ear. It’s quite astonishing. And gross. My hearing didn’t improve, but they said that since I had problems with my ears, there would probably be a lot of gunk in there and it might take more than one visit.

I’d like to try it again, but the night market isn’t cheap - 300NT per ear. Anybody know cheaper places to get it done, or even better where you can buy the candles? It’s not exactly rocket science - my girlfriend has volunteered to learn the art in order to help out my poor ears. Or maybe she just likes the thought of inserting flaming objects into various orifices! :shock:

More info on this can be found here:

I’ve seen people trying out the candles down Jianguo flower market and in the upper reaches of Sogo. Maybe they sell them too.

I lost my hearing in one ear once after swimming in a Neihu pool. A few days later sound hadn’t returned so I went to an ENT doc. He put some tweezers in and slid out something like a tar-browned cigarette butt. Remarkable sensation, it cost less than NT$300 and I got to take my wax butt home with me (put it under my pillow for the fairies).

No! Stop! Stop!
You’re giving me an EARGASM!!!
It feels sooooo goooood… :wink:

One of my ears got stuffed up a few years ago. I finally went to a doctor, who used a rounded metal implement to dig lots of gunk from my ear. (This was not a pleasant experience and made me very nervous.) When I expressed my surprise at how much there was and objected that I do clean my ears, he told me, “Don’t worry. It’s not your fault. Foreigners are just naturally greasy people.” :?

What next? …
Doc: I’ll clean out the clogged-up synaptic links in your brain with my Neurocleaner. Just relax and look at this magazine while I wave the innards of a 1970s Sony Walkman over your head and as soon as you’ve taken your eyes off me I’ll reach into my back pocket for a pre-prepared packet of “years of gunky buildup” with which to astonish you.
Doc: Aren’t you impressed? I bet you can feel your brain working better already!
Patient: Yeah, my thought processes are clear as a bell now. Wow, that looks exactly like the stuff the I scrape out from under my toenails!
Doc: Yeah! Aren’t you glad that’s not clogging up your neural pathways anymore?
Patient: You bet! Here’s a shit load of money, and a shit load more for a tip. Can I take your advice and have the recommended follow-up treatment?

I remember a very pleasurable experience in Renai hospital some years ago where I had my ears syringed and definitely had better hearing afterwards. Although my dad had his ears syringed in one of our third world hospitals here in the UK and now has tinnitus. But by and large I would rather be in a Taiwanese hospital, having spent time in both UK and Taiwanese hospitals. Although I have to say private treatment in the UK is superb. (Well it would be at a hundred quid a month in insurance)

Anyone know where they do the candle thing in Taichung?

i have a friend who found these things back in the states. she treated the process like the dirty little secret it should be.
it seems like watsons or cosmed or even the local pharm should have these things in stock… i haven’t seen them anywhere, but i haven’t really been looking.
now you guys have gotten me interested too.
i want to hear better too!

Never heard about or seen this candle-in-the-ear thing, but, when i was a young child, my mother used to rest my head sideways on her lap and pick dried flakes of ear wax and gunk out of my ears with a wooden stick that had a scooped end.

Apparently, expert “ear pickers” provide such services and more in both China and here: … 449204.stm

My mom didn’t go quite as far with the tools and technique as the guy in the article, but, man…it felt nice…so nice that i’ve since gotten my girlfriend to do it!

Maybe Segue should have “don’t read while eating” icon for topics such as this. Nothing like reading about ear wax build up to spoil an appetite.

There’s a Tawanese herbalist near me who is selling the candles for you to use at home, anyone want me to bring some back ?

If you are a licenced diver then you should have known better than to go diving with a sinus problem. I’ve seen a few people push beyond the pain barrier and come up bleeding as well.

usually after only 2 or 3 metres down you’ll feel it if your sinuses are blocked or fluidy.

But common sense does not appear to be common amongst a lot of divers I’ve seen. I’m only certified upto Rescue Diving level, and prefer to dive amonsgt the more sedate crowd who don’t need to be at 55m to say they’ve had a good dive.

If you are a licenced diver then you should have known better than to go diving with a sinus problem.[/quote]
Actually, I had suffered from a nasty Type A Flu Virus with sinus and ear infections three weeks before my trip, and I thought that I had recovered fully. Oops. Anyway, I learned my lesson. I just got out of the hospital a few days ago after a week of boredom - I finally had corrective surgery done. Too early to say if I get my hearing back, but the doc says the discomfort level should be better, and I’ll be able to dive again.

I am a licensed diver, but only just - I did the basic PADI course 15 years ago. I still like to go on easy diving tours when I’m on vacation, but nothing too demanding… Too be frank, I usually enjoy snorkleling more. I’m a strong swimmer, and I can hold my breath for a long time underwater, so not having a tank doesn’t hold me back too much…

Maybe - how much are they?

Well I hope you have some recovery of your hearing, cause we all need our full senses. I’d suggest not diving at all if you don’t get your hearing back. You’ll need to do some tests to actually see if you recover any of your hearing. I wish you the best.

When I was living in Brunei one of the British Rah Rah I’m OK expats decided to go diving after a night out on the piss.

Being flush in the face they let him dive, he lost consciencessness, and drowned at around 45m. Low blood sugar levels thru drinking and swimming go together really well. Well at least that was the theory.

It takes nearly 2 mins to surface from 45m at normal ascent, and without a decompress stop it gets dangerous for others too… They never got that poor bastard restarted… and all because the club members wouldn’t stand up and not let him go diving.

After that the dive club went on the safety rampage and made us all do our BSAC levels up to Rescue level. Lot’s of study, diving and pool training. After that I never needed to go out with the cowboys again.

Only the dead know how good it is to be alive…

Maoman, check out these links on ear candling.

Be sure to scroll down to see the photos at the bottom of the second link.

And in a nod to your home country:

If you’re already having problems with your ears, it seems like the worst thing to do. Please be careful.

[quote=“Anonymous”]Never heard about or seen this candle-in-the-ear thing, but, when I was a young child, my mother used to rest my head sideways on her lap and pick dried flakes of ear wax and gunk out of my ears with a wooden stick that had a scooped end.

My mom used to clean my ears with the hair-pin curve of a…hair pin! My sister enjoyed it, but I was always too ticklish.

Maybe - how much are they?[/quote]They didn’t seem too impressed when I asked them in Chinese :unamused:
They come in boxes of 2.
1 box for


Have you ever heard of earcandles? It’s an ancient relaxing ritual that the North American Hopi Indians used to practice to clear and purify their minds and to achieve a deep state of relaxation. It is both mentally and physically cleansing and allows you to turn your focus to your innerself and let go of unpleasant things we carry with us from the past. . Basically I start with a relaxing earmassage, and then the candles get placed in your ears and then burned under my supervision, which cleans your innerear and relaxes you completely, then after finishing both ears a headmassage will clean out all toxins that got released.

It’s the most relaxing thing you can imagine, and all people I have worked with came out super relaxed.
I’m an experienced certified practitioner from Belgium and I’d happy to explain you more about it, because it’s not that known yet. So feel free to contact me if you’d be interested. I have only a limited amount of earcandles here with me, so if you’re interested in experiencing this relaxing therapy, mail me at
it takes about one and a half hour, and cost 1000NT, due to the high cost of a set earcandles,
hoping to hear from you