Every person has earwax, which is also called cerumen. If you have a sense of fullness, discharge from your ear, or have difficulty hearing on occasion you may need to remove a buildup of wax. There are many different ways to remove ear wax, but ear candling, which is sometimes called ear coning, is one of the oldest and most widespread practices around the world to get rid of excess wax. Places and cultures as diverse as China, Egypt, the pre-Columbian Americas, Tibet, the mythical city of Atlantis, and the Hopi Indian tribe have been mentioned as having originated the practice. Although there is some controversy about its benefits, some alternative health practitioners believe ear candling is a safe and effective way to maintain ear and overall health.
The candles are linen or cotton that is dipped in wax and the wax hardens and dries on the fabric. The fabric is wrapped into a hollow cone shape. The hollow cones create a low pressure level vacuum that softens and draws earwax and impurities out of the ear and into the hollow candles. After the procedure, a dark, waxy substance is sometimes left in the hollow candle stub.