Ear and Body Treatment Candles
The background: Having had a variety of occupations, I am now established as a therapist, healer, teacher, writer and translator, all of which have grown organically out of each other. My first incarnation was as a secretary many moons ago and as I became more competent in French I started translating. This led me to writing texts, proof-reading in English and finally to teaching English which I have done since 2003, holding a Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults. I am presently head of the English-language department at an evening school for people with limited budgets.
Throughout my young life, my parents and I were rarely ill and if we were, it was nothing serious and our general practitioner sorted it out. It was only towards the end of my mother’s life that I began to realise that allopathy was not the answer and I am sure her last couple of years could have been greatly improved through other methods. My leap into complementary therapies came not long before she died in 1988 and I took a diploma course in reflexology with the Bayly School of Reflexology. It was then that I discovered ear treatment candles and started using them on my work colleagues. They were pleasant but nothing special, or so I thought.
Starting up: Moving to London in 1989, I visited the Healing Arts Exhibition and found lots of information about complementary therapies. Around that time I worked on reception in a clinic specialising in colonic irrigation and began to think about the candles again. Nobody else seemed to be selling them (I started out as a distributor rather than as a therapist), so I contacted the manufacturer of the largest brand and became the official UK supplier.
With a friend who knew as little about them as I did, I took a stand at the Healing Arts Exhibition in 1991 where we demonstrated the treatment and sold candles. It didn’t seem to matter that we were totally clueless because the public was massively enthusiastic about a brand new healing method; something different from the usual fare served up year after year at most complementary health exhibitions. The great thing was that practically nobody had ever heard of them before so our lack of expertise went unnoticed.
One or two visitors did talk about candles they made themselves and others told us of candling as a folk remedy handed down in their families. These were mostly people from the Mediterranean basin and Latin America although I have since met people from other places (Mongolia, the Philippines, for example) who also know about candling.
We did quite a lot of major exhibitions in London and further afield in the early 1990s and many of our customers would come back year after year, some of them with quite amazing stories, which got me looking a bit further into the art of candling. Having written publicity materials for myself and for friends, it was just a short hop to writing my first book in 2003 and the rest is history, culminating in my latest book, Candling for Optimal Health, which is a very major update on my first attempt. Since its appearance in May 2014, I have discovered several new uses for the candles, so I can’t possibly say this is my last word on the subject!
Background to professional courses: In the early days there were no courses to teach people how to candle properly and it was in 2007 that I did a day with a trainer in the UK before starting to teach for her school. A couple of years later, I developed my own course as I wanted to concentrate more on candling in relation to the body’s energy system, rather than to deal only with the physical benefits, although of course these are many, varied and frequently lasting.
What do the candles do? The major benefit from candling is the stimulation of the immune system because a healthy immune system keeps us fit and strong. As to how candling works to achieve this is part of its uniqueness. Not only does it stimulate the immune system but also the acupressure points in the ear; it is relaxing; ideal for stressed patients who, although they have to get up and travel home, invariably have an excellent night’s sleep after a treatment. When we understand that six of the major energy meridians (important in Chinese medicine) start or end between the nose and the ear we can understand how the energy, stimulated by the candles, can circulate throughout the body.
How to treat: So what is the treatment? The candles we use are not like those you put on the dinner table; they are hollow tubes or cones, lit at one end, with the opposite end placed over the entrance to the ear canal. The therapist just has to hold the candle upright and let it do the work. And what is the work? The gentle warmth and the energy of the flame spiral down and stimulate the body’s own energy thereby improving the lymph drainage. This is evidenced by the fact that stomachs start to rumble almost immediately on many patients and some have to rush to the loo when the session is over.
What is so wonderful about candling is that it is gentle and, when done properly, extremely relaxing. It is non-invasive as a candle will sit over the entrance to the ear; a cone, with its narrower base will sit just in the entrance to the ear canal. Many therapies work for different problems and some can be quite painful. In candling, it is the candle that does the work and it cannot, repeat cannot, do any harm at all to the patient when properly applied. The only way it can do harm is if a poorly made candle is used by someone who doesn’t know how to do the treatment and who invariably gives out false information as to the benefits.
Another important fact is that candling, although it is non-invasive, sometimes leads to rapid results, it is relaxing, it clears the head and sinuses, it helps to relieve allergies, stimulate the intestines and give a good night’s sleep. And that’s just candling the ears! When a candle or even a half candle is applied elsewhere on the body, this allows for a more targeted approach to a specific area. Painful knees have recovered; constipation has been eased, haemorrhoids have been relieved as have painful periods, headaches have disappeared before the patient is even out of the door.
Conducting a session: So how do I conduct a session? With a new client I start by taking a case history to find out why s/he has come to see me and what other, possibly related, conditions there could be and I check for any contraindications (perforated eardrum, recent injury to the head or neck, eczema in the ear, a cochlea implant). I explain carefully how the candles work and give every new patient an information sheet to take away and study. The patient then lies on the treatment table on his/her back and I do a short foot and lower leg massage. It isn’t reflexology but its aim is relaxation and it can be omitted if the patient prefers.
After the foot massage (and the hand washing) I find out which is the ‘better’ side, and that is where I start, the patient lying on the opposite side. Why start with the best side? Like an exam, we sort out the easy questions first and that gets our brain ticking to answer the more difficult ones. So with candling; once the energy is flowing on the ‘better’ side, then it flows more easily on the opposite side. When the ears have been candled the patient lies on his/her back and receives 10-15 minutes of healing, which I have been offering since the early 1990s, obtaining a diploma from the Holistic Healers Association in 2000.
It is at that point that the patient, ‘softened up’ and totally relaxed by the candle treatment, usually falls asleep. At the end, there is invariably great reluctance on the part of the patient to move! We take it gently so that s/he can get up slowly. The candle has been working in the aura, the electro-magnetic field that surrounds us and someone getting up rapidly could feel light-headed although I do use a grounding oil to bring the patient back to the room.
Do patients need any prior knowledge? People don’t need to have any notion of what candling does before the session and they may not even be convinced that candles are the answer; some sceptics have excellent results. It is not always easy to explain to people who aren’t therapists that candling is energetic rather than physical, as for many, energy and how it works is a novel concept and a bit way out. I do explain that, as in every type of complementary therapy, we can often feel worse before feeling better. This is because healing works from the inside and will attack the root cause of a problem, rather than relieving the symptoms, which is the case with allopathic medication.
The people who seem to receive the most rapid benefit are the sinusitis sufferers (especially if they give up dairy products). There have also been some quick results with sleep apnoea and migraines. We are all different, and a problem I would have expected to respond rapidly may not and something else can surprise me—and I get lots of surprises—by disappearing almost immediately
The role of the listener: Some patients need a listener and this is part of what I have been trained to do as I was a Samaritan for several years.. On the first visit I take time to see if there is anything a patient wants to discuss. There is often a psychosomatic factor attached to any illness, so it is important to know if something has manifested as a physical condition and could be treated in a different way. Very basic questions are: When did it start? What was happening in your life at that time? Have you tried anything else?
Normally I suggest three sessions over 6-8 weeks and, after the first one, the problem may appear to have worsened. This is often a positive sign because it means that the energy has shifted and is starting to work on the root cause. On the second visit I ask whether the patient had a good night’s sleep following the treatment, whether s/he needed to go to the loo more frequently, etc. as we would not probably connect these results with candling but they are important indicators.
Professional training: My professional course is at the convergence of two parallel lines where teaching English has intersected with my knowledge and experience of candling; it is aimed at therapists and is recognized as such. My students practise many different disciplines and find that candling enhances each one. I have even trained a sex therapist who had an excellent result with one of his patients.
Why would you need a course for something so simple? Good question. It is not just about the treatment—and there has been negative publicity caused by people pushing candles into the ear canal and causing pain, or using cheap candles without filters which can drip and burn the patient. Because they don’t know, they usually give wrong information as to how the candle works. My course goes into many other aspects of candling, the background, the philosophy, the type of candles to use, why we use them, when we use them and I illustrate this with plenty of case histories and information on other natural remedies which can enhance the treatment. Students also give and receive a treatment under supervision.
Case histories: 1: John was someone I knew from a work situation and one day he told me how his sinus problems were making his life miserable at certain times of the year. I suggested he come for a treatment. He did, and we made a second appointment for the following week. He bounced in, absolutely delighted with the result so far. That was in 2009 and he has been almost every month since as, not only can he breathe with his mouth shut, but the smell of rapeseed in bloom doesn’t make his eyes stream anymore. The only months he misses are July and August and I know that in September he will have to jump up and rush to the loo as soon as I’ve finished. 2: Jane’s mother is an irregular patient. She first came after a course of antibiotics left her with ringing in the ears and three sessions got rid of that. One day she called for an appointment for her four year old daughter who had a blocked nose and sinuses which worried her as they were going on a long flight a week later. She brought Jane along one Friday evening. I explained that, after the treatment, her mother could hold her in her arms and I would do the healing sitting beside her, rather than doing it on the table as I normally do. Jane lay on the table with Mum holding her hand. We turned her gently to candle the second side and she fell fast asleep. She slept so deeply that her mother had to shake her gently to get her to wake up. On Monday she called and told me that Jane’s nose had dripped all the weekend and, by Sunday evening she was her normal self. 3: Jessica suffered badly from migraines. I had worked with her several years earlier and I persuaded her to try the candles. We did one treatment a week over a period of three weeks. Then her busy life intervened as she has a full-time job, home and family. She came back exactly a year later for a further treatment. When I asked her about her migraines she told me she had had one six months previously and when I reminded her that was why she had come in the first place, she had completely forgotten.
What happens if it doesn’t ‘work’? Are there occasions when candling does not have any effect? I’m going to say ‘no’. There are occasions where candling has not resolved a problem and then I advise that the patient try a different therapy. But as candling is an energy therapy, it is most certainly working on some other part of the energy system. It may not have improved the initial condition but, as in healing, the energy will go to the part of the body that most needs it and it may not be at all where we think it is. This is borne out by the fact that people using candles for one condition can find that something else has improved. For example, one visitor to an exhibition told me that she had candled her partner’s ears several times as he suffered from sinusitis and he was having fewer epileptic episodes.
Who are the most receptive patients? People who listen to the messages from their bodies and who don’t push themselves beyond their limits; when they realise that something isn’t quite right, they research ways of getting back into balance. As a general guide, it is important to eat healthy, unpolluted food, to cut down on dairy products, to get enough restful sleep, not to be trying to fit into a situation (work, social) where we’re not being true to ourselves, keeping a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook on life. It is said that energy follows thought so believing that things will work out, even when that doesn’t appear to be the case, will help us to avoid many of the problems that plague our modern society.
Article supplied by Jili Hamilton: www.jilihamilton.com