Thermal Auricular Therapy

Thermal Auricular Therapy (also known as Hopi Ear Candling) is a pleasant and non-invasive treatment of the ears, used to treat a variety of conditions. The ear candles induce revitalising heat upon the head and ears, which soothes, relieves, and relaxes. It is a deeply relaxing and calming treatment for anyone with anxiety and stress.

What are ear candles made of?

Ear candles are simply made from cotton or flax and dipped in beeswax. Others have added benefit of being infused with extra ingredients such as essential oils. The client will experience a pleasant crackling or sizzling sound as the ingredients infused in the fabric of the ear candle are burning to create vapours. The ear candle contains a filter preventing particles of wax, or residue entering the ear.

What does ear candling do?

As a complementary therapy, ear candling does not claim to cure any disorders. However, fully qualified Thermal Auricular Therapists such as Sabena (CIBTAC qualified) who carry out this treatment will agree that one of its most marked effects on their clients is a feeling of total relaxation. When the body reaches this state, many positive health benefits result and is an antidote to the harmful chemicals produced when the body is under constant stress and strain.

Who will it benefit?
Indications for use

  • Ear aches
  • Sinus/rhinitis
  • Stress & tension
  • Headaches
    Excess/compacted wax
  • Catarrh
  • Hay fever
  • Glue ear
  • Tinnitis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Sore throats
  • Colds

    Benefits – What the client experiences

When the candle is gently but securely in place with face safely covered appropriately, the client will experience gentle heat from vapours, which are drawn down inside the hollow tube of the ear candle. They will also experience a pleasant crackling or sizzling sound as the ingredients infused in the fabric of the ear candle are burning to create these vapours. The sound increases as the ear candle burns down and is more easily heard when compacted earwax or sensorineural problems have not affected the hearing.
They may experience a feeling of pressure being released in the ears or sinuses or a popping sound as the eustachian tube opens.
Ear candles with a filter (used in this clinic) prevent larger particles of wax and any other residue entering the ear.
There should be little or no black smoke coming up from the top of the candle when using good quality ear candles. However, if smoke is present despite using good quality ear candles, this may be an indicator of problems or blockages in the ear, nose or throat area and the client consultation and analysis of the ear candle residue will usually confirm this.

Gentle physical effects of thermal auricular ear candling

Being a hollow tube, the centre of the ear candle is simply a column of air rather than a solid mass. When lit at the top, the rising air column inside the candle begins to heat up. As the candle burns down, it continues to heat up the top of the rising air column in the centre of the candle. The rising ear column creates a very mild suction action at the base, which may help to loosen compacted ear wax. At the same time, the beeswax, and other ingredients, which are infused in the fabric of the candle are vapourised. These ingredients, some of which are slightly oily, make the air inside the candle heavier and it spirals downwards into the ear canal, setting up pressure waves and gentle sound waves from the sizzling ingredients, which massage the ear drum. Since even the slightest movement of the eardrum is carried outwards to the middle and inner ear, all the structures of the ear receive a gentle massage. As the ear, nose and sinuses and throat are all interconnected; this has the effect of regulating and balancing pressure in the ears as well as the whole upper respiratory tract.


The Hopi Ear Candling Treatment can be enhanced by massage. This sequence includes effleurage, petrissage and work on pressure points, gentle friction and lymphatic drainage of the face, neck, scalp, and ears. This follows ear candling and combined together takes 45 minutes.

Analysis of post-treatment residue

After a treatment, the candles can be opened and the residue inside observed. As confirmed by many ear candle manufacturers, the residue does not come from the client’s ear. With ear candles that contain a filter (such as ‘Biosun’), the residue is found ABOVE the filter only.

Quality & Safety

The standards and quality of the ‘Biosun’ Ear Candles are in Sabena’s opinion far superior compared to other brands. ‘Biosun’ Ear Candles are made by hand using the traditional and the finest regularly tested ingredients. Only premium quality pesticide-free untreated cotton is used together with beeswax, honey extract, and some candles containing additional essential oils. “Original ‘Biosun’ Traditional Hopi Ear Candles are the only Ear Candles to carry the CE 0535 label of conformity and are certified medical products class IIa according to the European Medical Device Directive 93/42/EEC.”

Ear candling is a complementary therapy and should not substitute medical treatment if it appears necessary.

Contraindications to ear candling

  • Perforated ear drum
  • Artificial eardrum
  • Ear grommets or tubes
  • Eczema or dermatitis in the outer ear
  • Cochlear implant
  • Current of recent infection in the outer ear
  • Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Acute infectious diseases
  • High temperature/fever/heavy cold
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Recent head or neck injury
  • Skin or scalp infections


Drink some water after the treatment; this will promote the elimination of toxins and should prevent the occurrence of a post-treatment headache.
To enjoy the full benefits of treatment, it is advisable to avoid water sports such as swimming for 24 hours after treatment.
Take time out for regular relaxation.

Frequency of treatments

The effects of the treatment can continue for up to 48 hours after the treatment, example, pressure balancing and expulsion of earwax, so treatments are usually at least two days apart. However, daily treatments can be given for severe conditions with (medical consent may be required). A guide to the frequency of further treatments can be determined by the following:
Purpose of the treatment; what the client is trying to achieve.
Severity of conditions presented by the client.
Results of the treatment: i.e. immediate effects over days following initial treatment.
Analysis of post treatment residue.

Possible side effects

Side effects of this treatment are usually positive rather than negative. The whole treatment including the massage of face neck and head encourages the systems of the body to function more efficiently. This can result in speeding up waste removal from the body through the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems.
Increased in mucous from nasal passages as sinuses are draining following facial massage.
Increases in sensitivity in terms of emotions
Feeling of fullness in the ears as earwax is hydrated and expands following treatment. (In the same way as it is following the use of oil or eardrops that hydrate impacted wax). More treatments may be required to loosen the wax before it is expelled naturally.
Feeling of tiredness often leading to feeling revitalised.
Headache or light-headedness due to increased circulation and elimination of toxins -drinking water after a treatment usually prevents headaches occurring.
Increase in urination due to stimulation of the circulation.
Increased thirst due to increased urination.
Change in sleeping pattern, usually improved
Due to simulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, more efficient elimination of waste.
Sabena Power
(CIBTAC Qualified) Thermal Auricular Therapist