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Unformatted text preview: ts. Effectiveness and Safety of Ear
Candling Treatments in Local Spas
The effectiveness of spa treatments is a grey area
in the industry as there are insufficient concrete
scientific studies to prove the effectiveness and even
safety of some of these treatments. Most of the
treatments that are available in the market are derived
from ancient times and it was only recently were age
old treatments like acupuncture given due attention as
to their efficacy. Nonetheless it will require a great
amount of continued research to conclude which spa
treatments are in fact effective and safe.
Ear candling 5 involves placing one end of a
lighted hollow candle in the ear canal and lighting it;
the rising hot air from the burning candle is said to
create a vacuum that removes impurities from the ear.
This treatment is said to be able to cleanse the ear
canal, relieve headaches, as well as other various
health properties. It was used around 2500 BC in
ancient Egypt and has survived to modern times with
spas around the world providing this service –
In this paper, the team investigated on the
effectiveness and safety of a specific treatment: ear
candling. The team also discovered that two of the
spas investigated, Balik Kampung Spa and Yen
Wellness Spa offer ear candling services to their
Through online research conducted by the team, it
was found out that there were reports of consumers in
the United States who had been injured following the
use of ear candling. An independent clinical study6 of
ear candle use conducted by Daniel R. Seely,
Managing Director of the Spokane ENT Clinic,
Spokane, WA (Laryngoscope 1996; 106:1226-9)
included a survey of 122 otolaryngologists. The
survey identified 21 ear injuries resulting from ear
candle use. The study concluded that ear candles
were not effective in removing ear wax. Instead, it was
Appendix B: Ear Candles - FDA Regulation and Position
renderforprint=1& 6 4 http://www.myfoot.com.sg/mySummerSpa.html 2 the wax from the burning ear candle that caused
injuries like burns to the ear lining and perforations of
the ear drums that could even lead to deafness.
This prompted the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) to question the effectiveness and safety of the
treatment, as well as its manufacturing and marketing
techniques. Since the discovery of the harmful effects
of ear candling in 1996, the FDA has undertaken
several successful regulatory actions including
product seizures and injunctions of ear candling.
Countries like Canada have also banned the sale of
ear candles and spas from providing the treatment7.
Nevertheless, the harmful effects of ear candling are
not made known world-wide, and it is till legal in
Singapore to date.
In an interview with the owners of Balik Kampung
Spa 8 , James Tan emphasized that the treatments
their spa provides do not pose any risk to both
consumers and therapists; while Adrian Au
commented that ear candling is effective and does not
pose any harm to custome...
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- Winter '14