bgs final report_spa and wellness industry

Effectiveness and safety of ear candling treatments

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Unformatted text preview: ts. Effectiveness and Safety of Ear Candling Treatments in Local Spas Overview 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 – including Singapore. 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 customers 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 5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ear_candling Appendix B: Ear Candles - FDA Regulation and Position http://www.entlink.net/activities/committees/earcandles.cfm? 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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