What Is Candle Therapy?


Perhaps you have heard of candle therapy and are wondering what it’s all about. Actually, there are a couple of things candle therapy could be referring to, one of which is the use of ear candles to remove built up wax from the ear and the other is a combination of light and aroma therapy leaning heavily on metaphysics. In either case, candle therapy is considered to be a naturopathic remedy/philosophy dating back hundreds if not thousands of years.

Ear Candle Therapy

One common theory is that the use of ear candle therapy to remove built up wax from the ears dates back to the Hopi Indians, however this is disputed both by the Hopis themselves and a wide range of naturopathic practitioners. Some cite evidence that this practice was common among the ancient Egyptians while others maintain that ear candle therapy was actually widely practiced in many cultures around the world. In any case, there is some amount of risk involved so ear candle therapy should only be used under the strictest guidelines. Other names for ear candle therapy are ear coning and ear waxing.

The procedure involves inserting a hollow cone made from beeswax reinforced cotton into the ear. As the outer end is lit, the warmth is thought to loosen built up wax in the ear which is then suctioned up into the cone which is allowed to burn down to a length about 2″ from the ear. This may need to be repeated several times, depending on how much wax has accumulated. Obvious dangers would include damaging/burning the eardrum causing hearing loss and of course the obvious risk of starting a fire. It is never suggested that an individual practice ear waxing alone and should only use the ‘services’ of an experienced therapist/practitioner.

Sensory Candle Therapy

Most often candle therapy refers to burning candles with different fragrances that are thought to affect changes and bring ‘magical’ powers to one’s life. Candle aroma therapy is also commonly used in conjunction with light and sound for a well rounded and balanced effect. There is often a ritual that goes along with the candle and the color and fragrance will change depending on the desired effects. For example, if the individual desires relaxation or healing then a blue candle is used with the appropriate fragrance for the healing being sought.

Then there is the chakra theory which is extremely popular in candle therapy. Each of the chakras (energy centers in the body) is directly related to a specific color. Candle therapy is used in conjunction with color therapy to affect healing or strengthening of the chakras. There are seven chakras which include the crown (top of the head), the brow (center of the forehead), the throat, the heart, the solar plexus (liver, spleen, small intestines and pancreas), the sacral (lower abdomen – uterus, large intestine, prostate, ovaries and testes), and the base of the spine. Each chakra has a color associated with such as violet for the crown, indigo for the brow, blue for the throat, green for the heart, yellow for the solar plexus, orange for the sacral and red for the base of the spine.

Rituals and Candle Therapy

There are, however, growing numbers of practitioners who utilize an assortment of colored candles as part of a ritual to bring blessings and powers into their lives. The practice of using colored candles for such rituals as divination, fertility and prosperity dates back many thousands of years and although the modern world views this as a pagan practice, it is still widely practiced. Each colored candle is endowed with certain ‘magical’ powers or properties and it is believed that along with ritual and/or meditation, candle therapy can affect real changes in one’s life.

The metaphysical properties affected by color are separate from the colors associated with the chakras. Consequently, metaphysical candle therapy utilizes a much broader range of colors which include gold, silver, white, pink, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green, brown and black. So for instance, if the candle meant to affect relaxation, metaphysical color association would most often be blue but in chakra candle therapy the candle would most probably be violet or indigo for the head, and maybe even red for the base of the spine where all nerves end.

Candle therapy takes on many forms and is practiced by a broad range of people from all walks of life. Earthy holistic practitioners use candle therapy to remove built up wax from the ears or to help relax and center an extremely agitated person. On the other hand, those of an Eastern mysticism persuasion use candle therapy to heal and strengthen the chakras often in conjunction with meditation. And then there are those who dabble in metaphysical rituals who use candle therapy to bring about blessings and or changes in their lives. In the end, candle therapy means different things to different people even though they all agree that it is a practice that affects healing and wholeness.

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James Madhok

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James Madhok