The person receiving the ear candle treatment should assume a comfortable position. Practitioners suggest one of the following:
Lie on the side with head supported by a pillow aligning the ear canal and candle vertically. If there is any concern about material falling back into the ear, another position is advisable.
Lie on the back with ear canal horizontal. The candle is pointing to the side and angled upward slightly.
Seated with elbows or chest resting against a table. The candle will point to the side with a slight elevation.
Seated resting the head on a pillow placed on the table with the candle more vertical.
The opening on the tapered end is sized for smaller ear canal openings. For adults with larger openings the end can be trimmed slightly for a better fit.
Begin by protecting the individual from any flame or falling ash. Some people use an aluminum pie plate or paper plate with a hole the size of the candle offset from center as a shield around the candle. Damp towels over the shoulders and hair can also protect from falling debris and heat.
Massage the area around the ear for 30 seconds to open circulation and relax the muscles.
Light the open end of the candle. Firmly, but gently (do not crush the candle or bend the tip) seat the tapered end of the candle in the ear opening. Throughout the candling experience the individual will notice crackling, popping, hissing, and rushing sounds. These are normal as the all natural waxes and cotton are consumed by the fire. A gentle warming of the ear will also be noted as the candle does its job. This process is generally relaxing and soothing, however if at any time the individual notes any discomfort, discontinue immediately.
These candles are well crafted to maintain their structure as they burn. When approximately 2½ inches of the candle has burned you will observe the ash begin to sag under gravity. Remove the candle from the ear opening and trim the burned section away. Allow the burned portion to fall into your container of water. Return the remaining candle to the ear opening and burn an additional 2½" (total of 5" burned and 4" remaining) of the candle. Remove the candle from the ear and extinguish in water. Do not attempt to blow out or crush out the flame.
While the next candle is being prepared, have the individual turn their head so the ear opening is pointed downward to allow any loose material to fall or flow toward the ear opening.
When the session is complete a cotton swab dipped in hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean any loose material observed around the ear opening. Never insert anything directly into the ear. This could cause impaction of wax against the ear drum. It may also be helpful to use a cotton swab to apply a small amount of baby oil or other topical oil to the area around the ear.
Practitioners suggest avoiding cold air/drafts to the ear for several hours after the session and to allow 2-3 days between candling sessions. They also suggest avoiding environments that will introduce water or dust into the ear canal for at least 24 hours after the session.