Thursday, 20 August 2009

More things to put in your ear

Most of us remember fondly the final, poignant episode of the World War I Blackadder series in which it was made clear that walking around with a pencil hanging from each nostril would be unlikely to get you excused from going over the top to be shot, though it may have worked for some.

When it comes to pushing things into your ears, there is a whole range of objects which can be deployed to achieve a variety of aims. Other Men's Flowers has already dealt in detail with two of the principal ones, here and here; in the first case a modest function is fulfilled and the second is amusing in a quiet way but completely pointless unless you believe in qi forces and other magic.

In this blog I aim at encyclopedic coverage of every aspect of modern life so I am pleased to be able to report on yet another therapy which works wonders when you shove something in your ears. This also requires firm faith in the preposterous: it is called Hopi Ear Candling.

The Hopi tribe have repeatedly requested the manufacturers of the candles sold for this purpose to refrain from using their name since their healing practices do not include any such thing as ear candling, but their plea has fallen on deaf ears (presumably full of wax of one kind or another), and much money is made by selling the things with the assertion that lighting one end while the other is in your ear canal will improve your health. Medical research has shown the procedure to be both ineffective and dangerous.

There is a website called healthypages which has a forum where proponents of alternative medicine can entertain one another with anecdotes about their experiences. Not all of these are encouraging; here, for example, a lady from Ireland reports, with no apparent remorse:

I finally got to do some ear candling on my husband last night. I used the Biosun ones and was really looking forward to his reactions. Immediately after the treatment he got very irritated. Now he has told me that he had nightmares all night, have not gone into the details of these as yet. While I think this is a good sign and he is releasing blocked emotions, he is not too impressed. I used them to relieve sinus and to give him a nice relaxing treatment, I doubt if he will allow me to do this again. Has anyone any ideas on this or had similar experiences??, must go now as I can hear a lot of clattering and swearing in the kitchen.

Yes, I bet. She may need to try out her skills with aromatherapy, reflexology and Hot Stone therapy to save her marriage. Or perhaps a crystal will quieten the poor fellow; crystals will cure anything. Another lady posts in the forum: Is there a crystal that can be placed near walls to help with noisy neighbours please can anyone help? She gets a very sensible answer from someone who suggests asking them to shut up, but then spoils it by recommending getting hold of a piece of haematite and ...when you have found somewhere quiet and secluded, grip the stone tightly, focusing all your anxiety and uncertainty onto the the stones shining surface....then imagine the stone shrugging off the problem of the noisy neighbour with sublime confidence!

Haematite, you see, is used by mineral and crystal healers in their rituals for treating blood-related illnesses such as haemophilia, anaemia, heart, kidney and liver diseases, cardio-vascular weakness, menstrual cramps, and nose bleeds. They also recommend it "for use in treating the stress of jet lag, birth and surgery, tumours, insomnia, leg cramps, nervous disorders and fevers. Haematite was also a Native American remedy for pimples, alcohol abuse and dental problems".

Was? Did they find out that it didn't work, or are they all nowadays smooth-skinned moderate drinkers with flashing smiles who no longer need to carry lumps of rock about?


Elizabeth said...

If it works for the believer does it need scientific rationale?

Tony said...

No, of course not; believers in magic are not concerned with rationale.