Talk:Ear candling

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candles do work!!![edit]

when i was little i had ear infections every other wk for yrs and yrs. i was getting to old to get tubes put in my ears. so instead of spending all this money my parents decided to just try the ear candles. THEY WORKED!!! NEVER AGAIN did i get a ear infection!!! great news!!! and i believe the only reason doctors and everyont is saying they dont work is because its cheap way to fix your ears and then they wouldnt get pays that many more thousands of dollars a yr. fyi... the pills / meds they give ppl arnt really that good for you either. ear candles are natural and cheaper than a doc bill so why not try them. i have to have time and do it right.

ĴƐńŇĬFƏṝ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:35, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:No original research. Asarelah (talk) 14:57, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

NPOV dispute[edit]

I've added the NPOV tag to the article. Upon reading the above thread about bias and some comments about section blanking in the article's edit history, I see that this tag is warranted.

Things to work on to make the article more evenly-sided include more references and information about the benefits and origins of ear candling. Currently the "Origins" section only states where ear candles do not come from. Where then do they come from? The criticism section seems good and a benefits section could be just as good if supported by reputable resources. Please remember that this is an encyclopedia article, and should read like an encyclopedia article, free from personal anecdotes or vitriol. Morganfitzp (talk) 13:13, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

None of the above threads gives any source, or any policy reasons, to support the position that the article is not NPOV, and none has been forthcoming in the month or so since the tag was added. I also don't see any comments about section blanking in the article's edit history that suggest the tag is needed: can you provide diffs for the ones you mean? While reliable information about origins is desirable, the lack of it is not a reason for the NPOV tag; the statement about "where ear candles do not come from" is validly included given the prevalence of claims that it is associated with the Hopi. As far as I can see the position reported by sources that comply with WP:MEDRS is that it doesn't work. Unless MEDRS can be found to support it introducing a "benefits" section would be inconsistent with your suggestion that the article should be "free from personal anecdotes". NPOV doesn't require false balance. And I don't see any "vitriol" in the article, just sourced criticism. Brunton (talk) 11:18, 28 August 2014 (UTC)


The current article is tagged with categories that may be in violation of Wikipedia's NPOV policy.

The main article is tagged with the category Pseudoscience, which seems pejorative and could be lofted at any number of practices in alternative medicine.

This talk page is tagged with the category Skepticism, and while it seems to be of interest to a few people who hold skeptical views around the topic at hand, it is not an article about skepticism and should not be tagged as such.

This is part of a longer conversation about NPOV, discussed elsewhere on this talk page. Morganfitzp (talk) 13:23, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

The policy WP:PSEUDOSCIENCE as well as the guideline WP:FRINGE suggest that we call a spade, a spade, and categorize pseudoscience topics accordingly.
The category may be unnecessary although I don't object to its inclusion here. I would object to the lead paragraph calling the practice of ear candling "pseudoscientific" without a reliable source to back it up. That would be pejorative. The article currently does not do this, instead correctly describing it as "an alternative medicine practice".
I agree that the Skepticism category is a bit of a stretch, though. ~Amatulić (talk) 22:03, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Safety and effectiveness, reference citing[edit]

A fifth edit would surely be an edit war :)

  • rev 626307432 (me) --> per the source some, not all
  • rev 626308208 (VQuakr) --> partial rv - "sometimes" does not appear in the source
  • rev 626353002 (me) --> per the source: "Some ear candles are offered as products that purify the blood, strengthen the brain, or even 'cure' cancer," says...
  • rev 626356371 (2over0) --> it would be more accurate to say "some people promote ...", but the more direct presentation carries the same information

Of two sources for this paragraph (7 and 8), both hedge the blanket of products they cover when they talk about extravagant claims or dangerous dosages. However, the article portrays these findings as being shared by the entire field of marketers/distributers.

VQuakr's partial revert was probbably due to just a quick review, looking for an exact string match of "sometimes". Seeing this talk page, I can understand the vigilance (but still contend the revert was incorrect :).

Respecfully, I disagree with 2over0's assertion that "ear candling is promoted with extravagant claims..." has the same connotation as "some ear candles are promoted with extravagant claims...". Perhaps a better revision would be "ear candling has been promoted with some extravagant claims...". This would be more in keeping with the source's material:

Marketers of ear candles claim that warmth created by the lit device produces suction that draws wax and other impurities out of the ear canal.

"Some ear candles are offered as products that purify the blood, strengthen the brain, or even 'cure' cancer," says Eric Mann, M.D., Ph.D., clinical deputy director of FDA's Division of Ophthalmic, Neurological, and Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices.

He adds that some firms claim the candles are appropriate for use on children.

But FDA warns that ear candles can cause serious injuries, even when used in accordance to manufacturers' directions. "Also," says Mann, "FDA believes that there is no valid scientific evidence for any medical benefit from their use."

Very clearly a section less than 100% of the offerings are reported by Dr. Mann to have the claims he specifies. How big that section is isn't specified, and the current wording makes an unsubstantiated inferrence of 100%.

Thoughts? (talk) 17:07, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm fine with "some ear candles are promoted" or "ear candling is sometimes promoted", either way. My objection is to the word "extravagant" in the same sentence, which is a subjective opinion and therefore a violation of WP:NPOV. I have removed it. ~Amatulić (talk) 17:33, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Thank you for taking the time to make a thoughtful post outlining your reasoning. I just see it as a matter of simplifying the presentation. Compare: "Botox is promoted for the treatment of migraines" - I would say that this does not imply that others do not market the same product for cosmetic purposes. Would "is sometimes promoted" address your concerns? - 2/0 (cont.) 17:37, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Allays my concerns :) Cheers! (talk) 21:11, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

I think, this kind of simplification gets problematic, when an outrageous claim about something is picked out and used to discredit the whole matter. For example: I think in 2013 tere was a great hype about some influenza and a vaccine was promoted. Some controversy arose in the public concerning either the effectiveness of the vaccine, or an alleged corruption scandal of the government financiation linked to it. Very soon the media became loud with a counter-propaganda aimed to discredit any and all criticism concerning the vaccine or anything connected to it. Only the rumours that said the vaccine contained a toxic compound and/or brain controlling nano-robots were ever cited by this propaganda, which depicted everybody who dared to raise any concerns against the use of the vaccine to be idiots who belive the government tries to control their brains by nano-robots hidden in the vaccine.

I had the feeling that the article's criticism focused too much on the completely outrageous claim of cancer cure, without touching the subject of ear infection treatment which is a much more beliveable claim. This doesn't imply that the latter claim would be justified, but I think it deserves much more attention than the cancer cure claim, exactly because the cancer cure claim is not likely to be believed by many while the ear infection treatment at least sounds somewhat credible, so the encyclopedia is probably expected by more readers to clarify this claim's verifiability. (talk) 17:12, 29 April 2016 (UTC).

Motion that safety be removed from the article[edit]

Motion that the word safety be removed from the article.

I had this process done today. It was very strange and in my opinion very ineffective. However the process could never be described as dangerous or unsafe. The wax (or whatever they claim it to be) is captured by the protector long before it even gets to your face. To say this is an unsafe of dangerous practice is just a fallacy and should be stricken from the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JaxContour (talkcontribs) 13:02, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

One person's experience can't be used as evidence, and there are plenty of reliable sources cited in the article to support the description of the practice as unsafe, for several reasons. --bonadea contributions talk 13:13, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but one's failure to follow (common sense) safety procedures is not an evidence that the candle "should not be used on grounds of it's hazardous nature", it's simply a proof that the rather simple safety measures must not be neglected when the candle is used. Whether it could be beneficial to any health condition is an altogether different matter. This section for example: <A 2007 paper in the journal Canadian Family Physician concludes:

"Ear candling appears to be popular and is heavily advertised with claims that could seem scientific to lay people. However, its claimed mechanism of action has not been verified, no positive clinical effect has been reliably recorded, and it is associated with considerable risk. No evidence suggests that ear candling is an effective treatment for any condition. On this basis, we believe it can do more harm than good and we recommend that GPs discourage its use."[8] > is talking about considerable risk without clarifying that the risk is posed the common sense hazard of a lit candle placed close to the face, so this paragraph can yield to the false assumption that no matter how the candle is used, regardless of safety measures it risks the user's health. Such generic warning, that can be used as fearmongering instead of explaining what exactly poses the hazard, can be accepted in a journal, but it is far from an encyclopedical style. (talk) 17:58, 29 April 2016 (UTC).