Ear cleaning is a vital component of Ear Care that is recommended for keeping one free from ear infections, ear disorders and even associated oral infections.
Basic Understanding of the Ear System
The Ear system consists of the outer ear portion that leads from the outside through the ear canal, right up to the Ear drum. This path is lined by hair (cilia) that trap foreign particles and insects. Also, like the nasal path that secretes mucus, this canal also secretes wax to inhibit foreign particles from reaching the ear drum.
The ear system also has an inner portion leading from the ear drum and ending with the Eustachian tubes that open into the throat.
Now, because the ear drum is a curtain that separates the outer ear from the inner ear system, there must be a way that pressure is maintained in balance between the outer and inner ear, or else this would result in problems such as pressure build up, loss of hearing, dizziness and could even lead to related ear infections.
The way this pressure is maintained is through the openings of the ear in the throat which expose the inner ear to the same atmospheric pressure as the outer ear.
Having understood the system, it follows that ear care must involve 2 parts:
- Regular cleaning of the outer ear safely and without abrasion to keep secreted wax from building up indiscriminately and assisting in its removal. Failure to do this may expose you to the risk of ear infections.
- (ii) Keeping the throat openings of the inner ear, clean and mucus free in order for the ear system to maintain correct atmospheric pressure. Build up of mucus at these inner openings not only results in blockage, causing an upsetting of ear pressure but enhances the risk of severe ear infections.
Ear Wax Removal - Outer Ear Cleaning
Part (i) can be taken care of by theYoga cleansing technique of Karna Dhauti to assist in ear wax removal. In this, the little finger is inserted into the ear canal to the maximum extent possible, so that there is a slight pressure against the ear walls. Please make sure that the nails are well trimmed and clean. The finger is then rotated a couple of times to dislodge excess wax and dried wax from the ear walls. The head is then tilted so that the dislodged wax drops out of the ear.
This is then repeated with the other ear. The little finger is cleaned to remove the wax deposited on it.
The entire procedure for both ears is repeated again - this time with the index fingers.
Inner Ear Cleaning
But perhaps the more important, yet neglected part of ear care relates to part (ii) which involves keeping the throat openings of the inner ear clean and mucus free. We are especially susceptible to mucus collection here due to an abundance of sinus infections and associated oral tract disorders.
Unless the mucus collection has become chronic and started festering into a bacterial infection (which would require antibiotic treatment), the practice of jala neti is reported to be very beneficial for addressing this inner ear cleaning and even in the prevention and treatment of ear infections.
Although a prominently nasal irrigation technique, the wonderful part about jala neti is that it completely addresses multifarious issues relating to oral health including ear, nose, throat and eye care - definitely worth incorporating into your daily routine. To read bout jala neti, click here
Ear coning, also called ear candling, is an ancient technique in which warm smoke spirals into the ear creating effects with a unique experience.
While ear candling has been often equated with quackery, Ear candles are used for everything from easing headaches and ear pain to triggering sinuses to drain. Some use them strictly for hygienic purposes while others use them as a tool for whole-body energy healing. Every individual will have different results, but several agree that when done right, ear coning is very relaxing and a wonderful stress reliever.
It is said that ear candles have been around for thousands of years and that every culture has used some form of them. How exactly ear candles work, however, is somewhat of a mystery.