It occurred to me that in all the excitement before vacation, I neglected to tell y'all about my spa day. Well, I told y'all I was going for my pre-vacation spa day, but I never told y'all about my experience at one of our local establishments of bliss and beauty.
I was all signed up for a Day of Beauty. This package includes all the usual services: waxing (all the relevant body parts--although you will not catch me getting a Brazilian wax), massage, aromatherapy scalp massage, Dead Sea salt rub, champagne lunch, facial, manicure (with paraffin treatment), pedicure (also with paraffin treatment), makeover and shampoo and style.
Now, all of this pretty much takes the whole day. And they start serving you that champagne early. (It was five o'clock somewhere, right?) And you know, I never turn down champagne. I sipped and they refilled my glass. We repeated this process frequently throughout the day. Now, as the day progressed, there were certain, optional services that were offered, for a modest additional charge, to compliment my package and make sure I was completely relaxed and thoroughly waxed, buffed and polished for my husband's vacation pleasure.
At some point during my massage, when the lights were low, the music soothing and I was on my, I don't know, third? glass of champagne, the therapist noted the knots in my neck. She recommended that I have my ears candled to clear out the congestion in my ear canals and the tubes in my neck...I think that's what she said. Anyway, I was very relaxed and said, okay, fine...sure, why not?
Now, normally, I would not lie still for someone to put a long stick in my ear and light it on fire. But, as I said, I was quite relaxed, and in a somewhat suggestive state. Also, she did put a flame-retardant shield on my head so my hair would not catch fire.
After she did both ears, she cut open the hollow candles to show me what had purportedly come out of my ears. Let me tell you, if this was on the up-and-up, it's a wonder I could hear at all.
After we got back from vacation, I Googled ear candling, just to see what I'd come up with. Oh...my...gosh. Apparently, this process is supposed to clean the ears and the mind. The massage therapist did not mention one single thing about vacuuming my brain.
In case you were considering having this done, the internet consensus is that ear candling is ineffective in removing ear wax, which is actually good for you. regrettably, there is no established way to measure whether your mind is actually cleansed or not. I personally did not feel as though my mind was any cleaner after the process, and I think my vacation activities clearly demonstrate that this was not the case. Nor did I come across anyone in my research who testified to having had their mind cleansed.
On a positive note, the only real dangers reported are having your hair set on fire (which, as I said, I was protected from by my diligent therapist), getting your ears burnt or infected, obstruction of the ear canal, and punching a hole in your eardrum. However, there is concern expressed on some websites that ear candling will vacuum your brain slap out of your head.
To be fair, I did find a few souls who subscribe to the opinion that ear candling is quite beneficial. One of them claims that, "It cleans the whole head, brains and all - they're all connected you know." And the massage therapist did have a certificate from, umm... somewhere...stating that she was licensed to perform this procedure.
It is somewhat disconcerting, though, to read just a few of the titles of the websites that result from a search on ear candling: quackwatch.org, skeptic.com, deafness.about.com, hemp-ear-candles.com, and my personal favorite... colonhealth.net (what the ?).
Anyway, y'all be careful what you let them do to you at the spa, especially if your package includes champagne.