Let’s start with the dirty bit: THIS is what came out of my ears this morning: WHOAH, will someone please tell me what this was doing there in the first place!? I happen to be one of those people who loves Q-tipping (only with Q-tip brand though, yes I’m a Q-tip snob), and LOVES getting out big waxy pieces of gunk. You know, when you skip a day or two and then you are able to dislodge those dark golden treasures from within your ear canal? Sadly, it seems I’ve only been scraping the surface! Perhaps I’ve said too much. Here’s how it went down: THE SPA: On this beautiful morning, the second day of Spa Week Fall 2011, I ventured to try a treatment I never had before: Ear Candling. (You know I believe EVERYONE should be trying something new during Spa Week…) It’s one of the $50 spa treatments offered this week at Fabylous Living, located in the fresh-scented flower district of Chelsea, New York City. Bright light spills generously into this 8-year-old wellness facility of alternative healthcare, where owner Fabiola and her team specialize in treatments like colon hydrotherapy, massage therapy, lymphatic drainage, nutrition counseling, and of course… Ear Candling. THE BENEFITS: Ear Candling is an ancient Egyptian practice dating back to 2500 BC, trusted by millions to deliver a wide range of benefits. The treatment clears sinuses, alleviates and prevents allergies and colds, improves hearing, and helps people who have that pesky “ringing in the ear” problem. Also, it’s great for singers and heavy-talkers, such as actors, radio announcers, and your mother-in-law. THE TREATMENT: One of the great misconceptions of Ear Candling is that the tool used is a candle, and that wax melts into your ear canal during the procedure. NOT SO! The candle-looking object you see is actually a hollow cone made of Egyptian cotton, held together with paraffin (not the wax kind). When the top tip is lit on fire, the other end (that is inserted into your ear) begins smoking, comme ca: And then, with no song or dance, the smoking end of the cone is gently placed in your ear. It takes about 10 minutes for each cone to burn through, loosening all the extra, congested wax and bacteria from your inner ear, and elevating it up into the cone. Aside from the aromatherapy she used to open up my sinuses with deep breaths in the beginning, I also smelled the burning of the flame. I love that smell, reminds of of s’mores. And Chanukah. For me, Fabiola did two cones in each ear. This is recommended for candling newbies, or just as an extra cleansing for those who need (crave?) it most. DID IT HURT? When you were all asking me questions about it in action this morning on Facebook and Twitter, one of the most common curiosities was if I was in pain. (Why, thank you for your concern!) The answer, to my surprise, is no – it actually FELT GOOD. The process itself was extremely relaxing, and there was not even a moment of discomfort. At all. Whatever’s going on inside your ear happens very discreetly. FABYLOUS BONUS: Along with the treatment, Fabiola adds to the wellness bliss by pairing it with Lymphatic Drainage Massage on the face, neck and shoulders. With great purpose, her fingers moved around my sinuses and stimulated movement from the outside, as the candling cleansed them from within. The combination was invigorating; it felt like she was physically massaging out my seasonal allergies. And in actuality… she was. THE RESULTS: I’ve always been prone to allergies, but for some reason these past few weeks have been worse than usual. I felt an immediate difference after the treatment: Clearheaded in the most literal of ways. No sign of itchy throat or watery eyes. My sinus passageways seem to have opened-sesame’d. Also, I honestly think that all that gunk could have been the cause of my obnoxiously-loud TV-watching. I’m the girl who wants to “turn it up!” until just before it gets staticky, and as far as I can tell today, it seems like I can hear things more clearly! Like louder, clearer voices in the office. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing when you’re a blogger. But I’ll take it. IS IT SAFE? This was another concern of yours; some of you have heard things about it not being safe, or you are worried about wax falling back into your ear during the treatment. Fabiola has been doing Ear Candling since 1998, and says she has never encountered any complications or negative effects. And considering it’s been trusted since 2500 BC, it has quite a longstanding reputation. So, just to remind you again of what should NOT be in your ears canals, here it is: Now book yourself some Spa Week Ear Candling! Or something else Fabylous… Fabylous Living – Chelsea 145 West 28th Street, Suite 900 New York, NY 10001 212.279.0558 Call now for their $50 treatments this week: 60 Min Fabylous Stone Massage with Organic Lavender or Eucalyptus Aromatherapy Oil 60 Min Cleansing Colonic Treatment with Consultation and Organic Aromatherapy Oil Choice of 60 Min Whole Body Lymphatic Drainage Massage or 60 Min Ear Candling with Face and Neck Lymphatic Drainage Octagon Spa Salon in Gurnee, Illinois is also offering the treatment. Call them at 847.360.9880. In another city? Browse spaweek.com in your city to see if it’s being offered near you.