A woman went to have her ears syringed but it didn’t work, even after the application of olive oil to soften the wax. She has tried repeating the syringing, but each time her condition has only worsened, and now she cannot equalise the pressure in her ear canal. She cannot set her jaws together because the pressure hurts, so she has to eat pureed food and cannot sleep comfortably. The next step is to have the wax removed via suction at hospital, but the waiting list is 4 to 6 weeks long! Do readers have any advice while she waits? Yes, they do, and the most popular suggestion by far was to try Hopi ear candles, which painlessly stimulate the lymph glands around the ear, equalising pressure (provided both ears are treated). Consult a trained thermo-auricular therapist as there is more to the treatment than just burning the candles – the massage and rest period are vital for a successful treatment. Ensure you massage well around the ear, nose and throat area before treatment, and that you swallow/gulp during treatment to help move the blockage. One holistic health therapist, however, stated that if the ear is very blocked, Hopi ear candles might not work very well. She recommended the following oil blend for home treatment (but not for pregnant woman or those with sensitive skin): 30ml olive oil, 5 drops of lavender essential oil and 3 drops of marjoram essential oil (omit these if you have low blood pressure), 3 drops thyme essential oil (omit this if you have high blood pressure), and 5 drops each of chamomile, eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils. Ideally, put these into a dropper bottle and shake. Put 2-3 drops of the warmed oil into the ear twice daily for 4 to 6 weeks. These will help soften the wax, reducing pain and inflammation as well as addressing any underlying infection prior to your hospital treatment. Other oils suggested by readers include sweet almond oil and grapeseed oil. Craniosacral therapy works as well – it’s a gentle way to free up the bones and membranes, reducing the build-up of wax while addressing the jaw difficulties you are experiencing. Alternatively, try the application of heat – lying with your ear over a hot water bottle, for example. If you sleep with your ear on a hot water bottle regularly, especially if the wax is softened, eventually gravity takes over and the wax runs out. Excess ear wax is a sign of the body detoxifying itself. Ensure that your diet is organic and healthy to reduce the need for detoxification. You can also put a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide into the ear (while lying down on your side to rest comfortably and not spill out the peroxide). It should bubble for minutes. When the bubbling stops, hold a tissue to your ear and empty the peroxide. Pieces of wax are likely to escape with the peroxide. Surfactant (cosmetic grade) polysorbate 20 on a cotton pad held over the ear will dissolve wax as well. There are also over-the-counter wax removal kits. Regardless, try to keep the ears covered when bathing; there are special “shampoo hoods” and plugs for this. A chiropractic or osteopathic treatment (or even acupuncture) could help alleviate the pain. An application of “blue ice” with a towel might be another temporary measure. And there also may be some kind of sonic or vibrational solution to help loosen the wax. Lithotripsy works for kidney stones, so you migt try something along those lines.