Donna Sue Robson is a freelance writer and essayist specialising in the arts, Latin dance; & natural & alternative therapies for people and pets. Check out her own energy-healing consultancy and boutique natural products at www.jamienatural.com
Published September 13th 2016
Balinese ear-candling releases blocks & nurtures the spirit
Ear-candling sessions at Ayu Salon start at $5.50 for a half-hour treatment or you can pay $7.50 for the full hour. The style of treatment comes with a high standard of care, attention and service: while the candle is burning, the practitioner massages around your ears and neck which helps to release blocks and loosen ear wax. A head massage 'caps' off the nurturing experience.
Bali is renowned for its healing centres and affordable health-care treatments from full-service salons. One of the most understated yet vital services, is ear candling. For the uninitiated, a long, thin cylindrical candle is placed in your ear. You lay on your side and the candle is lit. Smoke draws out built-up wax and your ears are cleaned and unblocked. It is relaxing, highly effective and recognised as a vital part of 'balance' and health-care by most Earth-based cultures.
Ear-candling services are a lot rarer in Australia: you can do it yourself, but even ear candles themselves are not so readily available and are massively over-priced. The cost of two Hopi ear candles (Australia's most common brand) is 10 times the price of a practitioner session in Bali. At $5 for a half-an-hour, not only are ear-candling services in Bali affordable, but it is not a weird or unusual request. Bali's heritage of all-body healing and care means that they understand what it means to have blocked ear chakras and the importance of regular clearing and cleaning.
Ears generally become blocked over a period of time. Blocked ears can be outright irritating but can also lead to hearing loss or even temporary deafness, or infection which is incredibly painful. Any ear block can affect your physical balance and make you more prone to travel or car sickness. On the emotional level, blocked ears indicate a 'balance' or choice issue, which may mean that your decisions are questionable and a balanced life perspective elusive.
Metaphysically, when the ears are blocked your clairaudience or 'knowing' may be compromised, dulled or even deadened. Blocked ears means that your communication channels are also blocked, which is a sign that you may not be interpreting other people's behaviour or communication accurately. For those who work in the spiritual field, communications, art or human resources, it is vital that ear canals and chakras are kept clear.
Ear-candling treatment is Australia is quite mechanical, and given the cost which can be as much as $80, there is little advantage of having a professional treatment (apart from the benefit gained from the peacefulness of a practitioner's room). Western service is usually mechanical and pragmatic with practitioners only supervising safety by placing the candle in your ear and turning it occasionally. Not so in Bali. As you lay on your side the candle is placed carefully in your ear, the healer massages around the ear and your neck while the candle is burning which helps to release the actual wax and stimulates the release of emotional blocks such as defensiveness, stubbornness, fear or even doubt. Ear-candling Bali-style recognises what the ear chakra does and what a 'block' is: and works ever so gently to restore your internal balance.
Within a half-hour treatment, both ears are cleared. Generally, half-an-hour is all that is needed as that is the time required for the candles to complete their burning cycle. The longer hour-session, (which is only an extra $2) includes more massage around the ears and a longer head massage. This extra massage time accelerates the healing and extends clearing to the upper chakras- the 3rd Eye, Crown and Soul Star which further opens your spirit to higher guidance and connection.
When you go to Ayu, ask for the very shy and humble Komang Ani. She has genuine healing hands that add to her high-quality professional service.
With half an hour to spare before I proceeded on my northbound journey, I booked in for an ear-candling session at Ayu Traditional Salon, which is in Jalan Hanoman, Ubud. Komang Ani is an unassuming, humble woman graced with genuine healing intent. She offered no sales pressure which was refreshing and necessary for me to feel comfortable. Her upstairs treatment room was understated but authentic which instilled peace. Ayu's prices are below modest: what you are paying for is a genuine professional service rather than a retreat-style and upmarket trimmings. Komang's treatment was so effective that I opted for a return visit when I returned to Ubud two weeks later. Once again, she was intuitive, caring and doused with Balinese humility. She lets her massage do the talking: there is no small talk or idle conversation while you are in the state of meditative relaxation.
As well as ear candling, Komang also offers a full range of massage services, including traditional Balinese, therapeutic, foot and leg, shoulder, neck and back massage. Generally, massage services at Ayu cost $5 for half-an-hour and $10 for the full hour. Here, traditional Balinese massage is slightly cheaper: $80 for one hour and $12 for an hour and a half.
As a boutique salon, Ayu's service menu includes full hair treatments such as colouring, cuts and setting services, with prices ranging from $3.50 for a cut and men's shave to $25 for long-hair braiding. Hair extensions for long hair are a $50 investment. The moral of this tale is that if you are on your way to Bali and your grooming budget is tight- wait until you get there!
Ayu's full treatment packages are offer second-to-none, value-for-money. They combine a selection of services such as herbal baths, full-body massages, manicures and pedicures, foot massages, deep conditioning hair treatments as well as waxing and facials. Full beauty or indulgence packages rarely exceed $30.
Ayu Salon is almost directly opposite Monsieur Spoon on Jalan Hanoman.