Our ears are pretty sensitive. We fly more than the average bear, scuba dive wherever possible and take elevators to the tops of skyscrapers. Needless to say, there's a lot of jaw-wiggling and yawning going on and anything to minimize worrying about equalizing our ears is a plus. So we headed into our first ear candling with a positive, ready-for-whatever attitude.
It's not cheap at $150 for the 60-minute treatment, but unlike getting ear candling done for far less elsewhere, the Four Seasons combines it with a massage and the use of their spa relaxation areas (with refreshments), hydrotherapy pool, locker rooms and your choice of soothing music soundtrack. And if we're going to have open flame purposefully burning on something sticking out of our ear, we'd rather go big. Plus, our spa attendant assured us that she does these nearly every day, and that it's a far more popular treatment than most people think.
So, how did ours go? Well, nothing caught on fire that wasn't supposed to be on fire. Aside from our music selection, the only other thing we heard was the occasional soft crinkle of the smoldering candle. As far as feelings go, there was an imperceptibly tiny suction and a little moisture. We imagined gushing earwax spewing forth from the recesses of our head, but the whole ordeal was very clean and non-gross.
***If your tolerance for gross stuff is low, stop reading now. If you want to know what did come out, keep reading.***
At the end of the treatment, we asked our spa technician to cut open the candle bottoms to see what exactly was in there. Apparently this is also a popular request, and she admitted that in addition to earwax, she often sees dust expunged. Dust?! We can imagine if you sleep on your side for 40 years, dust might get up there, but weird. Anyways, our result was an amount of very dark earwax, which had likely been hanging out in our head past the point of Q-tip reach. It was completely painless and eye-opening as well ear-opening. We couldn't wait to hop on another flight to test our squeaky clean ear canals.
Since then, we've been on three more flights and haven't had equalization problems on any. A simple swallow does the trick, but for how much longer? That is the question.
Disclosure: We were guests of the Costa Rica Tourism Board, but would totally pay for this treatment again. All images and opinions are completely our own.