photo copyright © 2004 Cozy McFee

It’s about the smoke. I’ve heard countless reports worldwide of cigarette smoke or cigar smoke being blown into a child’s ear. Someone’s Grandpa, Uncle or Grandma helped with that simple act.

In the case of Coning we have:

  1. The smoke spiraling into the ear canal from the small end of the cone with some force.
  2. The Native tribes believed smoke to be the conduit between the physical and spirit planes. We know clearing of any ailment cascades from non-physical to physical.
    As above so below. It is also a powerful auric cleanser, which makes other bodywork more effective.


Coning is simply a catalyst to stimulate the respiratory system to clear itself

    A wonderful side effect is deep relaxation… it stimulates the anti stress acupuncture point in the auditory canal. You may see its’ effect on hyper active kids as well as adults.
    The benefit may be the renewed clarity, sensitivity and focus you get after a coning. The deep nerve relaxation is pretty amazing. The sense of release is unlike anything else. Body workers and chiropractors have noted that their work holds better after the client has been coned.

    We can do a lot to help ourselves. Digestion and respiratory troubles are directly connected.
    The link is the mucous membranes. Mucous membrane inflammation in the stomach can cause catarrh, which is acute or chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes with hyper secretion. Lots of mucous. Chronic inflammation of the Eustachian tube, blocked with mucous, can lead to progressive deafness. Also, fluid in the Eustachian tube creates lower pressure in the tube. Outside pressure will push the eardrum inwards causing moderate deafness, buzzing noises, pain, discomfort and the sensation of the ear being full.
    Do whatever you can to detoxify your body.
    Whatever you do to release stress is priceless.

    Questions and answers:

    Q: What’s in the cone? Is that all from my ears?
    A: The short answer is no. It's from the cone, the cone is a wax instrument and will have residue.

    Q: What do I do about tickling, clicking or itching deep in the ear?
    A: After a coning, your body is doing what you asked it to do. It is cleaning out your respiratory tract. The waste is moving out … slowly. Warm Mullein oil soaked cotton ball tamped in the ear before bed works to soothe irritations and calm those nerve endings down. You may also need another coning to help the process along. Muscle test (kinesiology) or use a pendulum to check. If you’re unfamiliar with muscle testing, try “Your Body Dosen’t Lie” by John Diamond M.D. (1979), or any other book on the subject. It’s very simple.

    Q: Can I cone a child and should I just use part of the cone?
    A: Very young children do not secrete earwax but their Eustachian tubes are more horizontal so fluid can get trapped. You can cone children from a preemie on up. Use a whole cone as usual. You may crimp the small end a bit to fit into a small ear, just make sure you have plenty of smoke coming out before you place it in. Do both ears for energetic balance. If a child has continual problems with earaches have a physician check for allergies and food sensitivities. Many kids have a dairy, egg or wheat intolerance, which cause excess mucous secretions.

    Q: Can it help my Grandma?
    A: It’s worth a try. As we age, secretions and epidermal debris may build up and dull the area. Use warm mullein or olive oil to loosen and lubricate the ear canal before coning. This is an ancient folk practice - no guarantees.

    Q: How many conings should I do initially?
    A: Three. The first coning starts the process. You wait 3 to 7 days, to give your body a chance to do the job. The third coning completes what was kicked up over the last two. Every 3 days would be best. This is the general consensus among our group of practitioners when we started coning many years ago. I’ve found the same advice from Canadian practitioners. After the first three, you can muscle test to see if and when more is required.

    Q: How much is too much coning?
    A: The most accurate course of action is to muscle test or use a pendulum. But, if you want a general idea, here it is.
    General guidelines:
    Maintenance- one to two a month
    Prevention- two to three in fall and winter
    Acute cases- one to three a day for a week
    Chronic cases- one to three a week for several months

    Q: Are there any reasons why a person cannot be coned?
    A: If a person has a broken or missing eardrum it would be useless.

    Q: What about coning a child with tubes?
    A: A more effective strategy would be dietary changes.
    Here are some stats: The studies done on tubes show that ear infections are not slowed down or prevented by them. From the research I’ve read, chronic otitis media or middle ear infection is the reason for a myringotomy or tubes to be recommended as a fix. In the olden days a tonsillectomy was the routine unnecessary surgery of the day. It was replaced with the myringotomy during the 80’s. It takes 15 minutes to slice the eardrum and place a tiny plastic tube or grommet through the eardrum to assist drainage of fluid into the throat via the Eustachian tube. It is not a cure. Children with tubes in their ears are more likely to have continuing problems with ear infections. The tubes eventually fall out and degrade and the operation has to be repeated in 30% of them.

    Numbers of studies have shown no differences between non-antibiotic treatment, ear tubes, ear tubes with antibiotics, and antibiotics alone. Children not receiving antibiotics did have fewer recurrences than those receiving antibiotics. Standard antibiotic and surgical procedures are not statistically effective.

    Eustachian tube dysfunction is the cause of media otitis (middle ear infection). The Eustachian tube regulates gas pressure in the middle ear, protects it from nose & throat secretions, bacteria and clears fluid from the middle ear. Swallowing causes active opening of the Eustachian tube due to the action of the surrounding muscles. Small children have smaller Eustachian tubes and closer to horizontal. Obstruction of the Eustachian tube leads to serous (fluid from the blood) buildup and bacterial infection and can be caused by allergic blockage with mucous. No bacteria are present in more than half of chronic Eustachian tube blockage and about a third of acute ear problems which makes antibiotics inappropriate as treatment.

    Allergy as the major cause of chronic otitis media has been firmly established in the medical literature. Most studies show 85-93% of these children have allergies to both inhalants & food (70% to both). The allergic reaction causes inflammation of the tube and nose. The swelling causes swallowing when both mouth & nose are closed forcing air & secretions into the middle ear. During an ear infection it is not possible to determine the allergen. The most common allergic foods to be eliminated from the diet i.e. milk and dairy products, eggs, wheat, corn, oranges, and peanut butter. Sugar, honey, dried fruit, concentrated fruit juice etc. should also be eliminated since concentrated simple carbohydrates inhibit the immune system. A good doctor can do a RAST allergy test or whatever works best and pinpoint the problems and help you.

    In several clinical trials, over the counter decongestants have shown to be as effective as antibiotics in treating ear infections by keeping the Eustachian tube open.
    To conclude, any help you can get from alternative sources can only temporarily arrest the problem surgery won’t solve, namely proper diet.

    Q: Can I cone myself?
    A: Not recommended. It is physically possible but not easily done. You need to relax to get the best results. Pick a person or practitioner who has a calm demeanor to do a coning for you. You need to feel safe so you can let go and let the practitioner be in charge of holding that safe space for you. You can’t be in charge of a flame and let go at the same time. That having been said…. I was giving a coning workshop when a woman spoke up, “I know you said not to cone ourselves but I had to. I had no one else I could trust. My kids would have me locked up if they saw me doing this. I locked my door and bolted it with a chair, put a mirror sideways and lay down with a bowl of water next to me, covered my head, and did three separate conings this way. I got rid of my allergies.” Was I to tell her she did the wrong thing? I just shut up. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do but very very carefully.

    Q: Can a cough be caused by earwax?
    A: “It may sound strange, but it’s true- earwax can be the cause of chronic coughing that persists for months or even years,” said Dr. Fernando Martinez, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan. “We’ve found that impacted earwax can push against a coughing nerve in the ear canal, which stimulates the coughing reflex. Many Americans are needlessly coughing because of impacted earwax. They may cough as often as 25 or more times a minute. They mistakenly believe the cough is being caused by an allergy, cold or postnasal drip- the most common causes of chronic cough- and they often just let it go on and on. Anyone who suffers from a chronic cough- one that lasts for more than three weeks - should seek medical care. It’s a simple matter for a doctor to check visually if a patient has excessive earwax, then clean out the wax using a tiny scoop plus medicines to dissolve the wax and wash it away. Patients are often amazed to find that their chronic cough ends instantly after their ears are cleaned!” - Article by Edmond Choueke

    Other Ways to Help Your Ears:

    Mullein flower oil is an astringent and helps shrink and soothe inflamed tissue.
    In some cases garlic oil will aggravate ear pain, so try for mullein oil minus the garlic if you’re trying the warm oil treatment and pain persists. Recommended use of mullein flower is two drops a few times daily for a week straight.

    Olive oil lubricates mucous membranes. If ears are stopped up try a few drops of lukewarm olive oil in the affected ear for 5 minutes, while lying down on the opposite side. Then turn over and let it drain out. For earache try soaking a cotton ball in olive oil with five drops of lavender oil. Keep it in your ear until you feel relief.

    Hot compresses and alternating hot & cold compresses stimulate circulation to the area.
    Two minutes cold, five minutes hot. Repeat 7 times. If you have the gumption, you can do this in the shower. Hot and cold therapy is reported to do wonders for any physical complaint.

    Clay pack – Bentonite clay, water and olive oil or mullein oil. Apply directly or put clay mixture in gauze. Place clay pack behind ear lobe area. Put a hot water bottle on top of that. Clay has incredible drawing power.

    Drink Water! As much water as you can stand. It keeps mucus secretions thin. A vaporizer helps as well.

    Gargle- Lemon and salt (also astringents) in warm water will shrink swollen mucus membranes. Kids must be at least 4 years old to gargle.

    Nose Drops- Snort 3 drops lemon juice in each nostril with your head back

    Reflexology: Press Away!
    Sinus relief - squeeze the toes or the soft padding on the toes. The same goes for hands.
    The ear reflexes on hands - are located on the palms just below the ring and pinky fingers.
    The Eustachian tube reflex - runs along the padding of the palm at the base of the fingers.
    Ear reflexes on feet - are located on the padding under small toe and next one to it.
    Squeeze joints of the ring fingers or toes corresponding to ring fingers

    Random Method:

    1. Place a wad of absorbent lint or a rubber eraser in the space between the tooth and the angle of the jaw, so that one is able to bite down hard. Prolong biting for several minutes several times a day.