Ear picking as a "leisure activity" can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). Therefore, Master Hong, the founder of the Professional Ear Spa Association of Asia (PESA), translated "採耳" (ear picking) as "Ear Spa" to better convey the relaxing and comfortable effects of ear picking.
In the Ming Dynasty, there was a literati who went by the pen name "Zuiyuezi". His book "Selected Elegant Laughter" recorded social trivia and jokes of that time, including a passage describing ear picking: "The person who experiences it feels physically and mentally comfortable, with sharp hearing and clear vision, as if transcending the mundane world. The movements of picking, brushing, and scooping are skillful and effortless, gentle and slow. It truly brings a sense of comfort."
This passage states that those who personally experience ear picking will feel physically and mentally comfortable, with enhanced hearing and vision, and even a sense of detachment from worldly matters. The movements involved in ear picking are also very gentle and skillful, providing a great sense of comfort.
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In addition to Zuiyuezi's record, other cultural relics and documents from the Ming Dynasty also show that ear picking was already a popular leisure activity at that time. People would use specialized ear spoons and feathers to clean their ears and enjoy the pleasurable sensation.
Ear picking remains a popular leisure activity in modern times, turns into Ear Spa, not only ear cleaning nor earwax removal anymore.
In Sichuan, traditional ear spa services can be found on the streets, with a bamboo chair, an ear spa therapist, and a few tools, creating an atmosphere of relaxation and enjoyment, much like the experience of drinking tea. Ear spa is not only a personal entertainment but also a part of social activities, where guests and ear spa therapist gather together, picking ears while engaging in lively conversations and laughter.
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