Results tagged “healing”
Photo by Edgar Hoill.
Tomorrow night, I take off for Argentina to get tattooed by the amazing Nazareno Tubaro at his shop in Buenos Aires.The goal -- if I don't punk out -- is to have both my legs tattooed, so I am staring down some long sessions. As I get older, I don't handle the pain as easily as I used to. I stay still and shut up as always, but find myself needing more breaks and not enjoying the process as much.
So, in an effort to be the best client possible for Naza, I did some crowdsourcing of tattoo tips for long sessions through our N+S Facebook Group and my personal FB page. And I got A LOT of great stuff for which I'm grateful.
There were the important basics, which are always a good reminder: plenty of water and plenty of rest; a good meal beforehand; & snacks during the session, especially chocolate (of course).
There was also the debate over drugs versus no drugs; although my friend Rachel suggested morphine (jokingly?), most discussed the benefits and pitfalls of prescription pain killers. The general consensus on over-the-counter medicine was that Ibuprofen, which is an anti-inflammatory, is the best bet. A couple of friends also recommended taking Arnica tablets, as a more natural pain reliever.
Here are some others that I found really helpful:
Erik Sprague, The Lizardman, who is famously tattooed head-to-toe, said:
The worst part of long sessions for me is the aftermath not the sitting - I'd say don't worry about the tattooing & make sure you have all the comforts you'll want set up for afterwards. [...] Be wary of too many or too drastic changes, you want your body stable & only concerned with the tattooing not trying to figure out some new diet / rehab / etc. Tattoos on drugs might be bad, tattoos on withdrawal are worse.Tattooed historian Anna Felicity Friedman and Taylor Barje (among others) both recommended meditation. Taylor noted the app Insight Timer (free) for guided meditation. Anna also suggested that I prepare for long sessions just as I would for a long endurance race, such as staying away from sugar, eating lots of protein, and carb-load the night.
Chuck DeeZee -- who is also covered with stellar work by top tattooers -- offered some cool mental tricks:
One mental jedi trick I use is twinkle toes. When your body wants to wince, concentrate on wiggling the toes on one foot while breathing deeply. Its helped me get through many 3-4 day sessions that included the knee, ribs, and armpit in a single weekend. My body didn't even involuntarily twitch at all. Make a mental game of it, half the fun is coping with the pain.As did David Andersen: "When the pain gets tough, try to remember how much it hurt 5 minutes earlier. Determine which is least uncomfortable. Then ponder what it might be like 5 minutes into the future, etc. And if you can learn to self hypnotize you can do anything virtually pain free."
For products, I largely looked to our sponsors: Face & Body Tattoo Shop Starter Kit for topical anesthetics like numbing creams (to take the edge off); H2Ocean Extreme Tattoo Care, which is an easy portable set and long-trusted for cleaning and healing; and Saniderm aftercare bandages.
I also got my hands on Pamela Shaw's Quaternity Holistics "Pain-Free Tincture", which is an all-natural tincture to help be less sensitive to pain and chill out (which I desperately need in general).
Finally, Debra Pring offered this wonderful reminder: "Wanting to be there."
I am thrilled to have this opportunity and can't wait to share it with you.
Here's an idea whose time has come: custom tattoo bandages that replace the old practice of slapping on tape and Saran Wrap over a fresh tattoo.
Ink Health is an indie company -- owned and operated by tattoo artists and collectors -- that manufactures and distributes non-allergic and water resistant surgical grade bandages. The cool part is that it takes these dressings and pretties them up with the tattoo studio logo, design, contact info and the date and time to remove the bandage for fairly idiot-proof aftercare. [If only it slapped your hand away when you go to scratch.]
The logos and designs (which can be done in multiple colors) are printed before sterilization so the bandages are 100% sterile. The bandages come in the following sizes: 5x5, 7x7 and 8x10 inches. Ink Health also does custom orders. More info here.
Yes, I've walked around in bloody Saran Wrap plenty of times and my tattoos did not fall off, but I much prefer a less gooey, safer, and better looking bandage to protect my next work.