I’m a walking nerve-ending by nature. There’s nothing that exists that doesn’t stress me out. I worry about my job. I get scared about my friends thinking I’m weird. I panic if I don’t go to the gym three times a week. I think my dog hates me. Sometimes, I lay awake at night wondering if I have a face-eating tumor quietly growing inside of my left cheek.
All this ruminating and worrying takes its toll on me, physically as well as emotionally. I’m constantly suffering from muscle tension in my neck, back and shoulders. Sometimes it gets so bad I can’t even sleep at night or sit in the same position for more then 10 minutes.
I’ve gone to great lengths to relieve my muscles. I’ve had needles stuck in my hands, feet, shoulders and back. I allowed a 250 pound Russian woman beat me with her elbow in some innovative twist on the Swedish massage. This past weekend, I had somebody pass a lit torch across my body.
When my friend offered to give me a fire massage in exchange for writing a blog on my experience, I jumped at the chance. Any new and wild way to try alleviate my shoulder cramps was fine by me.
It wasn’t until the night before the fire massage that I started to actually worry. I mean, fire hurts. It’s hot. It sucks to get burned. What if my hair got caught on fire and I became like Drew Barrymore’s character in Firestarter?
The next day, my friend came over with all of the equipment. She was very thorough about explaining exactly what she was going to do to me and how the fire massage worked. I lay face-up on the massage table and watched as the masseuse lit a small torch on fire. She slowly guided it over my belly, shoulders and arms while following the heated trail with a series of light touches. As wary as I was about having fire come within touching distance of my body, I felt my muscles begin to loosen and give way to peace. The sensation of the heat along with the therapeutic touches reminded me of a hot stone massage.
The whole session took about an hour and left me feeling like I had just awoken from eight hours of deep, deep sleep. My entire body, along with my mind, was totally relaxed.
For anyone looking for a new way to relieve their stress, I really recommend trying a fire massage. It sounds scary at first, but it’s actually really awesome. If you allow yourself to let go and just trust that the fire won’t hurt you, it’s pretty rad.
No wonder moths are attracted to flames.