When some friends began talking about trying "fire therapy," I knew it was only a matter of time before I'd be watching Chad get set ablaze.
Sure enough, we ended up doing it a few weeks ago, at the acupuncturist's around the corner. The fire part was actually the culmination of a series of steps. First there was the belly massage, which according to Chad felt partly ticklish and partly weird. Our friend Dave seemed to find his facial expressions amusing.
Then things got a little scarier: they put in some acupuncture needles and hooked them up to a rather dodgy-looking (if you ask me) little electrical device.
The resulting current made the needles jump rhythmically, as you can see in the video below. Chad found this interesting at first but then it started to get uncomfortable.
Then it was time for the fire. They covered Chad and Dave with a few layers of damp towels. Then they soaked the top towel in alcohol and torched it with one of those clicky barbecue lighters.
This part actually seemed rather pleasant. The "patients" reported a warm but not hot sensation on the skin. Chad found it refreshing and said he would do the fire part again. He didn't look so eager to repeat the electropuncture experience. As for me, I avoid any kind of health treatment that looks like it could put me in the hospital. But the people seemed perfectly pleasant, and skilled, and I wouldn't mind going back there for something less incendiary, like a plain old massage.
You can get Chad's side of the story, by the way, at www.jakartachad.blogspot.com.