e long been active in getting body modification. Mostly in the forms of piercing and tattooing. I believe that the human body is very similar to an empty canvas, in need of decoration and alteration. Every change I make to my body makes me even more beautiful to behold. Up until recently I had not really experienced the art of scarring/branding, except for some cuttings I had done on my self when I was younger. Scars have always fascinated me and I had done some cuttings on myself from time to time. They remind you of things you have done and places you have been. When I got out of the army I headed for SC, where my mom's family is from. I moved to Columbia half way expecting I would be the lone body art enthusiast.I thought I would be drowning in a sea of rednecks and rebel flags ( I have since discovered that this is only halfway true.) I spent a lot of time online looking for shops in SC, then a friend suggested looking on the A.P.P. website to see if there were any piercing shops. I checked the A.P.P. website and found out that there was a member in Columbia. A faint glimmer of hope appeared. The shop is called body rites. I checked out their website and even exchanged some pleasant e-mails with one of the piercers about my soon to be hometown and things of interest to the body art enthusiast. It was one of my first destinations after I settled into my new place. I was very happy with what I found. A shop that was beyond clean and the people who working there were friendly and willing to answer my questions. They gave me a tour of the shop. I was considering getting a new piercing when I saw that they offered branding as well as piercing and scarification. Right then and there, I knew I would have to get branded. It was an experience I was lacking . It wasn't something I had to even think twice about. I knew that once I thought of a design to have branded that I would definitely have it done. I grabbed a business card and went home to ponder over designs. I was so very excited. I called and talked to Scott, and set up an appointment. On the big day I could hardly wait until the time of my appointment. I got to the shop a little early and talked to Scott about what would be taking place. I was a little nervous but he made me feel totally relaxed. In I had decided to get a brand of an Ankh, a symbol that has personal and spiritual importance to me. Scott and I spent some time talking about the particular design and drawing it up. When we were both satisfied with the design it was time to start. We went into the room and he prepped the area to be branded. He was using what he called a cautery (spelling??) scalpel, which looked really cool. Now came the moment of truth. I took in a deep breath and let it out slow. Ahhhh... it wasn't that bad. Not as bad as some tattoos I have had. The worst part was having to not pull away from the sensation. It is such a natural reaction to avoid being burned that my body reacted strangely to me just allowing it to happen. And the smell was not that great. But all in all it was worth it. I just practiced some deep breathing and visited my "special"place. Some serious meditation followed and I didn't even notice when he had finished. I was amazed that it didn't take longer and that it was not more painful. I really thought it was going to be the worst thing I had ever felt and I was so wrong. Just a little bit of a stinging/burning sensation. Afterwards I guess I was on a natural high. He advised me on how to take care of the brand and I went home, happy and euphoric. I had to go back for a few touch ups , they were all as easy as the first time. Now the brand is totally healed and is gorgeous. The scar is big and magnificent and I am very proud of it. I show it off to people every chance I get and I am now thinking about getting some more brands. Several of my friends have now gotten brands. They were initially bothered by the whole idea, but after seeing the end result and hearing about my positive experience, they are willing to give it a try themselves. I highly recommend this experience to anyone who is a fan of body modification. That is the main reason I wanted to share my branding experience with everyone. I think that if people realized what a wonderful and exciting thing branding is, it would be more widely accepted.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 08 Oct. 1999