Sak Yant Needle Hygiene and more
When it comes to the Sak Yant, what are the monk’s practices for hygiene is the most important to consider before even the Sak Yant design and the method of application of the ink. Why traditional steel rod Sak Yant needles which are designed to be reused may be safer than one designed to replace the old needles with new needles.
For the better monks with a mindset for Safety and Hygiene, I believe the reusable traditional Sak Yant rod that is a one piece metal rod might be the safest tool.
Why I now think, a solid steel rod Sak Yant needle is best.
Well, the basic design is to be reused and to do so they are built to last but yet need constant attention.
They are often sharpened and adjusted which means they are heated well above the sterilisation point with fire to adjust the tip properly.
Also, the monks who we promote always use disinfectant after the use and then a Ph solution that will kill even Aids virus. This is done before they are sharpened and heated . Meaning they do not use the need for a number of days till they have been sharpened and adjusted. which means they are not just dipped in disinfectant and new needles added right away like the ones with replaceable needles are often done.
He uses traditional steel rod needles which are designed to be reused. He does not reuse them until they are properly disinfected, ph treated and fire scorched and then air dried for often days or weeks between uses, Then again cleaned with alcohol before use.
So after the traditional rods have normally been disinfected air dried and ph treated they a fire sterilised and left for days, then again sterilised with disinfectant again before use.
We all heard of Aids is transferred through used needles, well the design and traditional Sak Yant needle is nothing like a closed tube of a hypodermic needle but more like a pen quill is totally open to liquids and air for cleaning and disinfecting.
Other hygiene practices to look for:
The monks we promote always uses new disposable rubber gloves and individual ink pots with each person removing the risk of cross contamination.
For wiping the ink and sometimes bodily fluids while working, they use the paper tissue that foreigner call toilet paper So do not get shocked we use it here for everything in Thailand That is tossed away of course, unlike some monks and artists that use rags and well that is just nasty and unhygienic at best. Brings to my mind blankets with scarlet fever and the north American Indians.
Without question, both types of needles can be equally safe or dangerous. It is just one style forces the needle to be sterilised the other requires forethought and effort for the sake of hygiene.
In the end, it all realise on the Sak Yant practitioners, habits and personal understanding of Thai Tatoo hygiene requirements and willingness to follow them more than if it is a replaceable needle or not. I just want you to leave with the knowledge that not new needles does not mean dangerous hygiene practices.