About the Kambo Tattoo

Kambo tattoo
Monique Birgitte

Monique Birgitte

Maybe it has already happened?! I did ask to let go of judgment and resentment.

Driving back to Thongsala, in an unusually low gear, I feel light as air, yet my head feels as if it’s ready to explode. The muscles in my calves are very sore for reasons unknown and my stomach is still not really agreeing with me, but I know it will subside. Never thought I would get something that resembles a tattoo. Yet here I stand with five dots on my arm, that might or might not fade over time….

Tuesday night 20:00 o’clock- an hour before I’m supposed to really fast. I decide to take no chances and make sure I finish my dinner before 8 p.m. to stay within the fasting window.

Surprisingly, I sleep quite well without any monkey’s on the brain and wake up around six in the morning. That’s a bit unfortunate, ‘cause I know I’ll get hungry sooner now. Buttt, I’ve been wanting to train my brain in such a way that I don’t let the desire for food overtake, so perfect way to put that into practice today.

I am the first one at the meeting point, which allows me to get the fruits we’re supposed to bring. When I come back I see a really friendly face smiling at me as if she knows me pretty well. This must be Mathias’s friend Carolina! She is. We hug and talk about being newbies and the Yoga teacher’s course she has done in Nepal. Something I still want to do as well, don’t know when or where though.  “Good morning!” Mathias says with the beautiful twinkle in his bright blue/grey eyes while he hugs me tightly. Mathias is the one that introduced me to,- and got me excited about the Kambo ritual. Shortly thereafter the rest of the group follows and Danny, the Kambo facilitator, picks us up.

Supposedly, the place is right next door, but Carolina and I (think) we see the tall Dutch guy pretty far ahead of us. I accelerate and try to catch up. About five minutes and a few turns later we realize that’s not him and fortunately when we look behind us, we see Danny coming after us honking his horn. “You were trying to get away from me already?” he teases. Haha terrific start, Mo!

After an explanation of where the medicine comes from, how it works and how the morning is going to play out, I get to be the first to be administered a special powder of which I forgot the name. “Inhale through your nose and hold your breath!” Poof! The stuff is blown up my nose through some sort of pipe. “ Now breathe out through your mouth”. The first one goes pretty well. The second one I have to breathe in through my mouth and I feel a little tickle coming up in my throat. It’s sort of feels like pepper that’s blown up your nose, but it’s most definitely not. Tears start flowing over my cheeks, from the outer corners of my eyes. I immediately feel a tingling in my hands and my head is clear and calm. This is phase one.

“Please come and sit in front of me, Monique” Danny says as he pads the pillow in front of him. “Place your left hand on my knee.” Three small dots are placed with a thin stick that burns at the front end. It feels like a tiny pinch, just as Mathias showed me before. I go back to my cushion and everyone gets their turn.

“ Okay, Monique. You can come sit again like before and I’ll test the medicine on one dot.” The effect is immediate. Another rise of tingling sensations and warmth spreading through my entire body from my toes up to my head where the heat stays for a little bit until the tingling subsides. After the test round, he adds two extra burn marks to my arm and gives me the full treatment. Then it happens…

I’m somewhere with my mother. I don’t know where and I can’t see her face, but it feels really comfortable and loving. The room doesn’t look like anything I remember, but the feeling of home is strongly present. Someone I don’t recognize, grabs hold of both my legs and lays me down on my side. Startled and disoriented, I get pulled out of the warm blanket that feels like a floating cloud. Apparently, I had fainted face forward in my bucket (charming!) and Danny had made sure that I didn’t fall. He puts a pillow under my head and  I quietly lay there on my side for a while.

Sweat is literally sliding off of my body. That’s a good sign. Everything needs to come out. We’re drinking 5 liters of water all in all in a very short amount of time, so no wonder. In the next hour or so we are all throwing up (which is supposed to happen) and semi fighting for the bathroom. “ I’m not coming off anytime soon!” Carolina says, meaning I have to convert to the emergency bucket, crawling to it on the floor ‘cause I am too weak to stand on my own two feet. In my mind I have to laugh at the situation and later on we do out loud, but in that moment I practically feel as if I’m on a mission to get to that bucket!

The whole thing feels as though my mind is clear, but my body is so drunk it needs to be carried. There’s no shame though, no judgment. It’s all part of the process. Everyone’s doing their thing and Danny seems to be everywhere at the same time, taking care of everyone. Slowly, I feel like I’m getting back to normal. I’m no longer dizzy and can carry my own weight back into the common room.

Kambo tattoo

Before we got started, we each individually set intentions silently. I’m not sure why I got administered five dots instead of four. Could be because of the way I responded to the sensitivity test, or was it because I had set five intentions? I love these dots, each one corresponding to an intention. Three dots represent the things that don’t serve me. Judgment, resentment and the fear of rejection. The first two go hand in hand, maybe the third one too. Judging yourself and others is really easy. We do it every day, mostly without thinking about it.

The other day I noticed that I felt very resentful towards someone because I judged them and I couldn’t shake it. Even when I thought of all the positive that had come out of the situation, I still felt resentful. My brain knew it was unfair and I could tell myself to get over it, but I didn’t. After the session, that resentment had faded like a cloud that temporarily covered the sun and softly moved on. If it was because of the Kambo, the intention setting or for any other reason…who knows. All I know is that it feels good to let toxic thoughts like that go. As for the other beautiful dots; they embody feeling free and alive!

I had not planned on sharing this very private and personal experience, however I feel that by letting go of my own judgment, I open up the space for you to do the same. How liberating! With pride I wear my marks, and am grateful for this experience. I am sure a lot of good things will come from it. Off to bed now – letting it all take its effect. Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.


Hi, ik ben Monique! Een ‘Life Voyager’ zoals een producer/manager uit New York mij zo mooi noemt. Deze voel ik wel. Ik ben inderdaad iemand die het leven ziet en voelt als een geweldig avontuur. Dat was langer niet altijd zo…




Ga je eigen ontdekkingsreis aan en voel je ook écht goed. Puur door jezelf te zijn. 

1 thought on “About the Kambo Tattoo”

  1. Je schrijft steeds mooier!
    Wat een dappere ervaring zeg! Knap dat je je zo hebt kunnen en durven laten gaan. Indrukwekkend verhaal. Wat een reis Monique!

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