Body suspension has been a part of many ancient cultures as a part of an initiation ritual. The practice was later redefined in modern culture by avid piercers such as Allen Falkner and the late Fakir Musafar.
In the world of body modification, people often push their bodies to the extreme. Body suspension is one such practice that really stretches the limit of human capacity. The art of body suspension is not for everyone. It is something that has always managed to freak people out because the nature of the practice is actually a little too graphic. It involves large sterilized hooks which are pierced through a participants skin. The person is then suspended from the hooks, putting the elasticity of their skin to the extreme test.
But body suspension has been a part of many ancient cultures as a part of an initiation ritual. The practice was later redefined in modern culture by avid piercers such as Allen Falkner and the late Fakir Musafar. Musafar, who was an outspoken advocate for body modification described the ritual as an act of offering one's body to deities. Many practitioners of the ritual would argue that body suspension is deeply spiritual and therapeutic as well. So what exactly does body suspension offer to a person?
BEFORE YOU PROCEED...
Please remember that the art of body suspension should ONLY be conducted by a professional suspender who has had YEARS of practice. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival during which devotees attach hooks and spikes through their body as a way to show their devotion to the gods. Many believe that the act shows deities how respected they are. The act of piercing one's skin is seen as an act of repenting for their sinful behavior.
Most body suspenders say that the act gives them a whole new perspective of life. Musician Dave Navarro admits that the practice of body suspension gave him a whole new perspective because of the rush it gave him. " I've done a lot of crazy things in my life, and none of it has given me what this craft has given me," he once told The Guardian.
Even though the practice has been around for ages, body suspension can result in injuries that are not for the faint-hearted. But people who often engage in risky practices are high achievers, looking for the next best thing that they can master. Human skin is probably the most hard-working organ there is, but when it's put to the test with body suspension, there can be chances of the skin tearing.
Body suspension involves a great deal of physics as well. The hooks are generally strategically pierced to evenly distribute the weight of a person's body. Many suspenders admit that the first time they are hoisted by their skin, the sensation of floating while simultaneously feeling your entire body's weight is a very freaky sensation that soon fades away. However, that doesn't mean that the suspension will hurt any less.
Professional suspenders know exactly where the hooks have to be placed if a person is looking to feel pain. When the body is put under such extreme pressure and pain, it releases adrenalin, which can heighten one's senses, increase a person's heart rate, as well as triggers the blood vessels to contract and direct blood toward major muscle groups.
When the hooks are pierced through a person's skin, it gives them a sudden headrush high. Piercing skin triggers the body to release endorphins, a hormone that is produced by the body to deal with stress, fear or pain. Endorphins basically have the same effect on our body as opiates, minus the addiction.