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extreme body mod, suspensions, and play piercings

In this day and age, almost everybody has at least one piercing, tattoo, stretch mod, or some other form of what can be considered body modification.  Things that were once considered strange, or even extreme, are becoming commonplace as all types of mods find a foothold in our culture.  There are still certain modification experiences that only a chosen few take part in though, and two of these include the suspension and the energy pull.

A hook suspension, also called simply “suspension,” basically involves the placement of one or more large gauge piercings, often performed using special hooks.  This type of temporary piercing, generally referred to as “play piercing,” should only be performed by a very experienced professional, as an acute knowledge of anatomy and physiological mathematics is required. After the appropriate number of hooks have been placed, they are then attached via ropes or cables to a winch or an apparatus that will be used to lift the individual off the ground, effectively suspending them in mid air.

There are several common types of suspension, each distinguishable by the placement of the hooks and the shape of the body once lifted.  The “coma” for instance, is a suspension in which piercings are made along the front of the torso and thighs, so as to give the position once lifted of laying down.  The reverse of this posture in which hooks are pierced through the back side of the torso and legs is called the “Superman.”  And the “resurrection” involves two rows of hooks through the stomach, giving the impression of rising from the grave.  Some other less practiced types of suspension include the angel, the ballerina, the cannonball, the chair, the fetus, the lotus, the scorpion, and even the winged monkey.

An energy pull involves similar sets of temporary piercings, but rather than suspending the body from a cage or other apparatus, the hooks are attached to a heavy or immovable object.  In many cases, this object will be another living thing, whether it be a tree, or another human being, or several.  The true meaning behind energy pull rituals in the sense of traditional practice is to pool the energy of those living entities involved towards a common goal, such as the formation of a specific shape, or the evolution of the life energy towards a more balanced flow.

extreme piercings and pulls at Thaipussam Festivaltemporary piercings and energy pulls at Thaipussam Festival 

As the current modified generation looks to the primitive roots of their body manipulations, even these more extreme types of body mod are beginning to spread, and the suspension community can only continue to grow.

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