Nowadays body piercing is a mainstream form of self-expression, and although it was popularized by the punk subculture in the 1970s, it dates back to ancient civilizations. This form of body art is usually associated with rebelliousness and a wish to be different, but in certain cultures, its purpose isn’t purely aesthetic as it has various medical or spiritual implications. Some piercing aficionados even claim that placing holes in your body can have numerous beneficial effects as it activates the flow of energy. On the other hand, vocal opponents of piercing insist that it affects health and disrupts the energy flow.
Once Upon a Time
The oldest human mummy in Europe, which is believed to be around 5,000 years old, had pierced ears. The holes in his earlobes had been stretched to 7-11mm in diameter. Archeologists believe that the purpose of piercing back then was primarily magical, but since the mummy also had tattoos on the spots that corresponded to traditional Chinese acupuncture points, it wouldn’t be strange if those piercings had some kind of medical purpose. Sailors used to have their ears pierced as it was believed that this could improve their vision and keep them safe at sea. Some Egyptian dynasties and tribes of North America wore earrings as a sign of nobility. The Aztecs and the Maya people pierced their tongues in order to reach an altered state of mind during shamanic rituals. A recent study claims that the basic motivation behind this kind of body ornamentation is gene perpetuation.
Back to the Future
Today, many free-spirited people who want to express their individuality and uniqueness frequently choose body piercing as a channel for conveying their ideas. Something that started as a revolt of the underprivileged youth against the oppressive system became widely accepted among all walks of life, including jet-setters. A couple of decades ago, it was unimaginable to see a celebrity with a visible piercing, while today, even some A-listers, such as Queen Bey and Rihanna, often flaunt their belly button rings, pierced tongues or eyebrows. However, ordinary people who sport piercings still face prejudice and stigmatization, especially in the workplace.
Certain parts of the body are more susceptible to infections; so, you should be careful if you decide to have them pierced. For example, tongue piercings can be tricky as some studies have suggested that they can lead to various oral problems such as chipped and cracked teeth, receding gums, or bacteria accumulation, especially on the surface of stainless steel jewelry. Besides these issues, it’s good to know that acupuncture experts say that the middle part of the tongue is connected to the central nervous system and that it’s not advisable to have a piercing there as it may lead to spleen problems and depression. Ears are one of the most commonly pierced parts of the body, and the fact that they’re full of different acupuncture points means that you should thoroughly research this and find the spot that won’t disrupt the energy flow. Pay special attention when it comes to the cartilage, as it’s prone to infections and scarring. A belly button used to be a very popular piercing spot, but as it’s connected to the reproductive organs and fertility, it’s not exactly the best idea to put a ring on it.
As we have said, an ear is full of acupuncture points, and some acupuncturists believe that any part of the body has its particular point somewhere on the ear. Buddhist teachings say that by piercing the center of the lobe is a path to opening the third eye and stimulating the pineal gland. Ear lobes are also connected with the development of the brain. Even some acupressure principles state that by stimulating certain meridian points, you can improve your memory and activate both hemispheres of the brain. The tragus, the fold of the cartilage placed in front of the ear canal, is the acupuncture point for metabolism; so, many people have it pierced when they want to lose weight. According to a traditional Ayurvedic belief, a piercing in the left nostril could relieve period cramps and childbirth pains as it’s connected to the female reproductive organs. What is essential is that you find experienced professionals, like the Tattoo Movement body piercing artists in Sydney, who can explain everything you need to know about this procedure.
Before you decide to have any part of your body pierced, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons and talk everything through with an experienced piercer.
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