Graveyard Shift Hanging From Piercings Looks Horrifying, But Body Suspenders Say There’s Much More To It  

Berlin Sylvestre
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First things first: DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME! The art of body suspension isn't something you leap into if you're an amateur, as it's highly strategic, intricate, and potentially dangerous. Before you even think about getting started, you're going to need mountains of research and conference with those who are properly skilled and experienced. This piece does not intend to do that, but rather to explore some of the most interesting facts surrounding this mind-blowing practice.

That said, those who practice body suspension often find themselves inside a very tight-knit subculture filled with people who've found not only a sense of camaraderie in their cohorts, but therapy inside the act itself. After all, there has to be a reason why people like body suspension. It does look rather painful and masochistic from the outside. But is it?

Let's put legs on this list and get down to some facts surrounding this fascinating form of release, from its origins to the different types of body suspension. Maybe you'll find yourself hooked before long...

People Who Practice This Ancient Art Refer To It As Euphoric And Stress-Relieving

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Cere Coichetti leads the New York chapter of Rites of Passage, a group that assists with body suspensions all along the East Coast. Though he admits he was scared to put his 300 pound frame on hooks and hang, he figured that if he could do that, he could do anything.

"I go in and I'm ready to go through it," he told The Atlantic, "and once I got into the air, once they lifted me up, it was the most peaceful, serene, blissful experience I've ever had. And it was kind of like, throughout life, you tend to take on negative energy - by energy I could mean stress - stress from your job, stress from home, if you're married, if you've got kids - just stress. And this was just the ultimate stress release. Everything bad that had built up, it was just resetting it back to zero."

The "Suicide Suspension" Is Among The Most Popular For Beginners

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The suicide suspension is a favorite among many - especially those new to the art. The position is said to allow more freedom of movement in the participant, as the placing of the hooks leave them upright.

The suspended is hooked in the upper area of the back with two to four hooks, giving the look of someone who's just hanged him- or herself - hence the term, "suicide." Another plus to the suicide suspension is that the nerve endings aren't as sensitive in the back, according to one practitioner. It's usually why it's recommended by seasoned practitioners as the "go to" for first-timers.

Don't Skimp On The Price Of A Good Suspension Team - Unless You Like Communicable Diseases And Unnecessary Pain

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Photo: tadt3/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0

From shoddy equipment that sits around in a rusty garage to people sticking you with materials that were either improperly cleaned or not cleaned at all, there are a lot of ways amateur suspension sessions can get disease-ridden, fast. You really want the words "experienced," "clean," "professional," "reputable," "safe," when you're looking for the right team. Suspension tools that are not properly cleaned can lead to tetanus and slew of blood borne pathogens. A good team will have sterile and clean hooks ready for new client. 

A good team will also tug on parts of your skin to see how amenable the area (and you) will be to hooking. A bad team can hook you unevenly, causing terrible imbalance and discomfort - even if it's little more than a few centimeters off from a better-balanced point.

If you are experiencing pain as a first time suspendee, the pain is more likened to a pressurized sensation that most newbies haven't experienced before. Keeping a calm head and steay breathing can help any new suspension practitioners keep discomfort at bay.

You Might Pass Out, But It's Totally Normal

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Photo:  Joe Abbruscato (CC BY-NC 2.0)/Flickr

Even for seasoned suspenders, passing out is something that tends to happen from time to time. It's been attributed to the drop in blood-sugar levels coupled with the sudden rush of adrenaline.

It's always helpful to advise newcomers that this can happen, and it's nothing to freak out about. A good team will be there to catch you and help you recover. It's best to really try and relax, and to continue to breathe once the hooks are being placed. This will loosen up nervous and tense muscles before the hooks are placed.

An experienced suspension team will also keep glucose tablets on hand in the case of a dramatic drop in blood-sugar levels for those being suspended. It's good for those times when someone is on the brink of passing out.