For centuries, humans around the world have been taking steps to alter their bodies. From foot binding and neck rings to ear piercings and tattoos, the expansive list of human body modification practices shows that, for one reason or another, every society has certain elements designed to purposefully change the structure of the human body.
Some of the practices, like foot binding, have fallen from popularity due to the pain, the risk of infection or disease, and outdated manners of thinking. Others like earlobe gauging are newer trends that have been growing and becoming more acceptable means of body mod.
Body modification is the non-medical altering, or modification, of the human body. There are a variety of ways societies define and perform modifications, usually stemming from one of the most popular reasons to do so, which include:
Some people choose to alter their bodies because they suffer from mental health issues, like body dysmorphic disorder.
There is no set beginning for body modifications. Even piercings have a long history, showing up in both ancient Egypt and ancient Rome, as well as throughout the history of Hinduism.
There are other modifications that are used both medically and non-medically; modifications to teeth are one example. Tooth extraction is used by dentists around the world to help improve a patient’s dental health. In other cultures, though, dental extraction is used to “cure” members of the community from disease or illness.
Even today, some female descendants of the French colonists in Canada’s New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, will seek a partial or complete extraction of their teeth, replacing them with dentures, before marriage. While the modification is not as highly practiced as it once was, it continues to be a tradition.
Dental contouring, on the other hand, is an aesthetic practice performed both in the US. and around the world. Some cultures filed down their carnivorous teeth, others choose to have their teeth sharpened into fangs.
While some modifications, like tattoos and body piercings are more common, others, including more extreme modifications like elf ears or a change of eye color, are under debate. These more extreme modifications often require surgeries that can have negative effects.
Around the world, there are many different practitioners of body modification, including healers and priests. In the United States, however, the artists who perform any sort of modification need to be licensed, and must follow federal and state regulations.
Almost every state has laws that discuss body art. Nevada has no regulations in regard to this topic, and Maryland has very few. The majority of states have laws about the age at which people can get tattoos. Most states have laws in place that prevent minors from getting tattoos or piercings without permission from a parent.
There are licenses for piercing and tattoo artists, and many professionals take courses in anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, as well as specific classes for their trade, like graphic design for a tattoo artist.
For more extreme body modifications like implants, tongue splitting, or re-shaping body parts, it might be best to seek a cosmetic surgeon who has professional and medical experience and training.
Tattoo artists show great skills in their craft, but there are a few things to remember before going in:
There are a few different ways to make sure the body modification facility is high-quality. It’s important to seek out recommendations. Word-of-mouth can help you find an artist who is both skilled and professional.
Paying for a tattoo or other modification that doesn’t give you the results you were seeking, or medical issues, can result in lost money, lower self-esteem, stress, and body issues.
Look at photos of the artist’s past work. You can also call your local health department to see if there have been any issues filed about the places you are considering.
With body modification being a newer, and rapidly growing, trend it’s important that both customers and providers do their homework and learn more about both sides of the practice.
Companies who perform body modifications should look into comprehensive tattoo and body piercing coverage, like the customizable, in-depth policies offered by Marine Agency. We have lots of knowledge and experience helping tattoo and body modification shops, and would be happy to help your business. To learn more about the different insurance types we offer, contact Marine Agency today.
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