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Bell Dance experience

b>disclaimer: not meant as advice. do not try this at home

My bell dance to celebrate quitting smoking:

This was my second play piercing, and first bell dance. I currently have 10 piercings, and the last one took away some of my fear. I was giddy from it for about three days. I still dont have a high pain tolerance, but Im more interested in trying new things.

I'd like to learn more about the cultural background to bell/ball dances. Ive read 2 experiences, one was experimental, and one was a birthday celebration. The Kavadi experineces ive read have been for spiritual and self healing reasons. I decided that the reason for my first bell dance would be the celebration of quitting smoking. I figured having a ritual to mark the occasion would increase my chances of doing it.

I emailed Brian who has a bell dance experience write up, and we wrote a bit about technique (thanks!) Got the needles (22g sterile single use) from a friend, bought monofilament and betedine, and a home sharps container.

MY PROCEDURE is just that, what I did. DO not try without knowledge of your own body. I accept no responsibility. This is not meant as medical advice.

I slept in really late today. Ate a little breakfast, ran some errands, came home and started preparing. I taped newspaper to my floor in case I bled a lot (wood flooring.) Cut lengths of monofilament and soaked it in water with a few drops of betadine. I wiped off my work surface with rubbing alcohol and set up the needles, alcohol, and a box of tissues. Regular craft monofilament line just fits through a 22g needle. (My only problem with it is being nearsighted, so the placements below my breasts were hard to thread!) I'd like to try slightly larger needles and soft-flex beading wire. Its multi filament wire twisted like tiger tail but flexible and plastic coated. It doesnt tie that well at all so crimp beads and pliers would come in handy. It also comes in a few thicknesses.

Took a long bath with music, started getting into the feel. This helped me relax enough to be steady for the placements. I showered off quickly with anti bacterial soap and dried off with a freshly washed towel to reduce the risk of getting piercings infected.

I lit candles and some delicious white sandalwood incense and started the music in my room.

By the time I started I was getting a bit hungry. I had only self pierced once two nights before and didnt know exactly how I would react so I started drinking fruit juice to keep from getting shaky. I wiped off my skin with rubbing alcohol, sat and put the first needle in on the top/inside of my left breast. It pinched going in, I pushed slowly, it tickled, and then a smaller pinch as it emerged on the other side. These needles are very thin and without forceps I feared going too deep. I never went so deep that I couldnt see the color of the needle below my skin. The second matched, on the right. I dried off a piece of monofilament and threaded it into the needle, then pulled the needle out, same for the left.

Deciding on another placement, I tried a few on my leg, but couldnt find a place where I wouldnt go too deep. I started getting a bit nervous at that point, didnt want to quit, just frustrated. I picked my stomach, just left of my navel. the one right of my navel was much lower.

I wanted to do an arm placement and had pierced my arm by myself, but didnt think I could get the filament tied. The last placement was the most stimulating, it was centered about 2 in above my navel, and wide enough to take some thrashing about.

I tied in all my bells (small solid brass) and stood up. the filament was about 1 1/2 in long out of each hole, and it tickled as I swayed. I started moving side to side with the beat and the bells hit cold against my skin. I let my body move in ways I normally wouldnt, just swayed and thrashed and felt everything. I twisted and turned with and between the beats. I never got a really intense pure endorphine rush, but I felt tingly and alive. I was very aroused, but it wasnt exactly sexual. I looked down at my body and was amazed. I was dancing nearly naked and completely enjoying the way my body looked and felt. When I felt the energy going down, and was getting a bit shaky, I cut the filament and took the bells out. None of them bled that much except the misplacements on my leg.

I got dressed and went to dinner with a friend. I wanted a cigarette after I ate, and a couple times throughout the evening, but its been over a day. I havent ruled out the possibility of using the patch, but I havent needed it yet. overall I feel great. The placements on my breasts are a bit tender. I might sea salt soak all the holes tomorrow.

Especially since Im not comfortable piercing very deep, next time I will make sure all placements are a good 1/2 in. wide. Left of my navel is the most red, and was only about 5/16 wide.

Day after: no significant pain or swelling. The placements are a bit raised, but do not hurt at all. They never bled after I took the bells out. Tiny little bit of bruising around a few of the holes.

As far as future plans, I think using forceps and having a friend to pierce would be an improvement. Monofilament does tend to pull, but I didnt use enough weight for it to cut through my skin. If I have someone to help pierce I can imagine using larger bells, but especially just starting out smaller bells are easier to handle than cheese-cuttered skin.

(Its been five days, and I feel better already!)

Any Q's or Comments: garnetmoth@hotmail.com

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Jan. 1999
in Ritual

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