A friend and I had decided to do it a few weeks in advance. We had plans to involve more people but limitations acquiring supplies meant I ended up the only person with everything needed.
It was a total DIY operation. I went to the only local place that sells piercing and tattoo supplies to the public, I ordered debarbed 8g hooks online, and picked up medical supplies, (gloves, alcohol wipes, bandages, saline,) from the hospital pharmacy near my work. I took my hooks to a tattoo shop down the street from my house to be sterilized and that was it.
We chose a spot off the side of a canyon trail where the trees were in the right places and chance dog walkers couldn't see us directly.
It was only two friend and myself, one who threw the hooks for me and the other one who took photographs. It was an overcast so and cool which was okay, but if you plan to do it outside I would recommend doing it on a day that's sunny, it got a little chilly.
I cut open a couple trash bags and laid them on the dirt and then a large 7' by 6' felt cloth over that. We put everything out along the side of the cloth, I lay face down, I was marked up, and that was it. The piercings went quickly and were relatively painless. The only problem was that even though the hooks where tapered at their ends the needle wouldn't fit snugly onto them, so with the second piercing the needle point had to be turned slightly sideways to make sure it went through straight while keeping the two together. One hook did end up being higher than the other, but this didn't effect seem to effect the weight balance very much, if at all.
We used small para-chord loops and attached carabiners that went through knots at the ends of kayak rope, that went around the tree.
I was pretty out of it when I stood up after I the hooks went in, my friend attached me up to the rope and I just stood there for a minuet. It was really strange because I had seen pictures of pulling and you see the skin stretch substantially far away from the body, but when I started moving forward, putting more weight on them I felt pressure but I couldn't discern weather or not my skin was moving away from me.
The first tree I got hooked to lasted about me about 5 minutes... I think. The feeling was really good, I wasn't in any pain accept for slight stinging around the holes which was fine. My head was clear, I felt unexpectedly calm. I was just leaning forward instead of trying to pull my weight by walking, I felt a little like I was floating, at least my head felt that way. The problem was after the first few minutes I started getting pretty nauseous. I had drank plenty of water that day and had eaten so I knew it wasn't that, but I got unhooked and sat down for awhile.
I went to a different tree and repeated the process, but then the nausea came back several minutes later, which is when I stopped. I had read that people don't feel the hooks being taken out and this is true. I laid back down and they slid right out, I didn't feel much.
My friend washed my back off with saline spray, there was some blood but not much, and put some bandage pads over the holes. The holes scabbed over properly within 24hrs and aside from a little soreness that evening everything is healing fine.
The experience was good, it felt bizarre but I enjoyed it. It put my head in a time warp, I felt disoriented but I didn't really care. I was into it mentally, but physically my body threw a little temper tantrum. It felt the same way I feel right before I get the spins from drinking, vision goes in and out, face gets hot and cold, and there's nausea.
For being a self-sufficient the whole thing went well. I should add that I did not use a piercing professional. I used a friend who I feel is knowledgeable, responsible, and who had observed and been through the experience himself, and who has successful piercing experience in the past. I would not recommend doing this kind of DIY operation under most circumstances, but I guess I can be done.
I'm defiantly open to trying it again and possibly even suspension, but next I think I might try taking some homeopathic anti-nausea medication before I do it, maybe I can fake out my body into letting me do it a bit longer.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 04 March 2008