Pain is a bit of a subjective feeling. Someone could stub their toe, say a quick expletive, and be on their merry way. Another person could stub their toe, dramatically fall to the ground holding said toe, and then reach to the sky yelling, “WHY?!”
The ways we deal with pain vary, many times, based on the pain we are experiencing. If we randomly get hurt, it’s a surprise, and we are forced to deal with the immediate sensation of pain. However, if we know something is going to hurt, many times we play the entire impending painful situation in our minds while our blood pressure and serotonin levels begin to climax at dangerous rates.
The thought of pain can cause us to become a massive hot mess faster than experiencing the actual pain, so it comes as no surprise that many people ask the same universal question when it comes to body piercings:
“How much will it hurt?”
Some of you that are reading this and contemplating a piercing, probably just read the above question and felt your heart rate speed up a bit. See. #IBlameTheBrain
Although jamming needles through various parts of the human body will, inevitably, cause some type of discomfort, there are definitely ways to help alleviate the pain of a piercing.
Here are the top five ways to pamper a piercing and prepare yourself for any potential pain before, during, or after getting a new piercing.
#1 – Use a Numbing Spray
Yup – they have a special, magical spray that can whisk away any lasting sting or feeling of a needle being jammed into your body. These magical elixirs that I speak of are called ‘numbing sprays’, and they do exactly what their name implies – they numb the hell out of your piercing spot.
Are they a good idea, though? Sources say ‘not so much’. Turns out, these numbing sprays tend to make the healing process take quite a bit longer. Also, there has been some chit-chat about the potential danger of frostbite. Not kidding! Scout’s Honor!
The numbing spray is super similar to the stuff that you spray on a wart to freeze it off, so if you spray the snot out of your piercing, then you run the chance of slowing down the healing process AND suffering frostbite at the hands of an aerosol can.
Common sense reminders – if you choose this option, don’t spray it on your tongue, near your eyes, or into your nostril. Rule of thumb: anytime you see a label that has the number for Poison Control on it, don’t get it near any orifice that could cause you to use that number!
#2 – Employ Meditational Breathing Tactics
The phrase ‘go to your happy place’ is, most likely, a universal phrase that has been translated into every language that spans the globe! Whether your happy place is near the ocean, towards the top of a snowy mountain range, or nestled nicely on your couch binging on Netflix, when you are staring a giant needle down in preparation for your piercing, your ‘happy place’ can help you power through any quick poke to the flesh!
Allegedly, our brains can mentally karate chop feelings of pain or discomfort simply by not thinking about the pain. Our cute, squishy brains only have a certain capacity for attention, so funneling our attention away from the piercing and to our ‘happy places’ increases the chances that the pain you feel during a piercing will be minimal.
#3 – Bring Some Tunes
I remember when I was a kid and had to get my cavities filled at the dentist. There was no appealing option of sedated dentistry, where I could employ the use of nitrous oxide to laugh my way through a drill to the tooth!
No, no, no – I had a Walk-Man that played my favorite Milli Vanilli cassette tape, and I Blamed It On the Rain throughout the entirety of my appointment. I’m pretty sure that my hearing is fleeting, as I turned the volume up enough to drown out the sound of the power tool that penetrated my tooth, but I don’t remember the pain of the experience!
Stressed about getting a new piercing? Bring some music! Bring some tunes on your phone, bring them on your 007-styled Smart Watch, or just bring someone with an instrument that can start a jam session during your piercing session.
Adding a bit of music can diminish the pain of a piercing like a boss! Salt N’ Pepa’s Push It helped me birth a child, so I can tell you unequivocally that Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child o’ Mine has the capacity to minimize the sting of the needle as it pierces your body!
#4 – Distract Yourself
Anyone ever find themselves playing Candy Crush at a stoplight? Maybe checking your email, perusing social media, or stalking someone on FindFriends?
The advent of the smartphone has changed the way we sit idly. Gone are the days of just sitting and pondering about life’s most challenging questions. We can now fill those idle minutes with a billion different apps – why not play on your phone while you get a piercing?
Something about the infinite options that allow us to blow through our data plans makes any uncomfortable or time-tedious situation seem manageable! Worried about the pain of your piercing? Bring your anything that connects to the internet and zone out!
Play a little Clash of Clans, Solitaire, or Angry Birds as you endure your piercing session. However, chances are by the time you actually start the game, the piercing deed will probably already be done.
#5 – Bite the Bullet
That’s right – I’m bringing a history lesson to this piercing party! I’m pretty sure I use this phrase religiously at least once per week, never really thinking about its origin. It applies to everything, and in this case, applies to dealing with the pain of a piercing.
Dating back to the 1700s, patients that didn’t get any type of anesthetic were given a bullet to bite during their surgical procedure. Sure, that probably sucked pretty hard to gnaw on a metal piece of ammo, but it worked! Surgical procedures were performed usually pretty successfully, and patients continued on with their lives.
Bite the bullet has become a war chant, a power phrase, a perfect piece of advice when you get a new body piercing. Taking this advice from our ancestors and historical badasses that came before us, suck it up and deal with it like a champ. Piercing pain lasts for mere seconds, and then afterward, you have an awesome piercing to showcase to the world.
Clear your mind, don’t think, and just get it over with. I promise, it’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be.
Whether you decide to numb yourself, meditate and listen to Gregorian chants, mentally vacation to Bora Bora, jam with some tunes, play with your phone, or bite the bullet – just remember the underlying reason you are finding ways to endure pain…
You are getting an incredible piercing that reflects your individuality, your style, and your unique personality. A little bit of pain for a little bit of time will pave the way for an incredible new piercing that you can show off to the world. Don’t look back now, and you’ll wonder why you ever thought of chickening out in the first place.