Punching a hole in your tongue, nipples, or worse your genitals, is a serious decision. Before you decide to have a body piercing, consider the risks of infection, allergic reactions, nerve damage, teeth damage, bleeding, and bacterial and viral infections.

Fashion has no boundaries. We will go to to all limits to keep up with the latest fashion. For the past 20 years, celebrities, singers, and sport stars, all have had some body piercing. Popular body parts are the: eyebrows, lips, tongue, nose, ear, and even genitalia.


Over the last hundred years, body piercing has been limited to the ears. As US rebellious hippy teens traveled to India, looking for enlightenment in the 1960s, they came back with nose rings. In India this was an accepted adornment. It offered a new meaning of rebellion against their mainstream parents. In the 70’s, punk rockers picked up the practice, and made it their own form of rebellion.

The Egyptians started ear piercing 5000 years ago. The oldest recorded mummy had pierced ears with large studs. It was seen as a status symbol, of love and of beauty. Certain body piercing were restricted only to the royal family. Most Egyptians, of wealth, wore earrings to display their wealth and accentuate their beauty.

Body jewelry was also a symbol that distinguish royalty from the common people. The nomadic tribes saw it as mark of wealth and beauty. It was given as a bridal gift and a part of a dowry.

In Africa, ear piercing holes were stretched to indicate their status within the tribe. The larger the hole, the more important the person. Earrings were deemed to have magical properties, preventing demons from entering their bodies through the ears. Indians practiced ear piercing and used bones and feathers for their adornment. During the Renaissance time, most male nobility wore enormous diamond studs to advertise their wealth.

Sailors, had only one ear pierced, and placed a gold or brass ring in it. If they were washed ashore after a shipwreck, the finder kept the gold and gave the body a proper Christian burial.


In the Middle East, husbands of nomadic tribes, presented their wives with a nose ring at their weddings. The bigger the ring, the wealthier the family. This offered the bride some security should her husband leave her.

In India, women traditionally pierced their left nostril and wore the stud ring, believing their menstrual periods would be less painful, childbirth would be easier, and pregnancy would be more possible. Some attached a chain from the nostril ring to a pierced ear.

Among primitive people, piercing of the septum was more common than nostril piercing. It could be stretched, and large pieces of jewelry inserted, as bones, feathers, and pieces of food. Leg bones of pigs were often used.
Sometimes the jewelry would be so large, it prevented the person from eating, and it had to be lifted during meals.


In the 1890s, Victorian women pierced their nipples and adorned them with Parisian jewelry. Women had plunging necklines, and piercing their nipples helped show off their jewelry. They even hung silver chains and pearls from one nipple to the other.

Piercing the nipples also added sensitivity to the breasts and gave visual and tactile stimulation to their men. Later, men began getting their nipples pierced for pleasure as well. Some doctors even suggested it improved conditions for breast-feeding.

As the Roman Republic grew more effeminate with the wealth and luxury, Julius Caesar pierced his nipples to show his strength and to identify with his men, A Roman Centurions pierced their nipples to show strength and dedication to the Roman empire. It unified and bonded the Roman Army.


Gladiators, who were usually slaves, pierced their penises with rings. This was used to tie the organ to the testicles with a length of leather, protecting them from serious injury. If the ring was large enough, it prevented the slave from also having sex without the owner’s consent. The gladiato, after all was property, and a stud fee was charged to fellow slave owner for the opportunity to raise the next generation of great fighters.

Prince Albert, the future husband of Queen Victoria, was said to have his penis pierced to enhance his tight fitting trousers. The penile ring was attached to a hook on the inside of one pant leg, tucked between the legs for a neat trim look.

Young Arabs had their left testes pierced to prevent it from ascending into the abdomen.

Piercing genitals should not be taken lightly. An infection here is not just painful but very serious. It can lead to blood poisoning, blocked airways, and toxic shock.

While men now rely on Viagra to strenthen their libido, women today are alse trying to enhance sexual intercourse. They look to genital piercing to stimulate the clitoris during sex. Piercing of the clitoral hood, the clitoris itself, the inner and outer labia, and the peritoneum are common today: they often are adorned with diamonds. Scarring, disfigurement, and tissue inflammation, can result in damage to the birth canal, making future vaginal delivery difficult.


Because of the difference between men and women’s abdomens, the navel has long been recognized as an erogenous zone. Women’s lower abdomens are rounder in the lower part, while men’s abdomens have a greater distance between their navel and genitals

In Egypt, only the pharaoh could have his navel pierced. It represented courage and virility. No primitive cultures have engaged in navel piercing. Today, with the invention of the bikini, and exposure of navels in public, navel rings have become popular.


Tongue piercing was a ritual in the Aztecs and Mayans culture. They believed that piercing their tongues opened communication to their gods. By piercing the tongue, blood was drawn to please the gods; this created an altered state of consciousness so the high priest could communicate with the gods. They also pierced their nasal septa, placin boar tusks, bones, and feathers, in them to appear fiercer to their enemies.

Tongue piercing today is very popular, shockingly provocative, and considered fantastic for oral sex. Teens feels it’s cool to have a tongue pierced, but most do not realize the potential life-threatening dangers of tongue piercing.

The American Dental Association is totally against all piercing in the mouth. They find infections common. The tongue swells so large, it blocks the airways. Studs, barbells, and hoops, can chip your teeth or even choke you if they come loose.


Women in Central and South America, to emphasize their lips, had their lips pierced which stretched their lips to an incredible size. Gold and jade were placed in the piercing to enhance sexuality.

Other tribes wore labret plates in their upper lips to enhance beauty and entice men. These were made of wood, ivory metal, and even quartz crystals. Among the Aztecs, labret piercing was reserved only for men in authority.

The type of plate worn indicated whether a woman was available or already betrothed. These were made of wood, ivory, bones, precious metals like gold, and abalone shells.


In the dark ages, the medieval church condemned body piercing as sinful, and the interest in the procedure died down. It was abandoned for several hundred years in Western civilization.

Here in America, the Puritan movement did away with men wearing earrings until 1970. The Europeans kept the practice alive reviving it to today’s new popularity.


Navel piercing can often result in fungal infections and tends to collect dirt. The navel takes a long time to heal since it is on the waist, and the rings acts like hinges on the body. The navel is subject to a lot of movement; clothes rub the area and cause irritation. It may takes up to one year for healing to occur. Most people fail to see a small amount of redness (signifying inflammation) around the area where the ring pierced the body. All redness must disappear to insure complete healing. Pliers are usually needed to change the rings.

If you are exercising or sweating a lot, the sweat acts like acid and aggravates the wound. The piercing can use some sunshine to help promote healing. Many make the mistake of using hydrogen peroxide or Betadine in cleaning their navels. This destroys the cells that form scar tissue. Using creams and ointments can keep the wound moist and delay healing, and attract bacteria.

Without proper washing of the navel, the skin may heal around the jewelry and tear the inside of the wound when the jewelry moves. Deep navels are difficult to clean adequately.

Wearing tight jeans and skirts also delay the healing process and caused the piercing to grow out. The piercing diminishes until the ring finally comes out. Synthetic fabrics keep the wound from breathing.

If the ring is removed during the healing phase, the piercing will be lost. Jewelry should not be replaced until there is full healing. Silver jewelry is very dangerous, since it oxidizes in the wound, and causes many allergic reactions. Silver body jewelry should never be worn.

Chains and charms are often placed on navel rings,
If you become pregnant, you must remove the ring about the sixth month, since the abdominal skin expands. Fishing lines are often placed to keep the piercing open till after the pregnancy.

ENERGY BLOCKING ---Placing metals on body piercing sites, can block energy, disturbed meridians, and cause long-term health problems. Most metals on the body have a negative effect on your health.

We acupuncturists placed small metal balls on an acupuncture point to stimulate that point. The critical factor is where the points are located on the body.

Metals such as nickel, chrome, cobalt, and palladium all cause allergic reactions. All these metals are found in costume jewelry. When the skin is exposed to cheap jewelry, skin related problems occur. Even a 14 karat gold stud has a large amount of nickel and can cause skin allergies. One would be safer in using titanium, or stainless steel for the jewelry. Any metal can result in contact dermatitis as it is rubbed against the skin.

The tongue is an important energy center in the body. It is where the central nervous system meets the governing system. Energetically, when the middle of the tongue is pierced, the spleen Qi energy is depleted, and depression and muscle wasting occur.

The navel, called the “hara”, is the main power center. Since it is located near a meridian, putting a metal stud there, distorts and short circuits the energy fields.

INFECTIONS --- piercing is not always a safe procedure and is not simple. There are risks of hepatitis B, C, and AIDS, transmitted in unsafe piercing studios when done by unqualified people in non-sterile conditions. Avoid ear cartilage piercing since infections are common and healing is often delayed.

Piercing also results in complications like swallowing, infection, and bleeding.

If the normal tissues are interfered with scar tissue, keloids occur. When jewelry is removed from the pierced area, skin dimpling often occurs.


Fashion is fine, as long as fashion does not harm you. Many people are oblivious to the potential health risks body piercing causes.

Punching a hole in your tongue, nipples, or worse your genitals, is a serious decision. Before you decide to have a body piercing, consider the risks of infection, allergic reactions, nerve damage, teeth damage, bleeding, and bacterial and viral infections.

There is no appropriate regulation of the body piercing industry. Minors are not protected from potential serious health issues. Teenagers should be protected from the potential harmful side effects of body piercing.

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