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Body modification (or body alteration) is the deliberate altering of the human body for any non-medical reason, such as aesthetics, sexual enhancement, a rite of passage, religious reasons, to display group membership or affiliation, to create body art, shock value, or self expression. While tattoos are a growing trend among young people today, humans have marked their bodies with modifications since the dawn of mankind.
Tongue Piercing: This was practiced in a ritual form by the ancient Aztecs, Mayas of Central America, the Haida, Kwakiutul, and Tlinglit tribes of the American Northwest.
Chinese Foot Binding: One of the most severe of the body modifications was foot binding, which began in the court of the Southern Tang kingdom in Nanjing (937a€“975). Foot binding was a painful process of mutilation done to children beginning at about seven years of age. Some people say cutting their skin brings them relief from emotional pain - an act usually referred to as self-harm.

The researchers collaborated with the body modification magazine Taetowiermagazin, recruiting 432 of their readers to complete a comprehensive questionnaire about their tattooing and piercing practices and motives.
Compared with the readers who said they had never self-harmed, those who had were more likely to report "bad things" having happened in their lives, and to say they had previously had a bad relationship with their own body. Moreover, the self-harmers reported that they often had their skin tattooed or body pierced to help overcome a negative experience, or simply to experience physical pain. Stirn and Hinz concluded that most people who partake in body modification clearly do not do it because they have any psychological problems. Anonymous12:24 pmThe link between self harming and body modification may be more complex than this study would suggest. The tongue was pierced to draw blood to propitiate the gods, and to create an altered state of consciousness so that the priest or shaman could communicate with the gods.

Tiny feet on women became a status symbol of beauty and those who endured the process were married to men of upper classes. Others enjoy having their body pierced with metal and their skin inscribed with permanent ink.
It usually took a year to heal, and the ability to walk without a cane for the rest of the woman's life was rare. According to the German psychologists Aglaja Stirn and Andreas Hinz, in some cases there might well be.

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