The practice of body piercing is as old as humanity itself and is making a comeback along with the popularity of tribal tattoos; one need only look closely at the players in professional sports such as basketball and football to see this phenomenon.
Body piercing has practiced by cultures all over the planet for thousands of years including the ancient Egyptian pharaohs and the soldiers of ancient Rome. The pharaohs pierced their navels and the Roman soldiers pierced their nipples as a display of manhood.
In North America indigenous tribes had customs of piercing including the brutal Sun Dance practiced by the Plains Indians where one would be hung from bones pierced through the chest. This was vividly portrayed in the movie, “A Man Called Horse.”
These days piercings of other parts of the body are becoming nearly as commonplace as the piercing of the ear with people piercing tongues, nipples, navels, and eyebrows as well as women piercing their clitoris and labia and men piercing their penis, ouch!
One caveat here for women who are intending on becoming pregnant and breastfeeding; it has been said that piercing the nipple can result in difficulties nursing due to the fact that the nipple contains many milk ducts.
Healing time varies depending upon the area that is pierced and can be as short as six weeks for an eyebrow piercing to as long as one year for some people with a navel piercing. So that is definitely something you want to take into consideration before you do it. Is this something that you really have the patience to deal with? It isn’t a matter of just putting a hole in your body, it is a wound and your body treats it as such so you must take care of it as not to allow the piercing to become infected.
So, why do people pierce their bodies in modern times? The reason varies amongst different people and different sexes. For most, it is more a statement that they are free and independent of restrictions society tries to place on them, for some it may be trying to honor the culture of their ancestors. Whatever the reason, you have to admit that seeing someone with a piercing definitely gets your attention.