The act of suspension is hanging the human body from (or partially from) hooks pierced through the flesh in various places around the body.
Body suspensions are often practiced for ritual reasons to gain a higher level of spiritual fulfillment or awareness. They can also be practiced simply for the pure adrenaline rush or to conquering fears. They can be practiced for the experience and/or self exploration, or used as a symbolic tool and represents an important event in life – such as representing one’s passing from childhood to adulthood or the bond two people may share. Overall, people generally suspend to attain some sort of experience. Suspensions and pulls can even be brought to the stage for performance art and sideshow acts.
Some people are seeking the opportunity to discover a deeper sense of themself and to challenge pre-determined belief systems which may not be true. Some are seeking a right of passage or a spiritual encounter to let go of the fear of not being whole or complete inside their body. Others are looking for control over their body, or seek to prove to themselves that they are more than their bodies, or are not their bodies at all. Others simply seek to explore the unknown.
Many people believe that learning how one lives inside ones body and seeing how that body adapts to stress — and passes through it — allows one to surrender to life and explore new realms of possibility. While some people are seeking something spiritual, others are just looking to “do it” and the sense of accomplishment is enough for them.
Participants are pierced with hypodermic needles followed by sterile single-use hooks, which are temporary and removed immediately following the suspension. Various types, sizes and amounts of hooks are required for different types of suspensions. Varying levels and types of rigging are also required for different levels and types of suspensions.
Pulling is another form of hook play in which the participant(s) use their own strength and weight to put pressure on their hook(s); rather than actually hanging from them. This offers a very different sensation in comparison to standard suspension. Pulling can involve more tension on the hooks than an average suspension, depending on how much force is being utilized.