Medical Risks & Factors for Body Modifications

Essay by jayalanUniversity, Bachelor's March 2010

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Body Modifications & Medical Risks �

Medical Risks and Factors from Body Modifications

Throughout history, individuals from various cultures have participated in the act of body modification as a part of ethnographic literature since before the birth of anthropology as a discipline. This term refers to the direct destruction or alteration of body tissues without conscious suicidal intent (Pitts, 2003). Cultures have developed traditions and beliefs around body alterations, and in turn have practiced such methods such as tattooing; body piercing and order-preserving rituals to further identify with their customary beliefs. While this behavior has become more acceptable over time, certain sigmas associated with various body modifications are still hard to accept as well overlooked when considering the detrimental health affects alterations can have to the body. The aim of this paper is to understand the potential health risks and negative medical consequences that arise from body modification, as well as identify a number of preventative measures that have been employed and improved throughout history when performing such alterations within the body.

However, as medical science advances, so dose the lengths in which people are willing to go in older to artificially improve themselves. As a result, there will always be a risk associated with these modifications as long as people are willing to push the envelope.

Body Modifications in Ancient Times

The ancient practices of body art (modification), including tattooing and body piercing have been practiced throughout centuries. Various cultures have embraced adorning their bodies throughout history with very little knowledge about preventative measures to avoid health risks and complications.

During the Victorian era, the corset was recognized as a standard article of clothing for women of any social class, its goal was to create an extreme hourglass body shape by combining lacing with whalebone ribbing that pulls...