Historically we know that the Mandan tribe perfomed a ritual – the Okipa – where the warriors didn’t eat, drink or sleep for 4 days, after which they were pierced with a wooden spear through the chest and back, and were hanged from these from the ceiling of the cabin. Additionally, heavy weights were added to their legs.
The warriors were taken down after they fainted, their awakening was considered as an acceptance from the spirits
In India and Sri Lanka, there have been a long tradition for suspension – take a look at this video: Humans on Hooks
In northern mythology, Odin hang from his own spear – Gungnir – for nine days without any food and drink, to gain insight in the jotuns family and their secret knowledge.
Why do people suspend today?
People have their own reasons for suspending. Some reasons could be overcoming fear, rush from adrenaline and endorphin release in the body, the fascination of what the body can withstand, a “rite of passage“, but also as meditation to achieve higher spiritual awareness.
If you talk with some of the B-E-S-T crew-members, and the participants at our events, you will quickly be aware that are many reasons to suspend. Most important of all; we respect people’s reason to be suspended.
Who are the people who suspend?
The majority would probably not believe it, but we have men and women of all ages, from all backgrounds, social, economic and ethnic. Some have been considering it for a long time, others have just seen it or heard about it.
We are used to people who have tried it hundreds of times, but also people who are nervous because they’ve never tried it before.
The Therapeutic Experience of Being Suspended by Your Skin – an article about the experience and reasons for suspending
suspension.org – international Suspension Alliance, ISA
Wings of Desire – aka. Oslo SusCon