BODY piercings have become a mainstream fashion statement in recent years – with plenty of people sporting jewellery in places such as their ears, bellybuttons and noses.
But some body modification enthusiasts in Croatia have taken the trend to a whole new level – carrying out an extreme form of piercing known as body suspension.
Shocking images capture the moment a woman from the United States, known only as 28-year-old Kaitlin, is suspended from a metal frame using hooks pierced through skin all over her body, on the rooftop of an empty building in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
The daring procedure was carried out by Dino Helvida, a 27-year-old professional piercer and body suspension expert from Bosnia and Herzegovina – who has been suspending the frames of his brave clients for the past six years, sometimes for hours at a time.
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In this case, working with his girlfriend Zorana, he pierces Caitlin's skin with needles, before inserting metallic hooks which are then attached to a thin rope to lift the suspendee off the ground.
Dino explained to Reuters: "You can do one hook or you can do 100. You have different hooks for different positions and different hooks for different body parts.
"So everything is really calculated and it's safe."
But he is quick to reassure that despite its brutal appearance, his clients aren't left with permanent scarring from the alternative practice.
He said: "It is painful. Piercing is painful, it's just like regular piercing. Every time it's a new piercing and the wound heals really fast, it can heal in two weeks.
"I had hooks in my forehead and nobody can tell I had them."
He added that how long people stay suspended for varies and is totally up to them – and can depend on their position and how they feel.
He said: "Some people stay for four, five hours, some people need only three seconds."
The Atlantic reports that the practice of body suspension dates back around 5,000 years – with the most ancient suspensions most likely occurring in India as part of religious tradition. These days, it is often seen by its fans as a spiritual experience or a way to test the body's limits – and Dino was inspired to try it after watching a documentary.
He explained: "I watched a documentary and when I saw it, I knew I had to do it.
"It's very hard to explain (what it feels like). For me, it's releasing all the negative and bringing all the positive in."
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