A lot of professional piercers around the world spend the lion's share of their time perfecting the theoretical and practical skills surrounding body piercing. We focus on angles, bevel theory, compositions of materials for initial piercings and the right aftercare for the respective area of the body as well as the intricate workings of skin and cartilage. As much as knowledge and skill in these areas as possible is crucial to provide the customer with the ability to heal the new adornment, and while the importance of all these topics cannot be overstated, the importance of the immeasurable part of professionalism - empathy - is unfortunately often overlooked.
We piercers have a tendency to fall into a whirlwind of ideas and technicalities when we see an ear or a nose that would suit a specific type of body jewellery perfectly. So much so that sometimes piercers tend to "forget" that we are still working with a human being in front of us. A human being with a story, hopes, fears - and sometimes traumatic past experiences.
A body piercing can be many things - a way for the client to reclaim their body after a potential experience of abuse, a way of bursting free from being controlled in the past, or it could simply be the beginning of a new path of self-discovery. The reasons for getting a piercing are probably as varied and unique as each and every client who comes through the door. We as piercers should feel honoured at all times to have been chosen by the client because the very basics of nonverbal power exchange in a piercer-client relation is:
The aforementioned exchange of power between a client and a piercer before and especially during the actual procedure of piercing involves too many fine nuances of interaction to list them all, but trust plays an integral part in all of them.
Trust in the most knowledgeable advice by the piercer
Trust in all information provided by the client being correct and nothing is held back
Trust that the piercer acknowledges the vulnerability of a client during the actual piercing procedure
Trust that the piercer does everything in their power to support the client and the healing process
and so many more
One point we at Ronin Body Arts are putting emphasis on is the awareness of the vulnerability our clients are exposing themselves to when putting their trust in us. We see it as our duty to do our utmost to provide our clients with a safe space at all times - whether it is their first piercing or they have been getting piercings for years.
In addition to past experiences, reasons for getting a piercing and the nonverbal exchanges mentioned above, there is always the emotional component on the very day of the appointment. Piercers need to be able to adjust to the mood of the client in order to be able to provide them with the experience that is best suited for the client during that moment. In other words: we need to be able to "pick up the client where they are".
This can involve dealing with expressions of stress, fear and nervousness, but also strong emotions like joy, pride and gratitude. A piercer needs to be able to tune into the mindset of the client and share that experience with them.
Taking care of our customer’s expectations and emotions is a huge skillset which needs to be honed at all times while also taking into account that we need to protect our own energy. If you have any questions about our procedures, feel free to contact us here or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org