Woman who hangs her body from hooks under the skin says it’s the closest thing to flying

Woman who hangs her body from hooks under the skin says it’s the closest thing to flying

You know, people have some weird ways of burning off steam in their spare time, and some of those pursuits can seem pretty strange, or even dangerous to your average layman. Some people enjoy bungee jumping, others like rock-climbing or boxing. But now a motel-owner who hails from Ontario, Canada, has ended up to a very strange activity indeed. Namely, hanging from her skin via sharp metal hooks. Yes, I'm afraid that you did read that last sentence right, and that it looks every bit as unusual as it sounds.

Kelsey Shaffer already loves tattoos and piercings, and she claims that the tattoo needle gave her such a buzz from endorphins that she needed to pursue bigger and bigger thrills. She discovered suspending (a Native American practice) when she saw a  performance on the TV show Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Her first experience came about after she got into body modification in her teenage years after having a series of ear and facial piercings. Exhilarated, Kelsey then had 10 tattoos inked on her body after turning 16.

She tried hanging from her skin as an experiment with a friend, before hooking up with body modification specialist Russ Foxx, whom she met on social media. Kelsey has had four suspending sessions over the last 18 months, having been hoisted up from her back, as well as through her knees, shins and shoulder blades.

Credit: Press Association

Commenting on her strange hobby, Kelsey stated: "As much as I enjoy the look of tattoos and piercings, I also really enjoy the process – the experience of having the needles stuck under my skin. So, when I discovered hook suspending it seemed like the next level for me, as a way to take full control of my body. And it didn’t disappoint. It produces an awesome sense of euphoria and releases a big hit of endorphins. It’s the closest thing on land you can get to feeling like you’re flying."

"I was 18 and I came home and told my mum and dad what I’d done. They were absolutely shocked and said that I was torturing and mutilating myself. Nowadays, I just keep it to myself, because I know they can’t understand that for me it’s like being a marathon runner – it hurts but you do it to push yourself, and the satisfaction from that is immense."

"It was pretty intense in terms of the overall sensation. It was definitely painful and it took a while getting used to the feeling of it. But we took it really slowly and once I got over the initial shock it was incredibly exciting having gotten to finally achieve this thing. First you have your skin pierced with a large needle in the two places in the back where you are going to hang from and then they put the hooks in. It’s much more intense than having an ink needle or a piercing needle but it doesn’t hurt too much – your skin just becomes very hot around the metal."

An image of Kelsey Shaffer. Credit: Press Association

And what do Kelsey's friends and family make of it? Well at first her parents didn't care for it, and told Kelsey that she was mutilating herself. However, the later came round to support it. Meanwhile, Kelsey's husband Dave fully supports her hobby and appreciates how much enjoyment she gets from it.

I have to say that I find the whole thing pretty uncomfortable, but if Kelsey enjoys it then frankly, who am I to judge?