Avoiding Injuries (in Shibari)

Shibari News

Avoiding injuries in shibari is crucial to the discipline. People think about shibari or kinbaku and its meaning, “tight binding,” and assume it is something dangerous—and it can be. But the only way it turn into such occurs when you do not have the knowledge and precautions that the scene requires.  Overall, although it has its risks, rope bondage is, fundamentally, a safe form of expression.

Avoiding Injuries: the Necessary Steps

In rope bondage, it is very important to take the necessary steps to make sure there will not be any accidents during the scene. The most common injury in this discipline is nerve damage.

Firstly, do not practice shibari without any previous knowledge or experience. This means that, before putting anything into play, you should at least learn the basics. For example, you need to read, watch a scene, attend a dojo, or take a Shibari online course. The combination of these will enhance your shibari skills. Secondly, and most importantly, you need to know about basic human anatomy to practice shibari in a safe and healthy way.

Nerve Damage and Other Injuries

The signs of nerve damage include pain, numbness, sensitivity, tingling or prickling, burning, and, in some cases, partial to complete paralysis in the affected area. It can last a few hours, days, weeks—or, in the worst possible scenario, become permanent. One of the most common nerves you can injure during rope bondage is the radial one. It is located on the upper arm at the bottom of the deltoid. The radial nerve controls the movement or sensation of the back of the arm, including triceps, forearm, and hand. Other areas you must avoid during a scene are knees, elbows, armpits, groin, and neck. These are where all the vital nerves, arteries, and veins locate in close proximity to the surface of the skin.

Something that is common is to have a numbness sensation (what people usually refer to as a body part “falling asleep”). Ideally, this could be due to decreased circulation. However, it can also cause nerve damage, even if it takes time. If you experience any sort of discomfort, change your current position and get that part of your body out of the restraints. Otherwise, at least reposition it until the feeling gets back to normal again.

Avoiding Injuries in Shibari: a Conclusion

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Listen to your body and always take the necessary precautions to avoid injuries. Shibari is about pleasure, so it is up to you to stop any potential danger.

Image: Ana Blumenkron

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