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Guest blog by Piacere Nostro: BDSM

The healing power of BDSM

When I hear the word healing, probably BDSM is not one of the first things that springs to my mind, and I bet that the same is true for many of you. It’s more likely that you will think of doctors, hospitals or even meditation and acupuncture if you are interested in alternative medicine. To my surprise, I realised that BDSM has its very own way of being a helping tool on the path towards healing and self reclamation.

How? By contributing to our sense of definition, acceptance and connection.

That’s why I would like to share what is the link between BDSM and medicine, spirituality and psychology. For our sexual identity is a key point in our growth.

“Our sexual identity is a key point in our growth”

BDSM and medicine

Let’s start by what we mean when we talk about our sense of definition.

Think of a needle. Is it a medical tool or a prop for a BDSM scene? It all depends on who is holding it. In the hands of a doctor in a hospital, it might be used to administer a medicine. In the hands of a Dom, it could become a pleasure tool. 

BDSM encourages us to see objects from a different perspective and to use them in a new way. This means that when we will see the object again in its usual context, like in the case of a needle in a hospital, we will be less scared. The same could be said for sensations: our experience of them is a matter of interpretation. Is a pinch painful or pleasurable? BDSM teaches us that physical pain is not something to be avoided at all costs; nonetheless, it is possible to embrace it in an explorative rather than reactive way.

BDSM and spirituality

Many people (including myself) practice meditation and Yoga as a way to improve the connection to their inner selves. 

Even if you are into it, you’ve probably never thought about the link between the repetitive, almost obsessive rhythm of Impact Play (being hit with a flogger or any other object) and that of many shamanic traditions, from Africa to Mongolia. Not to mention the similarity to Tapping, the meditative practice that consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while talking through traumatic memories and a wide range of emotions. All these practices share an incessant rhythm that allows us to enter in a shifted state of consciousness.

Illustrations courtesy of Piacere_Nostro

Moreover, the part of the body that is often hit during Impact Play is just below the spine, where the Root Chakra is located. This chakra is associated with our deepest needs, such as safety and grounding, and the relationship with our parents. Hitting this specific part of the body seems to generate a vibrational healing power that can heal childhood trauma and help us connect to our inner child.

“The Root Chakra is associated with our deepest needs, such as safety and grounding”

BDSM and psychology

Being an inclusive space that welcomes every type of body, the BDSM community can contribute to body acceptance. In fact, this feeling of being accepted makes us feel connected and can be extremely helpful for those who struggle with self-image or that are healing from trauma.

There is also a huge energetic exchange between a top and a bottom. This type of dynamic requires a high level of trust, a heightened state of awareness and presence and the ability to communicate clearly and set boundaries. Practising BDSM can be incredibly empowering for those who struggle with trust, communication and emotional release.

This was only a summary of what would be a long conversation that I’d be happy to have with you. In the meanwhile, if you’re interested in the topic, here there are some some further readings: