Body Modification -Tech-

Body modification is a term to refer to any procedure that changes the form of the body that is not medically necessary.
Traditional body modifications are tattooing, piercing and ritual scarification.
Modern cosmetic surgery falls under this definition as well.
Although all cybernetics are body modification, all body modifications are not necessary cybernetics.

Information taken from Body Modification Ezine (www.BME.FreeQ.com/)
Interview with Steve Haworth; Body modification implant specialist: www.BME.FreeQ.com/people/htc.html

        Steve Haworth (Phoenix, AZ) is the founder, owner, and driving force behind HTC Body Adornments (602) 278-2149.  The 31 year old has been designing medical equipment since he was 18.  He got into the family business setting up and superviseing manufacturing lines producing medical instruments.  He has developed a subcutaneous elevator now standard for doing cosmetic forehead surgery and has an extensive knowledge in the manufacturing of medical instrumentation. He was producing medical instrumentation out of a shop at home, called  Haworth Med Tech. Roughly '89 or '90 when he started producing body jewelry, and just before that changed the name to Haworth Tech Company because they were producing body jewelry as well.  He found the people in the medical industry “extremely, extremely boring” and body jewelry manufacturing much more fascinating.  He started to make the jewelry before he was actually a piercer.  He has specialized tools and techniques of his own invention for doing his subdermal and transdermal implants as well as new piercing techniques, "laser"-cautery branding, bead-style implants and near-surgical cosmetic alteration art.

        He has a set of subcutaneous elevators, devices that separate the skin from the body at a certain level, that he personally designed and built, that are completely unique unto themselves. They are not anything like what the medical industry uses and are unavailable through medicial suppliers because the medical industry doesn't install anything like what Steve uses. The elevator will specifically cut in the subcutaneous layer, it will not cut through the fascia, it will not cut through the epidermal,
it will not do any excessive cutting or scarring, or any kind of trauma to the fascia or epidermis.

        He does a careful screening of his customers before giving them an implant.  He has an RN who will come in and administer local anasetic if need be.  The procedure has taken from ten minutes to as much as half an hour.   He will not put an implant anywhere near nerve channels, has a device to check for them.  Because they are not going through the skin, the implants are easier to heal than a piercing.  Bead implants are very reversible, in most cases it's easier to remove than to put in.  He's done roughly 150 to 175 bead implants on about 130 or 140 individuals costing roughly $90 for a typical piece, modified, and then  $150 to put it in.  The pieces that he installs that look like body jewelry have been modified for implantation. They are sealed via a welding process to keep biomaterial from getting inside small spaces where it can decay and/or become a host for infection.  Most of the peices are made from 316L, a grade of surgical stainless steel, but he as done peices with other types of surgical stainless steel and Teflon.

        He has done implants of beads wrapping around the ring finger as wedding bands.  One of his customers is a NASA scientist for the space shuttle. There's a rocket scientist walking around with a captive bead ring in his wrist, but he wears long sleeved shirts. This guy designed and oversaw the building of the center rocket.  He as only done one transdermal (half in and half out of the skin)  implant so far: a set of specially designed spikes on the head.It has been in for almost two years now.  He’s had twenty requests for them, but he's very hesitant, and very selective of his customers.  The post itself is sandblasted and then the skin bonds to it, just like it does a fingernail.  The body encapsulates the rest of it.  Since it goes through the skin, it could get very infectioned, that's why he's very picky on who he does that kind of work on.
He designed the base implant out of 316L, the spike itself was out of 316L, but the thread that runs through the middle of it all is out of 303 stainless. 303 stainless is a much softer grade of stainless than 316, so that if the customer ever did hit the spikes hard, it would pull the thread out rather than tear his scalp.  The customer, Joe, has accidently hit the spike and it did exactly what it was supposed to do.
 

 I'll do searching
through various medical libraries. I have one good friend that's a plastic surgeon, I'll run it by him. I have another friend who's a
neurosurgeon if it's anything that might be near nerve channels I'll run it by him.

What's the next step for the extreme body modification enthuisasts?

BME: How about if I said I'd like my little finger turned into a second opposable thumb?

STEVE: That's out of my league. I could spend a lot of time studying that, but that's out of my league. I could design that, I could come up, especially with the coral bone grafts, I could feasibly come up with a way to make it work.
Will I ever take it to that I extent? I don't know, I doubt it, but five years ago there were things that I thought I wouldn't be
doing that I'm doing today. I won't say "no", and I won't say "never"... I guess I'd have to say "maybe".

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Body Modification -Philosophy, Ethics and Morals-

Information taken from Body Modification Ezine (www.BME.FreeQ.com/)
Interview with Steve Haworth; Body modification implant specialist: www.BME.FreeQ.com/people/htc.html





The Association of Professional Peircers (APP) is unaproving.
started producing jewelry for less than half the current prices of an associate company with a virtual monopoly on the market
It's not the APP all together, it's just a few specific people who are in charge of the APP.

Because your work is so public, I'm sure people will try and emulate it.
It's going to be very difficult, because to obtain the proper kind of tooling to do it, I've seen work that's been attempted by other people who were attempting to copy me, and had done the work with incorrect tools, and even though it was successful, it did not look very good.
You're in the difficult position where you know that people are going to try it without your training...
Am I going to do the "Implant with a Pro" or am I going to try to keep it secret? I don't want to be the only one doing
this, I do intend to train other people.

One piece I've seen because they didn't have an elevator and they were attempting to do it with a scalpel alone, they couldn't
place it correctly in the subcutaneous layer. Some of them they actually placed in the fascia, very deep, and others were so shallow that they rejected out, because it was placed in the epidermal. Another one just had extreme, excessive scar tissue because of all the cutting that they did that was scraping the epidermal and the fascia.
 

Like you went from piercings to implants, what's the next step for you?
That's a good question. As far as three dimensional modification goes, in body art, for me I really don't know if there is a
next step. I'm only going to do three dimensional body art.
 I'm not going to do anything that a doctor does -- a doctor heals the
sick, a doctor prescribes medicine. I'm not interested in healing the sick.

How about if I said I'd like my little finger turned into a second opposable thumb?
That's out of my league. I could spend a lot of time studying that, I could design that, I could feasibly come up with a way to make it work.
Will I ever take it to that I extent? I don't know, I doubt it, but five years ago there were things that I thought I wouldn't be doing that I'm doing today. I won't say "no", and I won't say "never"... I guess I'd have to say "maybe".
 

wouldn't call himself a piercer, he would say he's a 3-D body modification artist. He's taken great pains to distance himself from piercing.
 
 

Philostuff



BME: What normally motivates people to get the implants?

STEVE: Extreme individualism. Ten years ago if you had a piercing or a tattoo you stood alone, and today, even though  piercing and tattooing are still a wonderful form of self-expression, you stand in a group. My friend Ralph that has a row of  eleven beads up his forearm that looks like backbone vertebrae coming out of his forearm, or Joe with his spike-Mohawk can  go to any tattoo convention with 6000 people and they stand alone.

STEVE: I've been working a lot lately on the coral. I'm researching it. I've done a lot of studying on it, and I've found out a lot of interesting and very positive things about it, and so now I'm ready to work on obtaining some, and after that I'm going to find
out what machining abilities I'll have with it.

BME: It'll be interesting to see if you can skin them after that and turn them into real horns.

STEVE: From what I know, absolutely. It could cause the bone to heal over, similar to what a fingernail would look like.
What it will do, once the body has assimilated the coral, it grows an entire blood vessel structure inside it, and proceeds to turn
it into bone, and removes the existing coral. After it's completely healed, it will heal itself.

BME: Even though you have detractors in the APP, you do have many allies as well, especially in the medical field.

STEVE: Yes. I have quite a few people who root for me, and I really appreciate their support.
 

BME: We were talking about some of your more extreme modifications having a negative impact on the rest of the
piercing world... What if a politician sees Joe's spikes and because of that shocks takes steps to ban piercing?

STEVE: I always clearly state and go into detail, that what I do has absolutely nothing to do with body piercing, that the tools, the techniques are completely different. I go into the fact that you need a great deal more training, and background in specific areas than is required in body piercing. I usually explain that the biggest misconception about my three dimensional art is the
association with body piercing. That is why I have more or less stopped doing body piercing, so that I won't be known as a
body piercer that does this kind of work. I don't want the public to get the misconception that body piercing and three
dimensional modification / art are the same thing.

BME: But one day you will start training people, and it's a safe assumption that those people will be piercers... There
definitely is a connection between the two.

STEVE: The only reason for the connection is because both are fields of body modification. If you're not into body modification in one way or another, you're not going to be doing three dimensional modification. Yes, it will be piercers that I will be training,
but I could not imagine someone who is not a piercer who would want to go straight into three dimensional modification.

BME: Will you require that your trainees keep the 3-D modification very separate from piercing?

STEVE: Yes, I would. I don't expect them to stop piercing, but I wouldn't want them to perform these kind of procedures in the same environment that they're doing their piercings in. For instance, I don't do any modification out of my studios. I have my
dining room in my home set up in a very aseptic environment.

STEVE: I know. I know it's going to be very difficult, because to obtain the proper kind of tooling to do it, I've seen work that's been attempted by other people who were attempting to copy me, and had done the work with incorrect tools, and even though it was successful, it did not look very good.

One piece I've seen because they didn't have an elevator and they were attempting to do it with a scalpel alone, they couldn't
place it correctly in the subcutaneous layer. Some of them they actually placed in the fascia, very deep, and others were so
shallow that they rejected out, because it was placed in the epidermal. Another one just had extreme, excessive scar tissue
because of all the cutting that they did that was scraping the epidermal and the fascia.

The elevator will specifically cut in the subcutaneous layer, it will not cut through the fascia, it will not cut through the epidermal,
it will not do any excessive cutting or scarring, or any kind of trauma to the fascia or epidermis.

BME: Do you see implants getting as popular as piercings are now?

STEVE: I don't think that will ever happen. To give you an example; surface to surface piercings: very big among piercers, and
very big amongst hardcore enthusiasts, but you're not going to see your local sorority girl who has her navel pierced go down
and get a surface to surface barbell in her forehead either. So amongst the people who are into the extreme of it, I could see it
being very popular, but in all reality, the people who are into the extreme of it, as a whole, make up a very small group.

BME: It already is I guess...

STEVE: A majority of my work, I'd say 90%, is on tattooists or piercers.

STEVE: That's a good question. As far as three dimensional modification goes, in body art, for me I really don't know if there is a next step. I'm only going to do three dimensional body art. I'm not going to do anything that a doctor does -- a doctor heals the sick, a doctor prescribes medicine. I'm not interested in healing the sick.
 
 

BME: Will you still be doing this when you're fifty or sixty?

STEVE: Oh, yeah. I'll do it for the rest of my life. Whether I make it my first priority, I can't say, but I'll never grow out of that.

STEVE: Almost everybody who gets a piece gets it where it can be seen. A lot of people get them in the centre of the chest and you just wear low cut v-shirts and it's in your face. I've done them on the penis which of course isn't very public. I've done a few for people who've said they would probably never show them to anyone.  The ring in my wrist, if the lighting hits it just right, it's really, really noticeable, otherwise, if the lighting's not just right, I could be talking to you for five hours and you would never know it. That's what I like, is being extreme is subtle ways.

STEVE: I am very adamant about the fact that this is not piercing. This is not the next step for piercers to aspire to unless they go through the proper channels.  I don't know if I should compile a list of books for people to go through, or if that is something I should reserve to just the people that I train.

BME: You're in the difficult position where you know that people are going to try it without your training...

STEVE: Am I going to do the "Implant with a Pro" or am I going to try to keep it secret? I don't want to be the only one doing
this, I do intend to train other people.
 

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Body Modification -Legal-

the control of tattoos and piercing to the state legislation.
    There is no federal legislation regarding tattooing or piercing.  The laws regarding tattooing differ as greatly as there are states in the U.S.  While a handful serve as model states for regulations, most are completely unregulated, with the exception of some laws on the minimum allowable age. To complicate things however, many states leave these regulations up to the cities, counties and municipalities. In addition, changes or amendments to existing laws crop up regularly.
The 11 states in the forefront of regulation are: Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia.  The 34 states that are not regulated are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  The four states that ban tattooing altogether are: Massachusetts, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Vermont.  (If you only counted 49 states, you're right--the oddball is the state of Florida, which has some unique laws.)
Some sample regulation of Hawaii, typical of most states that have laws regarding tattoos:
o Artists with communicable diseases may not tattoo
o Immersion in a germicidal solution as an alternative to autoclaving allowed
o Use of defective, dull, or rusty equipment is banned
o Disposable single-use ink containers must be used, and with any unused ink must be discarded after every customer
o All dyes must be approved
o Facial tattoos may only be done by licensed physicians
o Injection of chemicals into the skin by tattoo artists to remove tattoos is illegal
o Customers must be sober
o Signed consent forms required
o Artists must keep records on every customer for at least 2 years
o Oral care instructions required
o Acetate stencils must be sanitized

Tattoo law.
BrYan Westbrook <bryan.westbrook@panda.org> researched US laws by contacting all 50 states.


Interview with Steve Hayworth; Body modification implant specialist: www.BME.FreeQ.com/people/htc.html

BME: What risks are you running as far as "practicing medicine without a license", and that whole class of things?

STEVE: There's two ways to look at that. (a) If a doctor were to do what I'm doing, by AMA standards, they would lose their
license. (b) What I do is art. I am an artist, and as I said on national TV, "flesh is my medium". That bill that was passed, "art
because I say it's art", back in the thirties... As an artist, and a self-proclaimed artist in what I do in my area of art, I am
guaranteed my art by the first amendment. Everyone that I perform art on does it very willingly and it's their choice.

        The line of illegality is hazy for Steve’s work.  It seems like the only thing that's limiting him is his personal limits as long as he doesn’t cross too far into what doctors are doing.   i.e. anything that goes into the bone itself or the fascia; a band of connective tissue separating muscles and organs in the body.
 
 

History of Tattoo
Google's cache of www.grin.net/~holden94/tattoo/history.htm as retrieved on Sat, 12 Feb 2000 12:44:49 GMT

More history of Tattoo
http://www.mariner.org/exhibits/tattoo/exhibit01.htm






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