Getting tattooed is about so much more than sticking ink into a person's skin. Really, it's a complex process both physically and mentally. In fact, the creepy things that happen to your brain & body when you get a tattoo might surprise the most devoted of tattoo collectors. The body responds to the feelings of pain and anticipation in some fascinating and surprising ways.
Tattooing has tremendously increased in popularity in recent years. At least four out of ten adults aged 18 to 69 in the United States have a tattoo, according to a 2017 survey from Statista. Whether they're paying homage to a loved one or acting as a form of artistic or personal expressions, tattoos are bigger than ever.
Although more and more people are going under the tattoo machine these days, the way the body reacts to tattooing in the moment is still mysterious. To learn more, Romper spoke with Dr. James Giordano, Professor of Neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC. Because his research examines the neurological processes of pain and pleasure, he served as an excellent resource for this piece. Basically, tattooing affects the body and brain, and it can also be a deeply personal outlet for artistic expression. With so many factors going on at once, getting tattooed is anything but simple.