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Trying to zone out

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So for the life of me, I couldn't find my happy place for this past few sessions and they where a bit overwhelming. I try listening to music but headphones ran out of batteries :( .... The first session was 8hrs and the second one was 3hrs.... (Including breaks and what not)

I was talking to a friend of mine who pretty much said that he just goes some what drunk or drugged up on pain killers and does not have to worry about zoning out...

To me that kills the whole experience, so...

That made me think... Do you do the same? Or do you just try to zone out with what ever makes you happy?

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well 8 hours sounds like a hell of a long time - perhaps too long - longest sessions i have had were 5 hours and generally 4 hours in i feel like i'm 'good'

anyway - i wouldnt recommend being high or anything - and i agree the pain is a part of the experience - you got through it - it hurt - so whats the problem ;)

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well 8 hours sounds like a hell of a long time - perhaps too long - longest sessions i have had were 5 hours and generally 4 hours in i feel like i'm 'good'

anyway - i wouldnt recommend being high or anything - and i agree the pain is a part of the experience - you got through it - it hurt - so whats the problem ;)

marley mission,

Take out time for getting our ideas in sync, drawing, her lunch and a few brakes it was about 5 hours of work time. The second session was purely about 2hrs of work time 1hr waiting and getting ready, etc....

I need to relax a bit more... I am getting too anxious/tense while I am getting work done.

I need to focus :D

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marley mission,

Take out time for getting our ideas in sync, drawing, her lunch and a few brakes it was about 5 hours of work time. The second session was purely about 2hrs of work time 1hr waiting and getting ready, etc....

I need to relax a bit more... I am getting too anxious/tense while I am getting work done.

I need to focus :D

sometimes it can be a location thing too - upper arms were super easy for me - almost relaxing type of feeling - ribs - er-uh - not so much - everything else was in between

but i'm going back on the ribs in a month so i guess it wasn't that bad right ;)

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Ive found the best thing for me to 'zone out' while i'm getting tattooed is Controlling my breathing and bull shitting/ talking with the artist. So far this is working, some spots and sessions can be different. My last session that I had was about 6 hours on my ribs, breathing was a little more difficult because of the expansion of my ribcage while getting tattooed and of course the pain was a little more intense on that area of the body.

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The more you fight the needle, the more it will hurt. Call me a wuss, but I take one Advil before the session and whenever I need it. It helps me relax a bit. Also, I pretend like I'm trying to sleep. I've never fallen asleep, but I was nice and relaxed. On Saturday I was in the shop for 8.5 hours (7.5 hours tattooing time). I took 3 Advil total.

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There's the occasional joke or reference on here to your "happy place" and that you need to go there to forget the pain. I don't know how serious others are about it, but I do actually have a happy place that I visualize in tough times getting tattooed.

Its a beautiful stretch of coastline, sand beach with a rocky point that the surf crashes on in South Africa (traveled a bit after high school).

When I need to distract myself I picture that place; as the surf comes in I breathe in, as the surf goes out i breath out. It keeps my breathing regular, and relaxes me. Sorry if that sounds rediculous or doesn't make sense, but that's how I het through the really bad parts.

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Here is a pretty long discussion of the use of painkillers. http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/general-tattoo-discussion/1534-use-painkillers.html

It varies across the board what people choose to do, but don't try anything new for a session. Most would recommend you work through ways to deal with it rather than drugging/boozing up. Take Advils or Tylenols - whatever suits you. It helps with the inflammation and a little pain.

I watch movies for the first couple hours while I can still maintain some sort of attention span. Often animated movies or action/adventure - stuff that doesn't require a lot of thought. The animation stuff can be really immersive to get your mind off your troubles. After I can't deal with that, I listen to music through headphones or sometimes listen to what he is playing. When it just really gets bad, I have a playlist that is headbanger stuff, or stuff I have queued up for the last couple miles of road racing to get me through the finish line. Often in a session, I end up purposely trying to zone out and separate myself from my body - recently my eye caught a screw in a light fixture and I stared at that screw for about an hour.

@BrookR70 is right - you can't fight it. You have to make your mind not allow your body to flinch. You must get yourself comfortable so that whatever part of you is being tattooed can just hang or lay like dead meat. Then you mentally disconnect your mind from that part of your body. I know, it sounds kind of trippy, but it is a dissociative technique to deal with pain.

Some folks talk about concentrating on the pain itself - focusing on it and "owning" it. That generally doesn't work for me, although sometimes I've been able to ride the pain when I can get a handle on it. Sometimes a phrase comes to my mind and I turn it into a mantra and just repeat it over and over. Once it was "you got this you got this you got this ......."

Yes, like @OutOfIdeas and @Ducky15568 suggested, deep regular breathing is key.

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@OutOfIdeas. That there is meditation. @xcom. This is something you need to find within yourself.

It's serious business being belted under the machine. That's kind of the persona I take. I hate fucking around, chit chatting especially during being tattooed.

I'll find myself psyching in a couple of days beforehand. A couple of large beers with my tattooer prior, then it's on the table quiet, easy breathing and when the pain comes find a way to embrace it. The more it hurts, just smile with it.

Channeling pain. That shit ain't always easy.

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If you keep your feet completely relax, the rest of the body will follow.

Try it!

Funny you mention that, I actually keep my legs tense and found some what comfort on that.... But I am sure that by doing that I am causing my whole body to tense and stress.

Going to try all the suggestions on this thread on my upcoming sessions.

:D

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I focus on breathing. I can't seem to listen to headphones, and trying to watch something on an ipad just doesn't work for me at all. Meditation, focused breathing, and screaming silently in my head get me through the worst of it. I sometimes take an advil before or during (and always afterwards) but only one. Again, it also really depends on what part of my body is getting tattooed.

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Its a beautiful stretch of coastline, sand beach with a rocky point that the surf crashes on in South Africa...as the surf comes in I breathe in, as the surf goes out i breath out. It keeps my breathing regular, and relaxes me.

I'm sorry. Did someone ask a question? I was in @OutOfIdeas happy place ;)

But seriously...meditation will only get you so far if:

1) You have a heavy handed/inexperienced artist

2) You do not have a lifestyle/physiology conducive to happyfying neuroendocrine response under the physical duress of getting tattooed

3) You are one of those few people who inexplicably experiences A LOT of discomfort getting tattooed even though you are NOT a crybaby wussy pants (meaning most of the people crying vociferously about getting tattooed are usually also a crybaby wussy pants in every other area of their lives.)

I have a good friend. He is very together, tough, cool, healthy, laid back and fun but no matter where the tattoo is or who is doing it, it is very painful. He is NOT a crybaby wussy pants.

And in reference to 2...everyone is different. I found tattoos to be more unpleasant after I have been sick and get more unpleasant as my blood sugar drops (longer sessions). Hubbs avoids caffeine before and during.

@xcom You could try exploring new habits the two weeks leading up to and day of a tattoo and see if it helps with your tattoo experience.

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I sort of enjoy reading during a tattoo. It's hard enough to concentrate that just directing your energy towards making sense of text is a good distraction. Obviously this won't help you if your arm's being tattooed. I've never tried listening to an audiobook, but I bet that would work well, too. I generally stare into space and just go with my weird thoughts. It helps if there's a lot of cool stuff to look at on the walls.

One thing I do when I can't sleep is to try to tense my body and relax it down gradually, trying to stay as in-control as possible. This could work as long as you avoid moving the area being tattooed.

Or get tattooed by Chad Koeplinger because he's so funny and personable that you won't really care that he's hurting you.

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The real trick is to just get tattooed a lot. You'll figure out eventually what works for you.

this definitely makes sense - i think that as time has gone on i'm not stressed out at all about getting tattooed

its not that it doesnt hurt or that i have figured out how to handle it

you just get used to it as a part of the process

and i still stick to this - the pain is a part of the process - part of the experience - a valuable part to me

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The real trick is to just get tattooed a lot. You'll figure out eventually what works for you.

The more I get tattooed, the larger my idea of "a lot" becomes, in regards to coverage. As in, it takes more and more coverage for me to consider someone heavily tattooed.

So im gonna keep working on your plan @Graeme cause so far im getting better. Maybe by the time I'm ready for neck/hands, in 30 years or so, I'll have it figured out.

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....Or get tattooed by Chad Koeplinger because he's so funny and personable that you won't really care that he's hurting you.

Yeah, it's crazy what a difference it can make...Scott Sylvia and Paul Dobleman are the guys who do this for me. I have very little recollection of any "gettin' tattooed" sensation with either of them because they keep such good company.

- - - Updated - - -

The real trick is to just get tattooed a lot. You'll figure out eventually what works for you.

YEEEEESSSSSSSS!!! Lotsssaaaa tattoooooos!!!

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Yeah, it's crazy what a difference it can make...Scott Sylvia and Paul Dobleman are the guys who do this for me. I have very little recollection of any "gettin' tattooed" sensation with either of them because they keep such good company.

It also doesn't hurt that Scott is fast as hell. Haha. But yeah, getting tattooed by him was a blast.

I can't do headphones either, like some people have said. Like @CABS said, I just kinda chat and zone out as best I can with that. The shops I get tattooed at most often are pretty open, so I usually have people in and out, flash/art to look at, and other tattoos to see. Plus, the artists tattooing me the most lately are great guys who are easy to talk to. I did four hours the other day without batting an eye. Lots of hilarious conversations with Grez, my buddy, and tons of other people in the shop.

Like @Graeme said, the more you get tattooed, the easier it'll be to find your"happy place."

Or just look at butts on the internet.

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