LIFESTYLE

How to avoid and deal with nerve damage in Shibari.

April 2, 2022

Hand doesn’t move after suspension, what do you do now?  

For the first time in almost 7 years of tying, drop hand happened to my model. I want to share my experience so you can learn and avoid it.

I had a terrifying experience with my darling Dallan and this pushed me to get deeper into learning. For more than a week Dallan couldn’t move her hand (even do simple things such as hold a glass or button her shirt) and I couldn’t touch my ropes. The next day after suspension we went to the doctors, he gave medicine and told us what to do. Basically - rest and have the pills.

What happened? We were doing a suspension with a gote, Dallan was in the air for a couple of minutes, didn’t feel pain or anything, and… got a drop hand. Before suspending I tried this gote on other models and everything went smoothly, so I did not think that anything could go wrong.

Gote or not gote?

As you all know, shibari is a dangerous activity.

One of the ties that can hurt your model without any notice is Gote/TK/box tie/takatekote. ⁠Please do not use it on everyone!!! Always have an option in mind that does not involve tying arms! For example, you can use Kinoko’s diamond karada or butterfly harness (featured on shibari study).

In my experience, 3 out of 5 people don't feel comfortable even partially suspended on a regular gote (with just 4 lines and 2 cinches). ⁠

So, what is drop hand?

Drop hand is a condition when the hand doesn’t move, usually because nerves are damaged. It can happen for a short period of time, like a minute, but sometimes recovery can take up to 8 weeks.

Nerve damage can happen without any pain or visible warnings during the shibari experience. The model may be a little uncomfortable during the session, but think that this is normal and say nothing to you.

When you untie, your model may have a lot of red dots on the place of rope, (not just rope burns/lines), then it means that a capilar has exploded. This is not good, obviously.  Model might experience overall fatigue right away. They might not feel anything at first, but then it will start hurting.

What to do if you have nerve damage.

  1. Put ice on the arm
  2. Gently massage the arm
  3. Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine

Next day:
  1. Let it rest as much as possible
  2. If there is pain - take painkillers
  3. Take vitamin B
  4. If it is not better in 2 days - Go to the doctor for a prescription drug.

Do not apply bandage or any compressions before the limb completely recovers.

MUST KNOW:

  • There is no ultimate tie that fits everyone, every body is different.
  • Ask if a person had previous nerve damages
  • Do safety checks before tying a gote. (You will see them lower)
  • Keep communicating during the whole process!! and if there is even a slight uncomfort, try to change something, check if all your lines have tension and no single rope is cutting into the skin too much. Then if it is still not great for your model, do not suspend them.
  • Always start with lifting your model a bit so they are still on the floor, but feel the tie going up and can move around to check it.

How to do checks before suspension?

1. Make sure you are aware of general safety and get my Free safety guide

2. Watch this free video course from ShibariStudy Here

3. Osada Steve shows a way to search for previous nerve damages and explains what you should do here. You can watch this safety check for free.

4. Checking if everything is ok during your session HAND CHECKS

5. TK from the model’s point of view here

6. For more information on nerves please check out this very helpful article by Bruce Esinem!!

This text is put together using

Anastasia

I feel that it’s time to share my approach to shibari with you!I have been discovering shibari for myself for 6 years, constantly learning and developing my own style.

Read more
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