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zeroinktattoos

Tattooing Athletes

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There are difficulties in tattooing every client, from skin imperfections (stretch marks and scarring) to blemishes (moles, etc.)

Another issue, voluntary pain reflexes (twitching) and involuntary pain reflexes (twitching).

We all have our own various ways to overcome these things both taught and learned on the job.

Recently, I had a client on my table that was a soccer player. She has very strong definition in her legs and wanted a tattoo on her upper thigh. She was very sensitive and reactionary to the point where as I would choose my finger placement to make my stretch when I chose my next line she would flinch. Simply from me touching her leg. Being an athlete, her flinches were no small hurdle to overcome. At one point I was about to push a line about a quarter of an inch in length. I chose my stretch, I had my approach and went in. As soon as I started to lay in the line she flinched. This muscle flinch was so dramatic that when her muscle flexed my needle was no longer touching her skin but just open air. This was symptomatic of the majority of the outline so I had to move extra slowly and be prepared to lift my machine every time I felt her muscles moving.

That being said. Has anyone out there noticed that in terms of a body's reactions that athletic persons present a more difficult canvas? If so, or if you have ever had a similar experience, what did you do to overcome it?

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doesnt have to be an athelete to have those kind of reactions

people are known to do the same thing when just kicking on the juice

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doesnt have to be an athelete to have those kind of reactions

people are known to do the same thing when just kicking on the juice

That much is true. Any tips on overcoming it other than slowing down?

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That much is true. Any tips on overcoming it other than slowing down?

drug them lol

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With anyone that twitches, flinches or whatever. I bear down on them with my body weight. And give a stern verbal warning to stop moving. It works

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Funny to read this. I have Tattooed Professional Cage fighters - all of them having solid Professional Muai thai Backgrounds so their legs have taken a beating.

One sat his ribs fine, Couldn't handle his calf

another sat her stomach and back fine, couldnt handle her calf

another had his arm done fine, Couldnt handle his shin.

And not just some twitching, I mean. Full sweats, tapping out clients. these are some bad mofos too, so It was surprising to me, but I came up with a theory maybe it had something to do with the amount of conditioning they have done to their legs.

But....I never considered it to be an "athlete" thing.

I can't say I have had the same experiences with athletes aside from those MMA fighters, but I definitely have with juice heads.

I dont know if there is a connection or not. but thats my experience anyway

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Funny to read this. I have Tattooed Professional Cage fighters - all of them having solid Professional Muai thai Backgrounds so their legs have taken a beating.

One sat his ribs fine, Couldn't handle his calf

another sat her stomach and back fine, couldnt handle her calf

another had his arm done fine, Couldnt handle his shin.

And not just some twitching, I mean. Full sweats, tapping out clients. these are some bad mofos too, so It was surprising to me, but I came up with a theory maybe it had something to do with the amount of conditioning they have done to their legs.

But....I never considered it to be an "athlete" thing.

I can't say I have had the same experiences with athletes aside from those MMA fighters, but I definitely have with juice heads.

I dont know if there is a connection or not. but thats my experience anyway

Never thought about it like that...I did MMA for about 6 years back in the early 2000's...I used to lift weights and run due to me being in the Navy on top of that..I was a All Conference Linebacker in high school, and did a ton of skating as well back then.

I've taken slams, gotten slammed, trained and pushed my body pretty hard...definitely was an athlete...But my calf tattoo had me fucking hating LIFE as well...hmmmm

I shoulda took Marks advice!laugh.png

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Some areas are more prone to involuntary twitching from my experience, such as the foot, I put enough of my weight on them and have a good pull reflex to avoid this causing me any problems, if its voluntary than I explain the importance of them staying very still for my line work, if they have a slight twitch its usually irrelevant for me once I am on to the color, if I'm coloring up against the lines or throwing in highlights than I state out loud "okay very still for me on this one" I also numb them up after the line work, depending on the situation, spray them with some bactin and I wrap it to let it soak and work best, I sometime's do character judge and am usually pretty good at figuring out before I go into the tattoo who will be able to sit for everything that I want to do, I almost always have to begin simplifying things on a quarter sleeve to finish the piece, If you explain how their voluntary twitching will make the session longer, causing more pain in time most will collect themselves, In the past two years I have only had one person that caused me "too many" problems while sitting and that was for an ass tattoo, he is very lucky that I was able to finish the linework as good as it was, he tapped after the linework of course. Never sugar coat the degree of pain for them and judge wisely on what you think they can handle, 90% of the time if someone taps it is a big bearded guy and I want to just yank off their beard like you don't deserve this! But men and women's pain tolerances are slightly different as men are designed to be able to handle blunt force trauma and women are designed to be able to tolerate long term pain because of child laboring. Break and feed them some cookies or something sugary, this will bring back up their blood sugar and keep them lasting longer, will prevent fainting (the process of your body releasing adrenaline lowers blood sugar) and it helps for them to collect themselves, positive talk will help as well "Your doing great! Thank you for sitting so well for me" this goes a long way for someone that really wants to curl up into a ball fetal position with a juice box and a cookie. :P

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