Spirituality in the context of body modification, involves physical changes made to the body in an effort to experience or pursue enlightenment. Not all body modifications are done for spiritual purposes. These physical changes made to the body can be minor or perceptually extreme to the masses.
Largely, the element of spirituality in body modification pertains to the reasoning and mindset of the person receiving the modification. The procedure for a spiritual modification may be created by the modifier (the person performing the modification) or the recipient (the person receiving the modification), or both.
In some cases, the procedure is partially or entirely based on existing known practices of a culture or civilization other than ones own. This is known as Cultural Appropriation. Often, the procedures are taken from other cultures without a full understanding of that culture's spiritual system. When this occurs, the participant creates a personal meaning for the appropriated ritual or modification.
The Modifiers and The Modified
Spirituality enters the context of body modification when the modification is done to experience or pursue enlightenment. Body Modification includes piercing, tattooing, cutting, branding, scarification, suspension, and any other temporary or permanent modifications to one's body.
The modification is usually accomplished with the assistance of a trained and/or experienced modification artist.
Modifications for spiritual reasons are also frequently done on oneself, in private. This is especially true of cutting, branding, and other scarification. Play piercing may also be done in private, or with others.