What Is Tattoo Therapy? It's When Ink Helps You Feel Better

Last updated by Katie M.

I have just one tattoo, and it was real therapy for me. After the death of someone close to me, I decided to get the two lines of a poem she loved inked on me. I found out when I got my tattoo that it helped me to move on. So could getting a tattoo be a form of therapy like any other? How can an inking help us feel better psychologically and physically?

What Is Tattoo Therapy? It's When Ink Helps You Feel Better

Giving meaning to inkings with tattoo therapy

Getting a tattoo isn’t a trivial act. When you decide to take the plunge and get a tattoo, you know that you’ll have it on your skin for the rest of your life. Most people choose to give their tattoo a strong meaning, as they’ll have it for their whole life. Of course, getting a tattoo just for the beauty of the design, without any meaning, in particular, is just as acceptable too.

💭 However, many give a strong meaning to their designs on their skin because it’s a representation of their identity, their life, or their past.

Using tattoos as therapy to soothe psychological wounds

It’s thanks to the meaning you put in your tattoo that you can soothe emotional shocks or psychological wounds. Personally, getting a tattoo of something related to my mother’s death helped me through the stages of grief. I felt that I had marked this event to realize and accept her passing. That’s where getting a tattoo can be important in the healing process.

➜ It helps to accept the mental pain by symbolizing the trials of life through art inked onto your skin.

Reclaiming your body with a tattoo

Psychological wounds aren’t the only wounds you can heal with a tattoo. Indeed, you can cover up scars on your skin with a tattoo (this has to be checked by a tattoo artist according to the state of your skin). An association, helps women who have suffered from breast cancer with therapeutic tattoos:

Breast reconstruction

A tattoo instead of breast reconstruction

🌿 Tattoos help to reclaim your body after an accident or an illness. And even if your body hasn’t gone through any trauma, it’s a way of making peace with it.

Gaining self-confidence through tattoos

Beyond healing a psychological wound, tattoos are a way to gain self-confidence and assert yourselfSome get a minimalist tattoo on a part of their body that they don’t like, while others get a huge tattoo that makes them feel strong.

💪 Through tattoos, we reclaim our bodies and are more able to overcome our complexes. We learn to love it thanks to the drawing on our skin. This is how tattoos have the power to help us and progress whatever wounds we have.

Choosing the right tattoo artist

However, be careful. You mustn’t get a tattoo from just anyone. There are tattoo artists who couldn’t care less about your physical or psychological wounds, and this can lead to a very bad experience. You must choose people who are specialized in tattoo therapy.

The testimonial of Galliane, a tattoo artist

Galliane Murmures is a tattoo artist who performs tattoo therapy. As a nature lover, she’s made flora and fauna her favorite elements. She decided to unite her passion for tattoos and drawing with her psychological knowledge to offer a drawing for the body and a therapy for the mind.


“For a long time, I had a complex about my body, but I learned to love it, especially by making it a canvas upon which various artists have left their work. It narrates both my life and my passions, as well as my feelings and emotions. It’s by inking my body and through the testimonials of those around me that I wanted to carry out my therapeutic tattoo project.

Many people explained their approach to tattooing to me: women who have undergone a mastectomy and who didn’t want to have breast reconstruction, but who wanted to cover up their scar with a tattoo; victims of traumas or particular experiences who wanted to ink their body never to forget or, on the contrary, to be able to get over this stage; some people who have experienced grief, others come with scars or burns that are unattractive to them…

So many stages to go through, so many stories and lives and needs, but all with one final goal: to help others to heal, move on, feel better. My approach is based on the psychological workaround tattoos as therapy by talking, analyzing, and drawing your own project through my fingers and experience.”


A real form of therapy?

Tattoo therapy is therefore a way of feeling better, but beware! It doesn’t replace long-term therapy. A tattoo may help if you don’t feel ready to see a psychologist. It may also be appropriate if you see that the tattoo has soothed you, but it’s important not to let your suffering stagnate or grow inside you. Tattoo therapy helps, but you mustn’t forget to take care of your mental health if you feel the need.

What are the psychological benefits of tattoos?

Tattoos can have a number of psychological benefits for some people. Here are some of the benefits commonly associated with tattoos on a psychological level:

  • Self-expression: Tattoos offer a form of artistic and personal expression. They enable individuals to highlight their identity, values, beliefs, or experiences in a visual way. They can be used as a means of non-verbal communication to express important aspects of oneself.
  • Boosting self-esteem: For some people, tattoos can boost self-esteem and self-confidence. By choosing a tattoo that has personal meaning or represents something important to them, individuals can feel more in tune with themselves and develop a sense of pride.
  • Re-appropriation of the body: Tattoos can be seen as a form of appropriation of one's own body. They enable individuals to take control of their physical appearance and transform their skin into a personal canvas. This can be particularly significant for people who have experienced trauma or negative body-related experiences.
  • Healing process: For some individuals, tattoos can represent a means of emotional healing. By choosing symbols or images that represent their healing journey or commemorate difficult events, tattoos can serve as a reminder of resilience and overcoming past hardships.
  • Social connection: Tattoos can foster a sense of belonging to a group or community. Some tattoos are associated with specific cultural identities, artistic movements, or subcultures. Having a tattoo similar to that of others can create a sense of connection and camaraderie.

Editor’s note: A first step

Getting a tattoo of a strong symbol or a significant event in your life is an excellent decision that often helps you to move on. However, depending on the trauma, your experience, or your current situation, a tattoo won’t be enough to solve everything. The best solution is therefore to begin therapy with a professional

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

#BornToBeMe

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Article presented by Katie M.

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"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

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