Health Issues With Tattooing (Kari Barba)

By Petri Aspvik

Petri Aspvik:  What type of physical problem have you encountered due to tattooing?

Kari Barba: I have encountered back, neck and hand pain for sure. I think we all get that.

Have you had to see a doctor, chiropractor, masseuse therapist, acupuncturist or anything similar because problems or because you want to avoid them? 

I have been to the chiropractor a lot and most of the time I get in regularly, twice a month. Haven’t been in a about six months now. I do go to acupuncture regularly now, every three weeks. It makes all the difference in the world. Combined with chiropractic work and exercise, I feel better in many ways than in years. Such as my hands and wrists, back and neck…

I have also been given as a gift an ergonomic chair, which is great on my back and usually don’t hurt there. Lowering of the counter top is another great idea.

Have you modified your work station because you have encountered physical problems or wish to avoid them?

I would love to modify my station, any ideas? The only thing I do is to try to have the customer in the best position for me, knowing I will be doing this everyday, it is more important.

Do you follow a workout regime to keep in shape and healthy?

Yes, I workout regularly, usually five to seven days a week. It really does help a lot.

Have you had to change your eating habits in any way because of tattooing?

Eating habits change because we can’t take breaks as we would always like to do, so yes, some.

What about spiritual/psychological health? How do you maintain that?

I love to hike, to go to the woods, the beach, any type of nature is the spiritual cure for me… for sure.

Kari can be found at Outer Limits Tattoo in Long Beach, CA.

Related TAM Blog Articles:

Health Issues With Tattooing (Mike Giant)

Health Issues With Tattooing (Seth Ciferri)

Markus Lenhard: Workplace Ergonomics and Long Term Health Improvement Techniques for Tattoo Artists

Health Issues With Tattooing (Marcus Kuhn)

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6 thoughts on “Health Issues With Tattooing (Kari Barba)

  1. I have always loved Kari’s work. I remember seeing it in my first year tattooing, and being blown away! And she’s still doin’ it!
    We’d love to get a full interview, if anyone talks to Kari regularly….(hint, hint:)

  2. Actually damage done by coils to wrist hands etc IS reversible. My wife is a therapist and we are working with several rotary designers currently.
    The one thing people should be aware of weather running coil or rotary machines is HAVD, which stands for Hand and ARM Vascular Disease. Very, VERY common in our industry and often misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel etc.
    For more info please feel free to contact me at
    or attend one of my seminars.
    Thank you,
    Russ Kinslow
    Drastic Pleasures Tattoo Studio

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