By Alyce Collins
MEET THE five-foot-one SWORD SWALLOWING heavyweight who can handle a TWENTY-THREE INCH sword and even THREE swords at once but admits to previously TEARING HER THROAT which landed her in the HOSPITAL ICU for open throat surgery.
Professional sword swallower and performer Gigi DeLuxe (38) from New Orleans, USA, started sword swallowing in 2014 after seeing the skill being done and wanting to challenge herself.
In the first year of trying it, Gigi landed herself in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in hospital after ripping her oesophagus in three places, requiring stitches in her throat. Once she had healed, Gigi tried to sword swallow again with caution.
Gigi admits it was very difficult when she first started training, and it’s taken her years to reach the level of skill she has now. Gigi tries to do her sword swallowing on a daily basis, even trying up to three at once on some days, with the longest sword she swallows being 23 inches long.
In addition to swallowing up to three swords at once, Gigi has mastered the skill known as ‘The Human Blockhead’ which entails pulling a narrow sword out of her nostrils.
At first, sword swallowing was frightening for Gigi but now she believes that it has helped her learn a great deal about herself and improved her approach in life because she no longer sees challenging tasks as impossible.
“I first started sword swallowing about five years ago,” said Gigi.
“I love that I am performing a 4000-year-old art form and preserving the art for future generations to enjoy.
“In the beginning it was extremely difficult to do, and it took me several years to get to where I am now. At first it I was fearful of doing it, but I had it all backwards. My thinking was all wrong because I was only thinking and worrying about what could go wrong, instead of focusing on how to do it properly.
“The first year I started sword swallowing I ended up in the ICU because I had ripped my oesophagus in three places, and they had to open my throat to stitch it all back together.
“I went back to training once I had healed fully. I have the scar as a reminder of how close I was to dying that day though.
“Sword swallowing is basically learning to overcome fear and retraining the body to not do what it’s naturally supposed to do. There is the added bonus of having a good understanding of the anatomy alongside that too.
“The longest sword I can swallow is 23-inches-long. I’m only five-foot-one and I’m also short waisted, so I have to keep that in mind when I’m choosing my swords.
“I try to do it daily, even if I only do it with just the one sword. I try to do the doubles, that’s using two swords at once, at least a few times a week.
“About a week after I started swallowing two swords efficiently, I then learned to swallow three swords at once. I don’t use the special stacking swords which are super thin and flexible swords, I use regular and thicker solid steel swords. So, for now, three is my limit.”
Gigi receives many amazed reactions to her videos and pictures on Instagram showing her talent, as she admits that some people don’t even believe it’s true and they assume it’s a trick.
“People are always amazed and shocked when they see me sword swallowing. Most of the comments and reactions are positive overall. People are either quite fascinated by it or they think it’s fake or a trick,” said Gigi.
“When I do ‘The Human Blockhead’, the small sword I use was a lovely gift I received which is actually a vintage letter opener.
“Sword swallowing has taught me so much about myself and has changed how I approach everything in life. Once you swallow swords, everything else in life is a piece of cake.
“You can accomplish the impossible and anything you set your heart and mind to, you can do. Swallowing swords, overcoming addiction, whatever changes you want in your life are within your grasp. It all starts in the mind.”
To see more, visit https://www.instagram.com/gigideluxe/