I imagine getting pierced with a needle is not something we particularly enjoy thinking about each day. But, for some it gets even worse. Just the thought of being injected can produce anxious and phobic reactions such as sweaty palms, dizziness and heart palpitations.
Let me first assure you, this post is not political. I am well aware that many people remain sceptical about the current vaccines on offer.
From ‘a little too unbelievably fast’ production times and very vague explanations on the process methods of the vaccine itself – inject old virus vs new ‘marker’/gene/reaction manipulation method – to the lack of data in studies for pregnant women and ‘herd immunity’ arguments… I hear all the questions from anxious clients who are too scared to even ask for fear of being labelled an ‘Anti-vaxxer’.
Unfortunately for anyone afraid of injections and needles, these current times can feel very challenging.
For the most part, we outgrow of a fear of needles. Despite this, needle fear is pretty common in adults and, unsurprisingly, it can lower the probability of vaccination.
So if you’re afraid of needles but you require an injection for medical, dental, aesthetic or cosmetic purposes, there are some suggestions that should help give you some distance from the intrusive negative thoughts.
A Spoonful of Sugar
A Sydney Social Scientist recently suggested that a little sugary snack beforehand can trigger dopamine and opioids in the brain, thus reducing the perception of pain.
Avoid reading or watching news stories about vaccines in the lead-up to your appointment. Vaccines are usually administered from a fairly short, fine needle — not the hefty beasts that are often portrayed in the media
“If people are tensing up, trying to put a needle into a flexing muscle is fraught with difficulty and is more painful,” says Professor Robert Booy. So try some deep breathing exercise beforehand. Slowing the breathing down sends calming messages to the body and so helps to relax the muscles.
Some distraction techniques work very well. Simply looking away from the area of injection and focussing on whatever you can see elsewhere. Perhaps there’s a poster you can read on the wall, perhaps you might attempt to find a number of things you can see that are all a particular colour. Various instant distractions can refocus your mind away from the perceived ‘little scratch’ which lasts ‘just a few seconds’.
Being a mindset technician and imaginer myself, I have created a ‘Vaccine, Injections and Needle Phobia’ audio mp3 that can be downloaded to a mobile phone and played before and perhaps even during your appointment.
The audio allows you to practice taking your mind on a relaxing and enjoyable journey, on demand, so that you can instantly trigger this thought journey at any appropriate time. Find the ‘Vaccine, Injections and Needle Phobia’ here.
I hope these simple suggestions help your neutralise the experience of getting an injection, receiving a vaccine or facing a needle of any kind.