This morning I went for a blood test. I don’t love the idea of a needle being stuck in me but I don’t have a phobia. I can still manage a smile whilst it is being done!
The medical profession don’t seem to get very engaged in dealing with needle phobia. Perhaps one of the main reasons is that those with such a phobia tend to avoid medics!
So a bit of self help is great on this one and mindfulness seems perfect. When we learn to relax our body we can apply that skill in any situation. When we go for a medical procedure we normally end up sitting in a waiting room. This is the time to get calm.
Practising a relaxation technique on a regular basis is a great start. The more often you do it the more quickly your body will respond when you try it in a more challenging situation.
A body scan is a great way to get every part of your body relaxed. Try this…
Sit upright on a chair. Closing your eyes helps if you are in a situation where you can.
Take a few deep breaths.
Focus on each part of the body in turn noticing your body relax with each out breath.
If you come across part of the body that is tense allow your attention to focus on it for as long as it will stay there, as soon as your mind wanders focus on your breath and your body again.
Move through from the very top of your head, through your brow, into your nose, cheekbones, jaw, neck,shoulders, down through each arm into the hands and fingers, through your torso, into the hips and pelvic region and then down through your legs into your feet and then toes.
Then imagine that your whole body is breathing and enjoy the feeling of the whole body relaxing with each out breath.
This exercise can be done at any speed. If you are at home and you have 20 minutes you can do it really slowly. If you are in the doctors chair having an injection you can do it in seconds. What every the situation this will fit.
This exercise really helps because when you are relaxed you don’t feel pain so intensely. Breathing deeply and steadily will also really help in terms of reducing that sensation of panic which can result in your body tensing up.
So your fear of needles may not be cured but the experience of having an injection can be much less of a worry if you have the tools to cope.
Mindfulness can be a great help for lots of phobias. By learning to relax our body and mind we can do things we never thought possible. Book a Revitalise Session if there is something you want to deal with – avoid stress and make it a calm, painfree experience.