Afraid of trying Acupuncture because of a fear of needles? Fear not! I'm an Acupuncturist and I've dealt with a fear of needles for most of my life. In our western culture, when we think of needles, it brings us back to memories of being immunized as children. There is a sense of being out of control because you aren't the one making the decisions. This "shot" is being forced upon you against your will. That is enough to create a lifelong fear.
I have horrible memories of getting shots when I was a child. At the age of 10 I went to get a TB test, my mom came with me but was in a different room with my younger brother. He was also there to get a shot. So there I was, for the first time alone, the nurse took out a HUGE (remember, I was 10) needle and stuck it slowly in my forearm. . . I watched the whole time. I don't advise that because after she was finished I stood up and then passed out. There was a feeling of complete loss of control. This was the beginning of my being completely terrified of needles. Every subsequent shot, I passed out.
Fast forward to me as a 23 year old, I didn't want to be controlled by this fear any longer. I was interested in Acupuncture and I wasn't going to let my fear stop me. My first Acupuncture experience was great. I made sure not to look, and my practitioner was incredibly understanding of my fear. There are some Acupuncture points, when punctured, where you can't feel much of anything. Then there are other points that are more sensitive, but the discomfort doesn't last long. It was a great experience, and it gave me the courage to, years later, go to Acupuncture school. Now, I puncture myself all the time. . . something that I never would have imagined doing! It's incredibly empowering.
Lets put this needle thing in perspective. Needles used for shots are hypodermic needles, they are hollow in the middle because they are used to put something into your body or take something out. Acupuncture needles are called filiform needles, they are solid stainless steel needles. Since they are solid, they are much smaller gauge than hypodermic needles.
Medical Syringe: 28.5mm Acupuncture Needle: 0.25mm
My final thoughts on the subject are this: If I can overcome my terrifying fear of needles and become an Acupuncturist then you can get through a treatment with me for the betterment of your health. Since I've had this fear, I can guarantee that there will be no judgements. I will do everything I can to make you feel comfortable and in control. Give this Acupuncture thing a try. . . you won't regret it!
-Jennifer Niemeyer L.Ac.