Trypanophobia–the fear of needles–is a health nuisance. It can prevent people from getting the necessary treatment (e.g., vaccinations), or from helping others get treatment (e.g., blood donation). It’s difficult to determine how prevalent trypanophobia is, but it can be a deterrent in the promotion of overall health.
They Don’t Draw Blood or Inject Drugs
Drawing blood or injecting drugs is not part of acupuncture treatment. Instead, the needles are placed in strategic areas in the body (known as acupuncture points) where they are left for about 20 to 30 minutes. The needles are solid, unlike injection needles that have a cavity through which fluid can flow.
They Can Solve Your Fear of Needles
Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor Melissa Carr writes that, while it may sound ironic, acupuncture can actually treat phobias. Studies have shown the positive effects of acupuncture in relieving anxiety, especially when used with procedures like hypnosis.
They Don’t Go as Deep as Injection Needles
Acupuncture needles do not penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, and don’t go anywhere close to arteries and veins. Most acupuncture punctures are superficial, roughly between 0.25 and 1 inch from the surface. An injection needle penetrates deeper to draw blood or inject drug into the system.
They Don’t Hurt
Acupuncture needles are so fine that 40 of them can fit inside an 18-gauge injection needle. This makes them less painful when pierced into the skin. You may feel a tingling sensation, but that only means that the treatment is working.
They are Used by Trained Hands
Acupuncture points are not determined randomly, but are based on Traditional Chinese Medicine doctrine. There are hundreds of these points, grouped at certain parts of the body like the back and abdomen. Denver pain management experts who practice acupuncture have been highly trained on the precise placement of the needles at the appropriate acupuncture points.
If your fear of needles is causing you to stay away from acupuncture, remember that acupuncture needles are far removed from the syringe needles that you may be more familiar with. Providers like Berkeley Community Acupuncture and Massage Therapy always have your health and well-being in mind when administering their treatments.
(Source: Don’t fear acupuncture needles, Vancouver 24 Hrs, October 30, 2014)