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I’m scared of needles, ever since I was a kid. Once I passed out when I was given an injection, and since then it’s been hopeless. I really want to give acupuncture a go for my problem, but the thought of needles stops me picking up the phone.

This is less common a problem than it used to be, as acupuncture has become more commonplace and accepted, and people have seen how fine needles are. However, a small minority of people do still find the idea of needles scary.


Practitioners are trained to deal with cases like this. For many people it's the sight of needles which can be the problem, although that's not always true – for some people it's what they can't see which really upsets them. Your practitioner will do their best to find out exactly what it is about the needles that you find difficult and work to reduce its effect. This might mean choosing points in areas where you feel 'safer' or it may mean very shallow needle insertion. If it really is impossible to bear the thought of needles a great many practitioners use acupressure techniques, or a practise a technique called moxibustion which uses a warming herb on the skin, or even a form of massage called tui na.


The most important thing to remember is that as the patient you can be in charge of the situation as much as you want. If you ask your practitioner to proceed very slowly or cautiously, then that is what they will do.


Very few people are so scared of needles that they try them and never come back or never try them at all. Most can't believe why they were worried in the first place.

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