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  • Writer's pictureAlexander James

Is A Needle Phobia Causing Vaccine Hesitancy?

In a recent large-scale study of 15,000 UK adults, 25 per cent of them presented as likely to experience needle or injection phobias, leading the same group to become hesitant about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, with many putting it off or never getting the lifesaving jab.

However, the study showed that if all injection anxiety in the population was removed, around 10 per cent of all vaccine hesitancy would also vanish. Hypnotherapy has been shown to be highly effective in helping those with needle phobias get over their fears, as demonstrated recently in one case reported by Birmingham Live.

The study, conducted by OCEANS-III, (Oxford Coronavirus Explanations, Attitudes, and Narratives Survey), asked participants about their anxieties surrounding needles and blood and their willingness to get the coronavirus jab.

It revealed that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was slightly higher in the younger age groups and certain ethnic minority groups, due to needle phobia and scepticism about the vaccine.

Typically, those who are vaccine-hesitant are concerned about the safety, length of testing and side effects of the vaccine plus are sceptical of the seriousness of the coronavirus. However, the study now indicates the needle phobia is contributing to vaccine hesitancy.

Professor Daniel Freeman, who led the study, explained that for many people, the sight of a needle for people with injection phobia will initiate a physical reaction, such as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, quickly followed by a decrease in both, leading to fainting.

People may certainly think twice about joining a queue for a vaccine if they fear that they might topple to the ground,” said Professor Freeman.

However, there is a range of treatment options available for anyone with a needle phobia. Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis can be very effective in helping remove phobias of all kinds, helping the phobia sufferer disassociate from the overwhelming fear, and could be very helpful too in reducing vaccine hesitancy.

A phobia is a learned behaviour, an initial-fear response we have learnt and anything can be ‘unlearned’. Hypnotherapy for needle phobia works by guiding you into a relaxed, trance-like state, which allows your subconscious mind to be more receptive to suggestion, and thus change learned habits.

Once a deep state of relaxation has been achieved, the hypnotherapist will details how these challenges serve no purpose and will suggest alternative solutions that have been discussed beforehand, and then reinforce these suggestions to effectively recalibrate your mind, thus detaching the emotion from previous memories or all future memories where it is not needed.

By helping to create a useful set of resources, there can be an immediate transformation, and these resources can then be used privately at home with self-hypnosis to reinforce more helpful and positive messages.

The majority of people do realise that a phobia is irrational, but in the grip of fear they are unable to disassociate from the emotion that takes control, but bypassing the conscious mind to access the subconscious will allow a sufferer to address their fears and put them into perspective.

Needle phobia can be highly detrimental to a person’s life and even stop them from getting important health procedures, but it’s important to know there are lots of helpful resources and therapy that can support you in your journey to being phobia-free.

If you’re looking for a hypnotherapist in Wimbledon, talk to us today.

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