The Government’s mass vaccination programme against Covid-19 is continuing at pace.
However, while headlines about the jabs have been dominated by safety concerns, for many it is a fear of needles that is causing anxiety and extreme levels of upset.
The rollout has now moved on to the over-45s age group and those in their 30s are expected to be vaccinated in the coming months.
As it stands, there is no alternative to the needle. All Covid-19 vaccines have to be given via injection.
For many this has proved a turning point in wanting to confront their needle phobia. Hypnotherapist Aaron Surtees said he has seen a staggering 90% surge in calls asking for help to eliminate the problem following the start of the vaccination programme. The majority are young professionals who have had the problem since childhood.
He said: ‘’Before the Government announcement about Covid jabs it was not unusual for a year or a couple of years to pass before I would get a phone call asking for help to tackle needle phobia.
‘’In the last 3 months, since the vaccine rollout started, I have had at least one phone call a week.
‘’It has been an equal mix of males and females and they are in the 30s to 50s age group. A lot of them have had the problem for life but have been forced to confront their fears because of the vaccine.’’
Mr Surtees believes the answer lies in a combination of treatments including cognitive behaviourial therapy (CBT) and clinical hypnotherapy.
‘’The good news is that all phobias can be completely eliminated depending on the person and their openness and willingness to change their mindset around their phobia whether it’s needles or something else.’’
- ‘’Become comfortable with the idea of needles being good and necessary. De-sensitise yourself by watching as many medical programmes as possible. This will help on a subconscious level.’’
- ‘’The steps above start the process of reprogramming your mind and allow you to reap the benefits of hypnotherapy and CBT. The process I like to use involves placing a client in a state of hypnosis and relaxation. Closing the mind’s eye of a client makes them open to hypnotic suggestion. Through positive visualisations: picturing themselves without fear, relaxed and confident around needles combined with positive affirmations helps to start the journey of rewiring the mind.’’