Trypa-what? Trypanophobia? If you’ve ever tried to google “fear of needles,” you’ve probably come across some very odd and confusing terms— trypanophobia, aichmophobia, belonephobia or maybe enetophobia. Approximately 20 percent of the general population has some degree of fear associated with needles. But the fear of needles is a learned condition, and can be overcome.
If you’ve wanted a piercing, but are concerned about being able to tolerate the pain you expect to feel, there are a number of things you can do to minimize your anxiety level.
Meet with your piercer beforehand—build a rapport. Learn about his or her experience and abilities. Have them inspect your anatomy; discuss jewelry selection and the procedure with them.
Inspect the piercing environment. Be assured of the hygienic conditions and practices.
Before your piercing, do something relaxing. Have a smoothie, a snack or a light meal. This helps stabilize blood sugar levels and provides your body with some fuel reserves to prevent lightheadedness. Avoid eating heavily, though, or you could experience nausea.
Bring a friend or family member with you for moral support or to hold your hand. But you may want to leave your small children at home or in the retail area. They can be distracting for both you and the piercer.
Most people find that the anticipation of a piercing is often worse than the actual procedure. The sensation of getting pierced should begin to fade as soon as your new jewelry is in place. For a few minutes afterward you might experience stinging or warmth, but overall, you may perceive nothing more serious than discomfort.