How hypnosis allowed me to give blood

Being able to give blood is such an amazing gift that I can now do thanks to overcoming my fear of needles with hypnotherapy.

Giving blood is such a quick and easy process and saves lives. Despite this fact, in the past I have been unable to even contemplate doing it. Not because I had an illness or travel regularly that prevented me from doing so but because I had a phobia of needles, also known as Trypanophobia. Just the thought of having an injection or giving blood made me break out in a sweat and feel anxious.

As far back as I can remember, I have been scared of needles. I remember standing in line at secondary school waiting to have an injection and the closer I got to the front of the queue the more wound up I became about the whole experience until eventually I had a panic attack. As I got older I thought this would improve but in fact it just got worse. Instead of acting in an adult way when faced with an injection or blood test, I would be reduced to a child-like gibbering wreck.

Needle phobias are quite common but that wasn’t really a comfort to me. I resigned myself to the fact that this was how it would be for me, never thinking that my experience with needles could change in some way.

Then at the beginning of 2010, I decided to embark on a career change and started training to be a Clinical Hypnotherapist. About three months in to the course, I learnt about the fear response and phobias. It was kind of an enlightenment moment for me as it was at this time I realised why I reacted the way I did and that this could be changed allowing me to act in a more rational, calm, and adult-like way when I’m having an injection or blood test. It was a great relief for me. On one of the training days, I was grouped with two fellow students to practice the very effective fast phobia cure or rewind technique. We worked on each others fears which included a fear of heights, a fear of being sick and my fear of needles and we all went away feeling much calmer about our respective fears.

Six months later I got to test it out! I was due to go in to hospital for an operation on my foot and as with all operations, I was required to go for a pre-op assessment to check my health and during this appointment I had to have a blood sample taken. Instead of resisting, crying, panicking and having to lie down in case I fainted, I just sat there calmly and even watched the nurse draw blood from my arm with no anxiety at all. I was so proud of myself and very impressed with the result. My needle phobia was cured!

Getting rid of this phobia opened up the opportunity for me to give blood, something I could never have done before. So I went online and registered my interest to donate blood.

Upon arriving at the local donation centre, I was greeted by one of the nurses and taken through a quick medical questionnaire, had a quick pin prick test to check if I was anaemic and then hopped on the couch for the donation. I felt that the needle was just a minor inconvenience when compared to saving a life.

The actual blood donation part only lasted 5-10 minutes and then I was escorted to the refreshment area where I was given a cup of coffee and some biscuits. I felt extremely chuffed with myself afterwards, knowing that my blood is going to someone in great need of it. I’m looking forward to my next visit in January!

I completed my Hypnotherapy training at the beginning of 2011 and I now help other people combat their fears, among other things, using Hypnosis.

There are so many people out there with phobias of spiders, heights, and confined spaces, to name a few, and they no longer have to be limited by them any more. Hypnotherapy helped me overcome my phobia and it can do the same for you.

Find out more on how hypnotherapy can help you overcome your fears and phobias