This case involves a 24 year old female from the United States who had a profound fear of needles, yet wanted to donate her eggs for financial profit. As the procedure involves several days of blood work leading up to the egg harvest, she was starting to experience the early signs of fainting and developing panic attacks.
On her first visit to see me she arrived late afternoon after work and she was wearing a sleeveless top. During the intake of the first session that I call a discovery session, she explained her desire to donate her eggs as the financial return was significant. She wanted to use this money to place a down payment on a house.
As the conversation got around to the blood collection I observed her arms starting to turn pale white. What was happening was her subconscious mind was so afraid of the needle, it had actually stopped blood flow to her arms. The raw logic was if there is no blood, then there is no need to get jabbed with a needle. She said as she was talking about it she said her arms felt cold and clammy. To test her response I suggested that if they can’t find blood in your arms, they would look in a place that was a whole lot less pleasant. As a result of the conversational suggestion, in a matter of 30 seconds her arms were bright red and full of blood.
This indicated the her fear of needles was so great, she was actually having a physical response and not just a psychological response. That would account for the fainting and developing panic attacks.
In general this was not a difficult case to deal with, however her physical response was so obvious and profound, I felt it to be a good blog entry to show just how powerful the human mind is and how it can effect your body in both positive and negative ways.
My next task was to identify the cause of her fear. My approach is if you deal with the cause, the effect will cease. The cause of her fear was rooted in a combination of events. During the discovery she spoke about being uncomfortable with needles all her life. That fear itself caused a reduced blood flow to her arms. So when she went to give blood years earlier for another reason, the person who was to collect the sample could not find a vein that had blood in it. This caused them to probe about looking for another vein. Eventually the person collecting the blood gave up on one arm and switched to the other. Similar results were happening there, so an already undesired procedure was now becoming a painful ordeal. The next thing that happened was another more skilled person was asked to try to find a vein. As a result this ordeal that should have lasted just a few minutes carried on for the better part of a half hour. All the while she was getting poked and jabbed, and by this time it was becoming extremely painful. The pain lasted several days after the blood was collected along with visible bruising thus rooting her fear in needles.
So the approach to ending this fear was based in logic that she understood. The hypnotic suggestion was given to let her arms fill with blood so it could be easy to find. The alternative she already experienced in the past and she did not care to go through that ordeal again. This hypnotic suggestion was accepted and the next time she gave blood that just happened to be the next day, it went easier and faster than it ever did before because the blood was there, and was easy to find and with no need to probe about.
She came for 2 sessions total and the second session the suggestions were reinforced and also that she would hardly notice any discomfort when she gave blood.