Needlephobia, the fear of needles aka belanophobia, is a big concern for some people. It includes the extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles. This is quite common, especially between close relatives. It is estimated that 10{7eb8efb7a1f9ac392342a5adf93acc57af7f98e02bb27fb270ee2c31e68eab03} of American adults have a fear of needles, the median age is 5.5 years old. It is likely a larger number but severe cases are never documented due to the tendency of sufferers avoiding medical treatment – a serious condition.

In ancient times, thousands of years ago, a puncture wound often led to infection and subsequent death. Evolutionary psychologists speculate that the innate instinct for survival is the cause of needlephobia, as the needle delivers what might be thought of as a puncture wound.

The anxiety related to a needle/blood test triggers the Vasovagal Reaction Response. The blood pressure and heart rate increases, as does the anxiety level. Prior to or during an injection/blood draw, the blood pressure drops quickly, as does the heart rate, resulting in loss of consciousness or possibly convulsions. The main source of pain from injections is due to the large diameter of the hollow needle used and the pressure of medications being forced into fat and/or muscle tissue. Acupuncture needles are very fine, approximately 10 could fit inside a hypodermic needle. Acupuncture needle insertions bear no resemblance to the feelings associated with injections. The key to minimal discomfort is a skilled practitioner with good technique. Occasionally, one may feel a pinch, brief stinging or heavy sensation. Other normal responses are warmth, tingling, itching or a mild electrical sensation.