Anaesthetists are increasingly turning to hypnosis and other relaxation techniques to help those who have a fear of needles.
Needle phobias affect as many as one in 10 people, causing significant anxiety for patients.
It also causes significant challenges for treating doctors.
To combat the challenge a small but growing number of anaesthetists have started to use hypnosis and relaxation techniques, said Dr James Griffiths, a consultant anaesthetist at Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital.
“We’re finding that guided relaxation can facilitate induction of anaesthesia and it’s important that we use positive language to avoid inadvertently increasing pain or anxiety in our patients,” said Dr Griffiths.