The phrase “mind over matter” actually works in practice. When a problem becomes an obsession, resolution can be found in logically examining the facts and allowing the brain to counter an unpleasant physical reaction. Our brain is a powerful problem-solving tool.

Every night since the government began distributing the Pfizer COVID vaccine, the six o’clock news includes a mandatory vaccine segment. My poison of choice is TV3 where images of needles going into arms are repeated over and over. The same images: a tattooed arm, a sporty arm and a feminine arm in a blue spotted dress. TV3 has all bases covered and each of those arms is imprinted on my eyeballs with the image of the needle going in.

Initially I would look away because I felt squirmy exclaiming “Not again!” and “Why?” to ease my frustration. I experienced a physical reaction from childhood recollections of needles that were large, metal and very painful.

I used to have a nauseous physical reaction at my annual eye check-up too, remembering eye drops administered – on only one occasion – as a child. The drops dilated my pupils for closer inspection, but also put my spatial awareness temporarily out of whack, and after the consultation I felt physically sick when moving around. That same sick feeling recurred years later when a new optometrist used eye drops – not the same drops I had received as a child – but for several years I asked him each time to confirm that fact so I could quell my rising nausea. Now I simply trust that he is not using the unpleasant eye drops.

Possibly I am overly sensitive, but recollection of a previous physical reaction can occur with visual imagery.

“Neuroscientists have known for many years that humans have an extraordinary ability to encode pictures. In one study, first carried out around 50 years ago and repeated since, people are shown 10,000 photographs and, a few days later, another 1,000 – half from the original batch and half new. Within seconds, respondents point accurately to the ones they’ve seen before.”

The Guardian

During last Thursday’s news TV3 showed six injection clips, which is excessive. Why repeat the same clips we’ve already seen numerous times? Is this a case of lazy editing or is it the coercive technique of repeat visual imagery used by advertisers to shape consumer impressions?

“The explanatory potential of imagery is both potent and provocative, especially when one takes into account that the forms of mental impressions include all five senses: hearing, touch, taste, smell and sight. In other words, it is possible for a person to experience a sensory stimulus without ever being present. Since this is true, advertising strategists should be especially interested in the operation and consequences of imagery as a means of influencing consumers (Rossiter 1982).”


Today’s visual imagery of injections is unpleasant, but any physical reaction to it is easily countered the same way as my annual optometrist visits – my brain provides the factual objection to alleviate the distasteful physical response.

In other words: my brain tells my body to fall into line with the facts and my body complies. With mindful application, facts win over feeling.

The fact is, injection needles are no longer painful because needles today are tiny and in skilled hands virtually painless. My brain knows this is a fact from my experience. The liquid in the injection may sting or cause localised pain later, but the needle itself is not to be feared.

The next question is for you: why are the media bombarding us with visual imaging of vaccinations? The correct answer can be found by isolating the facts: trust your brain for the correct answer.

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Too Many Needles in the News

Suze is an avid reader and writer after a career in accounting starting in the farming industry. 10 years working in the NZ mining industry made her passionate about accessing our resource potential whilst...