Coping Skills Used While Getting Pierced Transferred To Real Life
By Lauren Gontarek, BSN, RN-BC, PHN
What if there was a way to get sparkly new earrings from your piercing, and learn coping strategies for life skills going forward? Rowan has done this, totally revolutionizing the ear piercing experience for all ages. I vividly remember with my piercings not having any coping skills offered, one piercer even saying in a harsh tone, “remember you were the one who wanted to get this done.” It is something I will never forget.
I love working for Rowan being able to implement verbal first aid skills used with my pediatric medical and mental health background to create a positive piercing experience. The “tools in the toolbox” for alleviating pain and anxiety I teach them during the piercing can transfer to real life which makes me feel so good about what I’m doing!
First, Rowan’s name has an intentional, positive meaning that transcends onto clients for what they will experience. Positive intention is essential for creating a memorable and meaningful piercing on many levels. This shows clients that in life everything you do should be intentional and have a purpose. The Rowan tree stands for protection, wisdom, and guidance. Also called the “Traveler’s Tree”, the vibrant red berries were long thought to be a guide post for adventurers. The name Rowan perfectly encapsulates its’ purpose: being a guiding, empathetic, and empowering resource for tweens and teens.
The Rowan ear piercing experience offers a plethora of options. To help make the piercing more comfortable, they can have numbing cream put on. It’s applied 15-20 minutes before the piercing, and feels cool and tingly. Kids love to hold their favorite stuffed animal and watch a movie while getting pierced. A celebratory dance after is always gratifying as well! This techniques have been a great option for kids to help lessen anxiety, and teaches them that there’s ways to make painful things not so painful. Knowing there’s this option parents may request other options for their child’s care in the real world such as numbing cream for lab pokes.
One of my favorite coping skills utilized is self-talk. Our mind plays tricks on us, and if we can fact check ourselves it will wire our brain to deal with the scary situation better. The worst part is leading up to the piercing, and afterward kids always say “that didn’t hurt” or “that wasn’t so bad” I started having my clients say the phrase “I am brave, I can do it” a few times before the piercing. Many are hesitant. With teenagers I tell them they can use this phrase before tests, athletic performances, their driver’s tests...etc. Younger kids are just learning about confidence and bravery. Once they say the phrase, their face lights up, and you can see the courage beaming from their eyes. Reminding kids about self-talk is imperative for instilling confidence and self-worth as they navigate the world.
Another simple, yet effective tool is deep breathing and guided imagery. Research shows when you breathe out on the most painful part, it will lessen the amount of pain. I will tell some of my teenage clients “this exercise will come in handy if you have kids someday during childbirth, or if you have to have a surgery.” When I say this to the client, the moms are instantly nodding their heads in agreement, and we all have a quick laugh.
Putting positive, happy thoughts in their head while getting pierced is helpful with distraction and relaxation. Most recently a young client said rainbows and unicorns make her happy. As she was thinking about that I told her to breathe in like she’s smelling flowers, then breathe out like she’s blowing her birthday candles out. Using the happy thoughts paired with breathing made the piercing quick, and she was thrilled after! Using multiple modalities for relaxation is essential in life for when things get stressful, another way these skills used while getting pierced will come in handy.
Rowan offers a subscription box with mindfulness content that empowers women which is key in uplifting young clients with confidence. Along with the mindfulness content created be the therapist Cristina Young, a new pair of earrings curated by a jeweler in Brooklyn, stickers, acrylic earring stand, journal, pen, and other goodies is included! Rowan has innovated a holistic approach with professional ear piercing and their products which truly makes it a unique option.