You've decided that you are going to go in and get that piercing that you've been dreaming about having forever. Or maybe it's a spur of the moment thing and the time is right. Either is fine and dandy. I know a lot of people get anxious and nervous before getting a piercing done, and that is completely understandable. But it is much less needed than you would think.
After I finish doing a piercing, one of the first things I ask is "was it as bad as you imagined it would be"? Almost every single time, the answer is along the lines of "not even close". Another thing that I tell people who are clearly nervous is this- "Think of it this way, if it really is as bad as you're imagining, there would be one person that got this piercing done and they would have told all their friends and family to never consider doing something as crazy as that".
The truth is, body piercings should be very bearable. They should be quick. The piercing part should be the fastest part of the entire experience. I tell my clients to take a nice deep breath in and then to exhale. By the time that one exhale is out, the piercing part is done. Then just transfer the jewelry in and put any ends or beads in their places.
You should be comfortable with your piercer. If the piercer that you are considering is rude or inappropriate or makes you feel uncomfortable, turn around and leave. Your comfort should be their #1 priority. You are the guest. You should be treated like a respected guest. Also, be sure to look at portfolios of their work and read reviews and listen to educated word of mouth. Make sure the studio is clean. Ask about the quality of jewelry they use. Ask questions about how they sterilize their jewelry and any tools/needles. Ask as many questions as you want. There are no stupid questions. If any red flags flash in your brain, reconsider who is about to pierce you.
Before coming in for a piercing, I do recommend that the client gets a good nights rest the night before. I recommend staying hydrated (before and after the piercing). I also recommend eating a small meal within a few hours of coming in. Don't over do it tho, just a healthy portion. Also keep in mind that alcohol thins the blood and if you hit the town the night before, you will more than likely bleed more. (on the note of alcohol, never come into a studio under the influence. you will be turned away)
When the time of the piercing comes, take nice and slow deep breaths. Don't panic. All that breathing fast will do is make you light headed. Panicking isn't going to make anything feel any better. Remember, its a deep breath and then you're done with the part you're fearing.
Come in with a positive attitude. If you are in the hands of a reputable professional, the entire visit should be a positive one. Body piercing is a fun and exciting way to express yourself. Embrace it. :)
A lot of this information will hold true for tattoos as well. I hope you all found this informative and I hope it helps ease the nervous minds.