Dr Bernstein Recommended Finger Pricking Technique

Hi all,

I have been testing quite abit of late, around 10 times a day. I am starting to form callouses.

I recalled reading in Dr Bernstein's Diabetes Solution that he advises a different technique, if memory serves it is called the "Palmer" technique? He suggests you should prick between the joints of the fingers on the backs of your hands instead of on the pads, he also suggests that it should be completely painless and give a decent drop of blood.

Well I just tried it, it stung like hell and didn't bleed at all ha..

Do any of use this technique?

I only tried it once, I had the same result as you had. Ouch!

I've never heard of pricking between fingers (you mean the "web" part in between your fingers or the crease part on the anterior surface of the finger at each joint where your finger bends?)...
And people use the back of their hands (posterior surface) to feel for a fire through a door b/c there are more nerve endings there than the anterior surface (on the palm). So I would think pricking there would definitely be painful.

I have pricked my palms though (towards the thumb edge and towards the pinky edge, with less pain on the pinky edge). And I've used the same technique on my forearm. I don't know if that has an official name though or not. But I know both of those work well as an alternative for giving your fingers a break :)

Sorry I meant between your finger third joint and your finger nail..

I have heard about using forearms etc, but have been told it is not as accurate due to interstitial fluid etc.

Dr Bernstein is usually spot on with his advice, but I can't say this bit is working for me..

I tried. Similar results. WAY more painful.
I use the sides of the tips, but on the anterior (palmar) surface and it tends to hurt less and give me more overall area to use. I am also trying to avod calluses on th tips since I use my fingers for diagnostics and palpation.

I am definitely dealing with calluses as well. All the tips of my fingers have little black dots and hard areas when you touch them. I couldn't imagine using the other side of my hands, and I'll take your word on the pain! I always use one hand for awhile and then switch. I also notice that I automatically don't use the index finger and the pinky as much, so I use those when the others are getting hard to get blood from. I've also been trying to rotate by using the sides when I normally use the pads, and by using spots below the callused areas, lower down towards the first joint. Yes, I've heard the same thing about using other body parts so I'm sticking to fingers just trying to rotate spots and use moisterizer to keep my fingers from hardening so much.

As you note, Dr. B recommends lancing the tops of your fingers, and in particular right below the nail. He doesn't recommend the tops of the fingers all the way down the finger, just in the section right below the nail. I can do this, it does hurt, not as bad as you might think, but some.

What I do is to test the sides of my finger which are quite meaty. I can test all the way down, all three joints on the sides, and both sides.

After reading the discussion here, I just tried that OWWWWW! And no blood. Must admit, when I do my morning checks, my toes are starting to look tempting!!!!

Right vitamin E oil and a pumice stone it is then, perhaps I could use a mains powered hand sander and some 3-1 oil instead of the pumice stone so I feel a bit more manly whilst doing it and my masculinity can stay intact?

Thanks for this BSC, just tried testing right down the sides and seems to be working nicely. Time to give the tips and sides a rest I think, as they really are getting quite hardened,scarred and I have hundreds of little black dots!

Will have to see if I can lower the depth setting to the minimum on the lancing device and warm/knead fingers before testing..

Has anyone tried the pressure technique I have posted about before? I can't remember anyone replying. Here's the drill: have a paper towel nearby and as soon as you get the droplet on the test strip, press very firmly on the poked spot for about twenty seconds. I swear that I have had no pain, no bruising, no "spots" and no calluses since using this technique. What it does is stop the perfusion of leaked blood from damaging the cells around the poked spot. Fewer cells are damaged, it heals quickly and as long as I move around from finger to finger (I use the sides, not the pads or the tips), I can't even tell where I poked before. I have thick calluses on the very tips of my fingers of my left hand from playing classical guitar, but zero calluses from testing.

I checked in my new Dr. B book, and your rememberances were actually pretty close to what he says. He recommended the sites below the fingernail I noted above and the top of the next joint down (I can't do this one). Then he recommends the sides, he calls them the "palmar" sites. I'm glad it worked out, those are my fave.

I tried the forearm test for awhile but started forming track lines up my arm. I didn't want to be confused for a drug addict. It didn't hurt at all, but I find my fingers are so nicely calloused, they tend to not hurt either.

Oh, one more thing: 99% of the time I use a fresh lancet. This really does make a difference. If you re-use your lancet then you're essentially pounding a filthy, flattened bolt into your skin, not sliding in a clean, sharp point. Of course it will do more damage.

This sounds great, will try doing it!

I've never tried this, and sounds like it would hurt!

I prick the sides of my fingers, just near the top. I rotate my fingers when one gets too hard (I can feel the little callouses).

I read braille and my finger-pricking has never interfered with my ability to read, other than in grade 4 when I was first diagnosed and was pricking the pads of my fingers (and with a much larger lancet).

I tried Bernstein's technique once. Hurt like **** and produced almost no blood. I haven't done it since.

I agree… He had no idea what he’s talking about on that one