5 Tips for Staying Calm During an MRI

5 Tips for Staying Calm During an MRI

MRIs are one of the safest and most commonly prescribed medical imaging procedures but for first-time patients or those with issues of anxiety or claustrophobia, they are less than comfortable. Whether it’s your first or 100th scan, here are five tips that are sure to help you stay calm and relax during your next MRI. 

1. Be informed

If this is going to be your first MRI, there are a few things you should expect. Some people experience MRI claustrophobia but there are many who don’t. MRI’s take an average of 30-4 minutes to complete. Depending on the part of your body being scanned, it can last anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour. Ask your doctor or technician about your specific exam and any other questions you may have. 

2. Talk to your technician

There’s likely no one who knows more about MRIs than your technician. Asking them to answer frequently asked MRI questions before and after the scan is a great way to ease your mind and build some trust. Some centers will even provide patients with headphones to talk and listen. It’s common to let the conversation move past the scan to keep you calm. If you’d rather not talk, ask the technician to play your favorite music through the headphones for you..

3. Pick your music

If you’re not up for chatting, no problem. Most MRI’s have the ability to play music through the headphones you wear in the scanner. In most cases, you can bring your own CD or music device to play the music you like. It’s important to pick something that you find soothing and helps you to relax. Podcasts also work great as distractions. 

4. Bring an eye mask

How often do you get the chance to lie down, close your eyes, and take some time out? If you’re particularly anxious about confined spaces, put a sleeping mask on before the bed slides into the bore. That way you won’t see the confined space and you won’t be tempted to look around like you might be if you simply closed your eyes. Blocking out sight will also help you focus on whatever music you’ve brought as a distraction.  

5. Try meditating

Here is a step-by-step guide to a relaxing MRI meditation: Close your eyes. Make sure there is no tension in the jaw area and be aware of your tongue sitting on the floor of the mouth. Imagine a light that radiates warmth, coming into your feet. Make it travel all the way up to your body, down your arms into each finger, and then back up into the neck, around the face, and then sitting on the top of the head, until you wish it to leave the body. 

We hope these tips will make your next MRI go as smoothly as possible. Book your MRI here.

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