MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans are readily utilized by medical professionals to diagnose a variety of problems. The procedure, which is safe and painless, involves laying on a table which slides into the MRI machine. As with any medical procedure, an MRI scan can cause anxiety or stress in a patient. That’s why we created this helpful list of things you can do to relieve your stress during an MRI.
6 Ways to Relieve Stress & Anxiety During an MRI
- Get educated: many people find that one of the best ways to take the fear out of something is to learn as much as they can about it. Educate yourself on exactly how safe the MRI scan is, and how many people are grateful to have had one. Whether it’s reading articles about the procedure or watching videos of MRI scans, doing away with the fear of the unknown can definitely give you some peace of mind.
- See what is available “in-house”: doctors are not oblivious to the fact that many patients have anxiety about MRI scans, and many facilities offer various Open MRI’s which are less confining, as well as other services such as listening to music or even anti-anxiety medications. Be sure to ask your doctor about what is available to help you feel more comfortable.
- Have a friend or loved one present during your scan: one of the best ways to cut down on fear is to have a loved one nearby during the experience. Doing so will no doubt help keep you calm and collected during your MRI scan.
- Try to control your breathing: if you begin to feel stressed after the scan has begun, try regulating your breathing in such a way that will slow your heart rate and keep you calm. One of the most common calming breathing techniques is to take a long, slow inhale through the nose, then hold the breath for three seconds, then blow out through pursed lips while relaxing the muscles of the face. This will force your brain to realize that you are not in any danger.
- Try to imagine yourself somewhere else: if all else fails, simply close your eyes during your scan, and vividly imagine anything you wish to keep yourself comfortable. Perhaps it’s re-playing your favorite movie in your head, or imagining you’re hiking through the redwoods of California. Anything is possible in your imagination, and people often find relief from anxiety through daydreaming and meditation.
- Remember that it is okay to be afraid: many people end up making their fear worse by torturing themselves or being afraid of a medical procedure. Remember that you are not the first person to be afraid of an MRI scan and you will be okay.
At Independent Imaging, we care about your comfort. If you need an MRI or any other diagnostic scan in the Lake Worth, Wellington, Belle Glade, or Royal Palm Beach areas, we are here to help. Call (561) 795-5558 today, or go online to make an appointment today.