Top 5 ways to relieve
We know what you can put in your body. Let's talk about what you can do in your head. Just some good old tried and true techniques that you can do in your mind to calm things down and make the situation less stressful.
Relaxation and stress relief techniques are frequently used with other other therapeutic approaches. But they often can be enough to relieve the stress of claustrophobia by themsleves. And the best part is they are free and you don't have to mess with the chemestry in your body.
A good relaxation technique can simply be the way in which you control your breathing. When the time comes during your MRI that you start to feel a little stressed, breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to breath in while counting in your head until you reach 10. Then do the same thing while you're breathing out making all the way to ten. If you've accomplished that, then work on counting slower and slower each time, slowing down your breathing as much as you can.
Another well known relaxation technique is through guided mental imager. This one's fun. Imagine a favorite beach or some soothing time in your life. Then spend time really trying to imagine every detail of that place. It helps sometimes to go into the MRI proceedure already knowing a place you will imagine so you don't stress trying to think of one. The more time you spend in your head picturing this soothing place, the more time you won't be thinking about the machine or the room you're actually in.
Did you know you can listen to music during your MRI? Most places, in fact, offer headsets with a variety of music to listen to for you. Call ahead and see if that's available. For some, Johann Pachelbel's tranquil Canon in D may be the ticket to calm the nerves and sooth the mind. For others, a guitar-thrashing, bass beat driving punk album might be what is loud enought to just drown out any other bad thoughts. It's up to you.
With all of these techniques you will want to stay as still as possible to get the best imagry you can with the MRI. You certainly wouldn't want to go through all this only to have blurry pictures and have to do it all over again.
Talk with your radiologist doing the proceedure. He or she should be an expert in dealing with claustrophobic anxiety and they will have ways in which they can certainly help you throughout the process.
TOP 5 techniques used to help relieve or reduce MRI claustrophobia, anxiety and stress.
Find the most 'open' MRI possible.
So your doctor ordered an MRI for you. Feeling claustrophobic already? Maybe more than a little nervous? There are many things you can do before the actual exam and perhaps the most important one is to find a MRI facility and machine that fits your needs best.
You've probably heard of 'open' MRIs and many imaging facilities now offer these new types of machines. The ones that truely are more open can help reduce a lot of a patient's anxiety or stress. However, some advertised 'open' MRIs are not as 'open' as you might think. So how do you know which are 'open' and which are not?
Search our list of the more popular MRI machines.
Panorama 0.6T by Philips
The list will include pictures like the one of this panarama 'open' MRI machine and descriptions for you to reference when talking with an MRI imaging facility or center. Remember, they are only pictures. Only visiting or viewing the actual machine in person will give you the truest understanding of what it is like. Which leads us to the pretty smart idea of doing just that.
It is not at all unheard of to call an imaging facility or center before making an appointment and asking them a few questions. You should not be embarrassed to do so. In fact, it quite common and they should have no problem telling you what type of MRI machine they have or would even use with your specific doctor's order. Most welcome potential patients coming in and checking out the room and the machine. Qualilty facilities and their staff want to do whatever they can to make the exam as comfortable and stress-free as possible for you. So give them a call.
Here is a directory which can help you find and contact many of the MRI facilities nearest to you.