Top 5 ways to relieve
The number 5 way to relieve MRI anxiety we listed was having a doctor prescribe a pharmecuetical drug that might 'take the edge off'. Our number 4 way takes a more holistic approach.
NATURAL HERBAL REMEDIES
So you don't want to put anything in your body that isn't natural but you don't think you can do the time in the MRI machine without something 'extra' beyond simply trying to calm yourself? Then a natural herbal remedy might be your answer. Of course there are caveats here as well so do your research well beyond this article first.
Natural herbal medicines have long been recommended as a way to treat phobias. Not for the last few decades mind you, but for centuries.
In that time, a few herbs have stood out as ones that may help to reduce claustrophobic anxiety. Two in particular are passionflower and kava.
History tells us North American Natives used passionflower effectively as a sedative. Or as the scientist say, Passiflora incarnata. Herbalists have also endorsed this herb as a treatment for a number of disorders, including insomnia. But it's primarily use by them has bee as a treatment for drug addiction and anxiety, including claustrophobia.
Kava on the other hand is a type of pepper native to the islands of the South Pacific and said to hold the same sort of remedy for claustrophobia. Stop. Hold on... Pepper for claustrophobia?
Well kava has often been used as an alternative remedy for menopausal symptoms, insomnia and is believed to also help to alleviate anxiety. However, even natural remedies such as kava come with risks.
Passionflower and kava may be taken in tablets or capsules, or you may prefer to take these herbs as teas or tinctures. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests taking 200 mg of kava two to four times daily to help to reduce symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety.
There are other natural herbs that have been noted as helping claustrophobia. Scutellaria laterifolia (Scullcap) and Valerian have been written up as herbs that help the body or mind release themselves from fear.
Hypericum perforatum, which is more commonly known as St John’s Wort, is said to balance the serotonin level and reduces the anxiety. It's easy to find and just ask a few professional golfers on the PGA Tour how it worked for them.
All in all, if you are looking for a more holistic approach to managing your MRI proceedure anxiety, natural herbs may very well promote a sense of well being for you and sooth your uneasy nerves during the test. And hey, one of the most attractive parts is that these herbs have little or no side effects. But please...
Always, always, always get medical clearance before using any of these herbs in any amount. There are a number of side effects that can happen based on the individual's health and body. Doctors recommend you avoid taking any herbs of you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
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.