By Greg Turner | November 14, 2014
Recently I had an MRI. This is a medical diagnostic procedure that involves being in a very small enclosed space for about 30 minutes with lots of loud sounds. For anyone who has tendencies towards claustrophobia, it can be quite intimidating. There can be feelings of panic, dread, anxiety, and terror. Medical hypnosis can help.
This article describes what I did to remain completely comfortable and panic free during my MRI.
You can maintain complete control over your feelings by first understanding that it is your thoughts that create your emotional reactions to such a situation. While being slid into the small enclosure, it is quite normal to entertain thoughts such as, “Oh my God, this is like being buried alive. There is no room to move. I can’t breath. What if I need to get out? It’s closing in on me. And what are those noises? Is this thing working right. How do I know the technician is still out there and in charge? Can anyone hear me?” etc. etc.
These kinds of thoughts will make you start to feel bad. The negative feelings will in turn lead to more negative thoughts. And the whole thing can quickly spiral out of control into a full fledged panic attack.
The first thing to realize is that you can’t fight the thoughts. If you try to do that, you will end up having a panic attack over losing control of your thoughts.There are 2 things you can do.
First, realize that you can not think and hum a tune at the same time. So humming a tune is a way to stop thinking.
Secondly, you can take yourself by the hand, and turn your attention to something else, something internal, such as an image, or a past pleasant day at the beach, anything other than thinking about being in the MRI machine.
So here is what I did during my MRI. The technician played a CD of very pleasant classical music during the procedure. So, during the MRI, I imagined myself conducting an orchestra. I imagined all the details, the players, the instruments, etc. And as the CD played, I hummed the music in my head, and imagined conducting the music! The external noise from the MRI machine became construction noise outside the concert hall and it just doubled my efforts to keep my mind on the music.
The little trance I was in during the MRI allowed me to keep my mind off any negative panic producing thoughts and the procedure went off without a hitch.
Oftentimes, it is helpful to engage the services of a hypnotherapist before such a medical procedure so you, too, can exercise more control over your own mind.