Here’s how you can com­bat the emo­tional stress, when go­ing through an MRI scan

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - Time Out - Ab­hi­nav Verma ab­hi­

For some of us, go­ing through an MRI (Mag­netic Res­o­nance Imag­ing, a sys­tem that uses ra­dio waves to cre­ate pic­tures of tis­sues, and or­gans inside the body) scan can be a night­mar­ish ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially if you are claus­tro­pho­bic. Be­ing strapped, un­able to move, com­bined with the weird noises and daunt­ing lights — go­ing through an MRI ma­chine can trig­ger full­blown panic at­tacks. Ac­cord­ing to var­i­ous stud­ies, this phe­nom­e­non can be clas­si­fied as MRI pho­bia.

We got in touch with ex­perts Dr Poonam Mul­ley and Dr G. Prem Ku­mar, radiologists, who list out ways you can com­bat the psy­cho­log­i­cal and emo­tional dis­tress when go­ing through the scan.

An open MRI: At times, you can ask if the op­tion of an open MRI is avail­able. There is more breath­ing space in an open MRI. It has a shorter tube and is open from all four sides.

Fa­mil­iarise your­self :Do your re­search and be pre­pared to ask ques­tions. This will equip you to face the sit­u­a­tion with com­po­sure and less anx­i­ety. Mu­sic ther­apy:

Those an­noy­ing loud sounds of the MRI ma­chine tend to in­duce stress. This can cause your blood pres­sure to rise, and make you anx­ious. To avoid this, in­form the tech­ni­cian to put on re­lax­ing mu­sic for you. Deep breath­ing and med­i­ta­tion:

This can help you re­lax dur­ing an MRI. You can also try the vi­su­al­i­sa­tion tech­nique. Close your eyes and think of a happy place for your­self. Aro­mather­apy:

Tech­ni­cians can in­fuse vanilla or laven­der on the pil­lows. The sooth­ing scent eases your nerves while be­ing strapped inside the MRI.

Ask for sup­port: A fam­ily mem­ber or a friend, is al­lowed to be with you dur­ing the MRI. It can be a com­fort­ing pres­ence and takes your mind off the ac­tual process. Mock tri­als: You can also go for mock tri­als be­fore the ac­tual process of get­ting the scan done. This will also ac­cli­ma­tise and help you re­main calm. Med­i­ca­tion: If none of the above help, then ask your doc­tor to give you anti-anx­i­ety drugs. In spe­cial cases, where the pa­tient is ex­tremely claus­tro­pho­bic, se­da­tion is the only op­tion.

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