How to get through an MRI scan (from people who’ve had one)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans can be a little daunting, especially if you’re claustrophobic. Here, real patients who’ve had an MRI scan share their tips and experience.

These quotes come from people who responded to our MRI posts on social media. Join the conversation by sharing this article and your own advice by using the social buttons at the top and bottom of this article.

Feel the music

“On my first scan I asked for something calm and classical, but they said something louder would be better because of the noise of the machine. So, I had Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Greatest Hits – which I do recommend if you can bear it.” – Jean S.

Keep your eyes closed

“My top tip is to keep your eyes closed and think of somewhere you’ve been or enjoyed.” – Eleanor M.

“I’ve found that closing my eyes before the bed slides into the scanner really helps the whole experience. It then feels to me as if I’m still lying in an open room with space all around me.” – Jean S.

“Wearing a sleep mask is helpful and going in feet first when possible.” – Jean A.

Play mind games

“I take a virtual walk around my neighbourhood saying hello to every one of my neighbours.” – Susan B.

“Imagine you’re in a lovely forest glade by a clear sparkling brook or by the seaside. It’s over before you know it.” – Jacqueline B.

Last updated Tuesday 10 July 2018

First published on Monday 4 September 2017