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

Monday 4 September 2017
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.

How does MRI work?

MRI scanners look deep inside your body to produce detailed images. This simple animation explains the physics behind this medical marvel.

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6 ways to keep calm during your MRI scan

MRI scans are among the safest medical procedures available yet some patients dread the experience. Here's our top tips for how to stay calm and get your scan.

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