Typically, just the thought of MRI audio generates negative connotations due to the loud, bordering on deafening, sounds infamous to the MRI scanner. Clanging, knocking, “monkeys banging on drums” – MRI audio itself can be a source of anxiety and dread for many. But, what if we could put the healing power of sound to work in MRI, to alleviate anxieties, boost mood and promote healing instead?
Did you know that music and sounds have the ability to decrease stress, promote deep relaxation and even promote healing? For thousands of years cultures have put sound and music to work to heal, to motivate, to relax, to inspire, to concentrate – so why not put sound to work for MRI too?
With the Caring MR Suite®, patients are welcomed into the MRI suite with soothing music featuring spa-like, classical and nature soundtracks – shown to help ease anxiety and promote healing. These soundtracks are paired with original Nature Theme videos to further enhance relaxation and healing. The Caring MR Suite audio can also be integrated with compatible patient audio system headphones so the patient can listen to the soundtracks during their scan. However, if the patient prefers other music or audio – or you would like to take advantage of other healing sounds – our My Device and Blu-ray option ensures you always have the perfect soundtracks. Below, find 5 Sound Healing techniques to incorporate into your MRI patient experience.
Currently trending in wellness communities is the Sound Bath, where you are essentially “bathed” in sound featuring instruments including: gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, bells, shakers, drums, flutes and tuning forks. One idea behind the Sound Bath is that different frequencies can reset energy centers in the body, where imbalances in these energy centers are thought to contribute to illness. Others simply believe the sounds can aid relaxation. Regardless of the mechanism, studies have found a significant reduction in anxiety, negative moods, blood pressure, heart rate – and even reported symptoms of pain in healthcare settings. Given this, Sound Bath recordings could also be beneficial for MRI patients. Plus, they can be easily found on popular music streaming apps. With the Caring MR Suite, you can use the My Device feature to welcome patients into the suite with a Sound Bath, and with a compatible headphone system, continue to offer the Sound Bath or another music preference.
Along the lines of the Sound Bath, specific sound frequencies are also thought to help optimize your body’s organs and elicit certain brainwaves and emotional states. Bruce Tainio, developer of Tainio Technology, found that a healthy body resonates at a frequency of 62-72 MHz. It’s also thought that 174 Hz can relieve pain and stress, and that 285 Hz can heal tissues and organs. As with Sound Baths, playlists featuring these specific frequencies can be easily found on popular music streaming apps, making it an easy option to add to the Caring MR Suite or any MRI suite offering music options.
According to a recent study, nature sounds have the ability to alter brain connections and reduce our flight-or-fight response. With the Caring MR Suite, patients are welcomed into the MRI suite with soothing soundtracks – many of which feature nature sounds – via the suite speakers. Patients can continue to listen to the soundtracks with compatible headphone systems – or you can choose nature soundtracks of your own to use with our My Device feature.
A more well-known – but perhaps less thought of – form of sound healing is guided meditations. Just as well-known are the benefits of meditation, particularly with regard to reduced anxiety and blood pressure and increased gray matter in the brain. As with other forms of sound healing, guided meditations can also be easily found on popular music streaming apps and so another option to offer anxious patients.
It’s often thought that soothing music will be the most soothing for the senses. And while the above studies certainly find a soothing effect, recent studies also find that liking the music you are listening to is the greatest factor in reducing stress. With the Caring MR Suite, we often find the most effective calming strategy to be: soft, soothing Caring MR Suite soundtracks to welcome patients into the suite, without overpowering the senses – and then the patient’s preference for music during the scan to add the benefits of control, personalization and music preference.
To further enhance your MRI suite’s healing environment, add nature visuals to the space. According to a recent study, patients exposed to nature can heal more quickly, require less medication and experience better outcomes. With our Caring MR Suite, you can choose from original HD and 4K Nature Theme videos for ceiling, wall and or in-bore viewing, and or original nature images to feature in Illuminated Image Ceilings and or windows. Explore all options for the Caring MR Suite here, and learn more about the magic behind the Caring MR Suite here.
We hope this post has sparked new ideas around how to use MRI audio to create a healing MRI experience. Please contact us with any questions or ways we can help here!
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