Many people hate enclosed spaces and avoid elevators, walk-in closets and MRI scans. There is something about having to get an MRI that triggers claustrophobia in a large segment of the population. This is a real problem for nurses and technicians who struggle with frantic patients. Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT, is an energy healing tool that can help patients have a positive MRI experience.

In December 2010, “Magnolia” a spunky seventy year old woman in great health scheduled a session to work on a specific fear: she had been migraines and her doctor recommended an MRI to rule out a brain tumor. She was terrified of being inside the machine and having to lie very still.

She said she did not like to be in tight, closed spaces and did not want to do it!

We had been working together for some time with EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, and we had already worked on her fear of illness and of brain cancer. We worked through a childhood episode of accidentally being locked up in a closet for two hours; we also worked on her fear of heights and on a spider phobia. This session was specific to the claustrophobia and anxiety she felt about having an MRI scan.

Interestingly enough, as soon as I asked her to imagine herself inside the MRI machine, she could not do it. We tapped on her fear of having to do the test; she wanted to be ready and relaxed for the scan and was having a hard time “imagining being in that situation.”

I retrieved a big cardboard box from the garage, put a pillow for her head inside it and invited her to get into the box. As soon as she was lying down inside the box she was flooded with emotions and sensations! Magnolia was very agitated and was sure “they” would not let her have a pillow and be comfortable.

We tapped for her anxiety; she described it as “pressure” in her chest. When we bought the intensity down for that, she noticed she felt nausea. We tapped on the nausea and it disappeared. Now she felt tightness in her head. We tapped on that and it disappeared. She could not close her eyes because she was going to suffocate; in a couple of rounds that was gone.

In EFT we call these shifting symptoms “Chasing the Pain.” As we deal with a physical manifestation, in my experience, we are actually addressing and taking care of the emotional issue behind it.Other sensations and feelings that came up for her were: itching, shallow breathing and generalized anxiety. We tapped for each one of them. She needed a pillow under her legs, and believed “they” would not want me to be comfortable. Usually the technicians do want you to be comfortable, it makes them work easier. We worked with that belief until she was confident that she was comfortable and could be so during the actual scan. I suggested she try sleeping, and we worked on her belief that she “could never fall sleep in that box.”

After 40 minutes of working, Magnolia closed her eyes, breathed deep and said, “It's just a box; they're just going to take pictures!” We then worked on the sounds she would be hearing. She tapped as she listened to a recording of MRI sounds. She does not have an iPod or MP3 player that she could take to the scan, but she does have earplugs.

At the end of our session, she was almost asleep inside the box! Of course, that was just a box and it was in my office, but she now felt confident that the scan would go well. Two weeks later Magnolia called to tell me that she had had her scan and she had been very relaxed and had fallen sleep! Oh, and everything was clear!

If you are fearful about having an MRI, we can help. EFT and “tapping” stand for Emotional Freedom Techniques ; download my free booklet “Tap into Your Power with EFT!” from my website to learn more about it.