I grew up dancing and the last two years of high school was in color and winter guard. So much of dance is stretching. In color/winter guard we had an exercise at the end of our warm-up routine where we would lay on our back, flex most muscles by stretching our arms and legs away from our body and then relax and simply lay there in a relaxed state.
In biofeedback, I learned how to focus on a set of muscles and relax them. You'd be surprised how much you are tensing yourself up until an electrode taped to that muscle is giving a tone that says "you're too tense" and it won't shut up unless you relax yourself enough to bring it below a certain threshold.
I had an MRA today. It is like an MRI, but looks at the blood vessels in the brain rather than the brain itself. If you've never had the pleasant experience of an MRI or MRA as I have...too many to count actually, you are missing out, my friend. In the background is a whirling machine going round and round. You lay on a moving table (like a moving sidewalk, but better!) that draws you into this huge machine. When on, it makes noises that are so loud your whole body vibrates. I could feel what part of my head or neck was being imaged by how much that part of me was resonating. They don't call it magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or angiogram (MRA) for nothing. Per the online dictionary, resonance means "The quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating" which may not be the definition when technically describing an MRI. But in an experiential definition, it fits quite nicely.
The insanely loud vibration flowing through my body felt like when you hit a very low note on the piano very hard over and over again. And I happened to be the piano key that was being hit. I was trying to imagine I was getting a deep tissue massage, just with a really angry therapist. As the resonance changed, the frequency and way it sounded also changed. At one point, it sounded like a tractor continually being started inside my head. And yes, it is so loud, you wonder why they bothered to give you ear plugs and put headphones with music. Haven't they ever heard of bone conduction!? It is laughable that you might hear even a moment of the calming music.
Unfortunately I have a Migraine today that did not respond to any abortive or rescue medication I threw at it. No, not a headache where you say "it hurts...ouch." I mean a Migraine: complete nervous system dysfunction, empty energy reserves, nausea that feels it might bubble up to vomit at any moment, the weight of a mountain crushing me, oh yeah and headache pain too. I didn't have a choice to postpone this thing as my second neurologist (yes I have two) is looking for a possible TIA or aneurysm given my current symptoms.
I took some valium so that I would at least be calm during the torture otherwise known as MRA, but it didn't kick in until two thirds of the way through. So what do you do when your body is revolting and you're being assaulted by resonance? You tense up and panic a bit. At least I did. And then I remembered those stretches we did in dance and color guard. Though I couldn't really move, I thought of each muscle in my body and paid attention to it. What was that muscle saying to me? Though the assault didn't change, I did and was able to handle it a bit better.
When the MRA stopped and I was waiting for the tech to come out from behind her window and detach the elongated ecru football mask that was keeping me to the table, in my earphones, the "Mission Impossible" theme song was playing. I didn't think that was very funny. We're going to find some answers. I believe it...mostly.