The Power of Positive Thinking, WSJ February 15, 2016

“To minimize nocebo effects connected to medical and surgical procedures, Boston radiologist Elvira Lang has devised an approach that she calls Comfort Talk. Patients are warned of potential harms well in advance of the procedure, not immediately before. Staff soothe the patient, encouraging him or her to relax and focus on positive imagery. Dr. Lang has shown that Comfort Talk reduces claustrophobia in patients undergoing MRI, often eliminating the need for sedation and anesthesia. “It’s kind of crazy,” one radiology technician told Ms. Marchant, “but it really does work.” Read the entire article at


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