Northampton General Hospital has published a self-help hypnosis programme for people feeling anxious before medical procedures.
A four-part series of meditation sessions featuring the voice of one of the hospital's anaesthetists can now be downloaded for free.
It aims to help patients who might feel scared ahead of operations and encourages listeners to imagine themselves "on a beach, or in a warm bath, or in space".
Dr Paul Slater, who voices and produces the free series, says: "A recent survey in our hospital indicated that severe pre-operative anxiety affects around a quarter of patients prior to surgery and this figure is likely to be higher in certain patient groups.
“Hypnosis has been proven to be effective in the management of anxiety and is extremely safe and generally well received by patients.
“The self-help programme focuses on helping patients relax and suggests how they can create a more positive mindset regarding their hospital procedure and how to remain relaxed while it is carried out.”
NGH say patients who use the programme are more likely to see improvements in their background level of anxiety and be better able to control their anxiety immediately before and during their hospital procedure.