Immediately before they underwent femoral angiography, 45 patients were given one of three types of audiotapes: a relaxation response tape recorded for this study, a tape of contemporary instrumental music, or a blank tape. All patients were instructed to listen to their audiotape during the entire angiographic procedure. Each audiotape was played through earphones. Radiologists were not told the group assignment or tape contents. The patients given the audiotape with instructions to elicit the relaxation response (n = 15) experienced significantly less anxiety (P less than .05) and pain (P less than .001) during the procedure, were observed by radiology nurses to exhibit significantly less pain (P less than .001) and anxiety (P less than .001), and requested significantly less fentanyl citrate (P less than .01) and diazepam (P less than .01) than patients given either the music (n = 14) or the blank (n = 16) control audiotapes. Elicitation of the relaxation response is a simple, inexpensive, efficacious, and practical method to reduce pain, anxiety, and medication during femoral angiography and may be useful in other invasive procedures.