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Harmony Bay Wellness

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) Therapy

Antidepressant medications are sometimes not enough to treat Major-Depressive Disorder (MDD), which means Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) may be the right option for you.

TMS Therapy is offered to adults ages 18 and over, TMS is available at our Clementon location as an outpatient treatment.

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy?

Depression is thought to result from a chemical imbalance in the brain. TMS is a non-invasive, non-drug treatment that restores balance in the brain, alleviating the symptoms of depression.

During TMS therapy, short pulses of magnetic energy stimulate nerve cells in the brain. Magnetic energy is specifically targeted at areas of the brain that are responsible for emotional judgment and mood regulation.

Dr. Andrea Papa explains what Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy is

Who is TMS for?

If you have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), tried several anti-depressant medications with poor results, or if you prefer a non-medicated and non-invasive treatment for your depression without the side effects of medication, TMS may be for you.

It’s an alternative treatment option to ongoing medication prescribing and medication management of depression.

Major-Depressive Disorder (MDD) & Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD)

For most people with Major Depression Disorder (MDD), antidepressants are used to manage or improve symptoms. For some patients prescribed antidepressants, symptom relief is not achieved, or side effects become overwhelming.

MDD that is resistant to medication is known as Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). For patients experiencing TRD, there is hope in the medication-free, non-invasive alternative treatment, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, commonly known as TMS.

How does TMS work?

In depressed patients, the electrical activity in certain areas of the brain is shown to be reduced. Using TMS targeted at these areas, we aim to re-awaken these cells, increasing brain activity to normal levels.

TMS uses a focused electromagnet to rapidly pulse a magnetic field to the targeted area. The magnetic pulses induce an electrical current in the brain, stimulating the cells into activity.

Harmony Bay Wellness uses a Magstim TMS machine. Magstim’s technology is proven and offers shorter treatment sessions than other TMS machines.

What are the Benefits of TMS Therapy?

  • FDA-approved

    TMS therapy is safe and has been cleared by the FDA

  • Pain-free

    TMS therapy is completely pain-free

  • No systemic side effects

    Unlike anti-depressant medications, TMS has no systemic side effects

  • Covered by insurance

    All major insurance plans cover TMS

  • No medications

    Live free of anti-depressants and their side effects

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TMS THERAPY?

You will be seated in a comfortable chair, some measurements may be taken and you may be provided with earplugs. You may feel tapping on your head under the treatment coil and hear a clicking sound. You will remain awake and alert throughout treatment.

Many people read or watch television during their TMS treatment. Following your session, you will be able to drive home and you can resume normal activities for the rest of the day.

TMS has very few known side effects. The most common side effects are mild scalp discomfort or headaches during treatment, but treatment should not interfere with your normal activities.

7 Tips for TMS Treatment

  • Do Not Stop Taking Your Medications During Treatment

    A TMS treatment program can act as a supplement to prescription medications that you are already taking. This means that there may be no reason for you to stop taking your medications, as the treatment will not conflict with them.

    By continuing your regular prescription routine, you will have a better idea of how well TMS is working. Not everyone’s treatment plan is the same, so be sure to consult your doctor as to whether you should make any changes to your medications during or after treatment.

  • Limit Alcohol Consumption on Weekends

    Alcohol is a depressant, so if you are going through TMS therapy, it may be counteractive to drink on the weekends.

    A glass of wine or a beer every so often won’t hurt, but excessive drinking should be avoided.

  • Ensure You Have Good Vitamin Levels

    Healthy vitamin levels are essential for brain health and development. The majority of vitamins we receive come from nutritious foods.

    However, if you have food allergies or sensitivities or are just simply not getting enough of a specific nutrient, you can supplement with vitamins. Some vitamins and nutrients that are important for depression include iron, zinc, omega 3’s, vitamin B, and vitamin D.

  • Journal Your Journey

    Keeping a journal during your TMS treatment program will help you track your progress. Record how you feel daily, as well as before and after treatments.

    You can then look back on your treatment and see any changes and improvements.

    If you want to, this is something you can even review with your doctor when planning the next steps of your treatment.

  • Eat Healthy Meals

    Maintaining a healthy, well-rounded diet can provide you with the nutrients you need to keep your brain energy up during TMS therapy.

    Increased brain energy can positively affect your concentration and endurance levels throughout your sessions. It can also help with your vitamin levels as we previously mentioned.

  • Try to Stay Active

    Staying active helps your brain health and keeps your mind active. Exercise produces critical feel-good endorphins which can help with depression.

    With TMS therapy, you can remain active and even go to the gym or complete a workout right after treatment.

  • Have a Support System

    Having a support system can be very beneficial to your mental health. Your support system can consist of anyone you trust like family or friends.

    There are even support groups online that you can join. Having a support system gives you people to talk to when you’re feeling down or when you want to celebrate achievements.

    While they may not know exactly what you are going through, they can be a friendly shoulder to lean on – literally or metaphorically.

TMS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I prepare for my treatment session?

  • Remove all piercings from the shoulders up prior to arriving
  • Limit caffeine intake prior to your daily session
  • You may take Tylenol or Ibuprofen prior to your treatment session if you are prone to headaches or experienced a headache after your last treatment session
  • Arrive a few minutes early to your appointments to check in and complete any required assessments
  • Bring reading materials or a mobile device that can be used during the treatment session

What can I expect during my treatment sessions?

  • The TMS technician will be asking you a series of questions prior to each session
  • The TMS technician will have you sit in the treatment chair and adjust the chair to ensure maximum comfort
  • The TMS technician will ensure the TMS equipment is properly placed to begin treatment and discuss what to expect during treatment
  • The TMS technician will be in the treatment room with you the entire time
  • You may listen to music, an audio book, a guided meditation, or play a game on your mobile device during treatment if you desire to do so
  • Engaging in conversation with TMS technician or mood-lifting activities has proven to be beneficial during TMS therapy

What can I expect after each treatment session?

  • You may drive and resume normal activities after treatment
  • You may experience changes to your sleep patterns, this is common and often a good sign TMS is working. Please report any changes to sleep habits to the TMS technician
  • You may experience changes to your mood throughout treatment. This is common and to be expected especially over the weekends when you are not receiving treatment
  • Mild fatigue is not uncommon after the first few TMS treatments

What are the common side effects of TMS?

  • TMS has very few side effects
  • Normal side effects from TMS include:
    • Headaches
    • Scalp discomfort, tingling, or a burning sensation
    • Lightheadedness
    • Twitching of facial muscles
    • Hearing issue, similar to attending a musical concert or loud event, this is only temporary and can be avoided by wearing ear plugs

What is important to report to my TMS technician or Mental Health Provider?

  • It is important to report any of the following prior to each treatment session:
    • Seizure activity
    • Loss of consciousness
    • New head or physical trauma
    • Prescribed new medication, especially those that can lower your seizure threshold
    • Drug and/or alcohol use
    • New health issue or diagnosis, especially involving your heart or brain

Please contact your TMS provider if you have any questions or concerns by dialing 855.765.6399 and selecting option 3 for the medical line. You will be prompted to leave a detailed message and TMS staff will return your call within 1 business day.

REQUEST A FREE TMS PHONE CONSULTATION: 855.765.6399

Request an Appointment for TMS Therapy

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Harmony Bay Wellness

TMS therapy is just one of the approaches Harmony Bay Wellness offers. We have an extensive array of mental health therapies such as:

These therapies and more are open to all our clients. Working with individuals, our counselors and therapists determine a course of treatment that addresses the issues clients are facing and the goals they desire to achieve.

 

Source: Magstim. (2020, November 10). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.magstim.com/us-en/

Contact Us

TMS therapy is just one more tool we can use to help support individuals in overcoming their mental health issues and maintaining wellbeing. Reach out to us today at 855.765.6399 to learn more about our programs.