Is TMS Right For Me? 8 FAQs to Help Decide

For many years, the initial response to mental health treatment has been medications and talk therapy. Although these conventional treatments can be effective, they don’t work for everyone. There are effective, alternative depression treatments out there. If you’re experiencing lingering symptoms or unwanted side effects, or if you want to supplement your current treatments, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), could be your next step. However, you could be left wondering, “is TMS right for me?” We are answering all of your frequently asked questions regarding this innovative treatment.

1. What is TMS?

2. Why Choose TMS?

Unlike other treatments, TMS therapy is non-drug (no medication), non-invasive (does not require surgery) and non-systemic (does not affect the entire body). TMS is covered by most insurance and has fewer side effects than other treatments, or in some cases, no side effects at all.

TMS therapy is an FDA-cleared treatment that can be used alone or in conjunction with medication. TMS uses using gentle magnetic pulses to treat specific areas of the brain known to be under or overactive in conditions affecting mental health and cognition. Unlike medications, which affect the entire body, TMS therapy treats mental health at the source.

3. Does TMS only work for Major Depressive Disorder?

Since its FDA clearance in 2008 for major depressive disorder and 2018 for OCD and cigarette cessation, TMS is also a strong intervention for a range of other conditions affecting mental health and cognition. Notably, TMS therapy is a safe and effective treatment for anxiety, cognitive decline, and migraine.

4. How Effective is TMS?

TMS is a safe, highly effective and FDA-cleared treatment option that is twice as effective as medication such as antidepressants. Since 2009, over 70% of Neuro Wellness Spa patients have experienced major depression symptom relief for with TMS therapy. Although many mental health conditions are chronic, TMS helps patients achieve remission. Length of remission depends on many factors including:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Therapy
  • Severity of illness
  • Lifestyle

The goal of mental health treatment is to achieve full remission. Patients should not tolerate lingering symptoms or unwanted side effects. TMS is an effective treatment alternative to medication and therapy that helps patients feel all the way better.

5. What to Expect During TMS therapy?

A picture of a TMS chair and TMS magnet. Is TMS right for me? Non-invasive, no sedation or surgery required

During TMS treatment, patients recline in a private treatment room and may relax, read, work, or watch television. A TMS magnet is positioned over the patient’s head to deliver gentle magnetic pulses to stimulate specific areas of the brain. Each treatment session lasts about 20 minutes, after which patients can get back to their days right away, including work or school. Unlike medications which can take 6-8 weeks to exert their full effects, most patients notice an improvement in their depression symptoms with TMS after 2 weeks of treatment (8-10 sessions).

6. What are the Side Effects of TMS?

TMS has far fewer side effects than antidepressant medications. With more than 10,000 treatments performed in clinical trials, the most common side effect was temporary and mild headaches or scalp discomfort during active treatment. Unlike medications, which affect the entire body as they pass through the blood-brain barrier, TMS therapy treats the brain directly.

graphic illustrating the differences in side effects between medications like antidepressants and trans cranial magnetic stimulation (or TMS). It is clear that tms has very little side effects compared to medications.

7. What’s Involved in TMS Treatment?

8. What about insurance?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy for depression is FDA-cleared and TMS is covered by most insurances including Aetna, Anthem, Blue Shield, Optum, MHN/Healthnet, Tricare, Cigna, Magellan and Beacon, and more.

Is TMS Therapy right for me?

Our phenomenal clinical team is always available to help prospective patients understand their insurance coverage options for our treatments. We know how important it is that those seeking help are able to get the treatment they need. Not to mention, at Neuro Wellness Spa, we handle all the paperwork. If you have tried standard treatments to alleviate your depressive symptoms and have struggled to find relief, contact Neuro Wellness Spa today to find out if TMS is right for you.

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    Could TMS Therapy Be Right For You?

    I struggle with depression, OCD or anxiety.

    I am experiencing sadness, low energy, difficulty sleeping, poor concentration, appetite changes, irritability or weight gain/loss.

    I have tried, or am currently on, 1 or more antidepressant medications.

    I have tried talk therapy

    Has your doctor/therapist suggested you try TMS?

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