Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a state-of-the-art treatment method for those who have not had success combating depression with medications. TMS is used as a treatment for people who have persistent sad, anxious, or troubling thoughts.

TMS is an advanced, non-invasive therapy option for people experiencing persistent mental health disorders. TMS uses advanced technology to provide relief when other treatments are ineffective.

TMS is also covered by most health insurance plans, recognizing its value as an effective treatment for certain mental health conditions. We are committed to helping you navigate your insurance benefits to understand coverage options and ensure you can access this transformative therapy.

It can also help patients recover from stroke, substance abuse, or movement disorders. At Elevate Psychiatry, we provide TMS in combination with other therapies for maximum effect.

Basics of TMS

TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation. This therapy uses magnetic fields to stimulate or activate specific nerve cells in your brain that are related to depression.

Think of your brain's signals like browsing your favorite website online. Normally, you should receive various signals, encompassing feelings of joy and fulfillment. In the case of depression, it's as though your favorite website has gone down, causing those positive signals to disappear.

TMS therapy aims to reinvigorate the parts of your brain that have become less active, like restoring your favorite website to full functionality. When the brain's processes operate without issue, you're more likely to experience increased happiness, vitality, and a more optimistic perspective.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is non-invasive so you can receive treatment quickly and comfortably. There are no electrodes, sedation, or surgery needed. You can visit the clinic during your lunch break and return to work immediately.

Our caring team will talk with you, learn about what you’re going through, and make a unique plan for you. This plan may include TMS treatment and other ways to help you feel better.

Benefits of TMS

Many people who have mood disorders respond well to psychiatric treatments and medication, but not everyone does. Sometimes, depression and anxiety persist despite all your efforts. 

If you’ve been struggling to discover how to treat depression, don’t give up hope. TMS may be the answer you’ve been searching for.

According to the latest research, nearly 80% of patients who haven’t had results with medication experience noticeable relief with transcranial magnetic stimulation, and 50% of those people discover that their symptoms disappear entirely. 

TMS therapy is a non-intrusive procedure that is straightforward and fuss-free, involving no surgical interventions, needles, or medication. You can simply sit back and unwind during the process. 

A significant advantage is that it typically has minimal side effects, especially when compared to the potential adverse effects of certain medications.

Using TMS for Depression Management

TMS is primarily employed in treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). When traditional methods, such as medications and psychotherapy, fail to produce desired outcomes, a condition called treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is diagnosed. 

TMS applies magnetic fields to stimulate brain neurons, focusing on regions associated with mood regulation. This non-invasive technique has been effective in mitigating symptoms of depression by activating brain areas that are typically less active in individuals suffering from depression. 

Research indicates that TMS can significantly enhance mood in patients with depression, presenting a viable option for those who have not benefited from conventional treatments.

Expanding TMS Applications in Mental Health Care

In addition to its efficacy in addressing depression, TMS is gaining recognition as a potential therapy for various other mental health issues. This includes obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder

TMS also has the potential to enhance your mood and cognitive function. Following several sessions, you may notice an uplift in your mood and an improvement in your ability to process thoughts, retain memories, and acquire new knowledge.

How TMS Works

Transcranial magnetic stimulation takes advantage of state-of-the-art technology and modern mental health science. Here’s how it works:

  1. Positioning: A small magnetic coil is placed gently against your scalp. It’s positioned near the forehead to stimulate the brain’s frontal lobe. The TMS device has an ergonomic design to ensure that you’re comfortable.
  2. Stimulation: The coil is activated in short pulses. It gradually stimulates neurons, similar to how a gentle tap on your knee causes a reflex action. The pulses help activate the brain’s natural neurotransmitters, encouraging the release of serotonin and other brain chemicals related to positive mood.
  3. Treatment: Each treatment session generally lasts between 5 and 20 minutes. Some are shorter, and some longer. The total time needed depends on the specific disorder being treated and how your neurons respond. TMS treatment is always personalized to your needs.

Every patient is different, but TMS therapy usually lasts four to six weeks. You receive treatment five days a week at a time that works best for you. 

For most people, transcranial magnetic stimulation provides long-lasting results. Some people need follow-up sessions later on to keep enjoying relief from depression and anxiety symptoms.

What to Expect with TMS Therapy

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is safe, simple, and painless. It uses the same technology as an MRI scan and doesn’t use any radiation. The pulses feel like a slight tapping on your forehead.

The first step involves a conversation with a specialist. During this session, we will discuss your emotions and thoughts to gauge your current state. This discussion helps determine whether TMS is an appropriate treatment option for you.

Understanding your busy schedule, we offer the flexibility to choose the most convenient time for your TMS sessions. Whether you prefer early mornings or later in the afternoon, we'll accommodate your needs to ensure the timing suits your schedule.

The process itself is just like any visit to our clinic. We make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable before starting. You’re awake and alert during your session, seated in a comfortable chair. After the session, you can go back to your normal activities right away. During your first visit, we will also map your brain to see where the TMS device is most effective. 

We also calculate the magnetic intensity needed for treatment. You may notice your finger twitch a few times during the short calibration process, which means we’ve discovered the ideal intensity to stimulate your neurons.

Following your TMS therapy, our team will prioritize your well-being, regularly monitoring your progress to assess your response to the treatment. We are prepared to adjust your treatment plan to address your needs more effectively.

Conditions TMS Treats

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a good fit for patients who want relief from mental health disorders but haven’t had good results with antidepressant medication. It’s completely safe and effective for most people. 

TMS is trusted as a treatment for many disorders:

  • Major depressive disorder: TMS stimulates areas of the brain associated with mood control, helping alleviate symptoms of depression when traditional treatments haven't worked.
  • OCD: By targeting specific brain circuits involved in OCD, TMS can reduce the intensity of compulsive thoughts and behaviors.
  • PTSD: TMS therapy helps modulate the brain's response to stress and fear, potentially reducing PTSD symptoms, such as flashbacks and anxiety.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): TMS can calm the overactive neural pathways that contribute to chronic anxiety, leading to improved general well-being.
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): By influencing the neural mechanisms that regulate attention and impulse control, TMS may help improve focus and reduce hyperactivity.
  • Panic disorder: TMS therapy can help stabilize the brain regions that trigger panic attacks, offering a sense of calm and control.
  • Bipolar disorder: TMS might help balance mood swings by targeting the brain areas involved in mood regulation, offering relief during depressive phases without inducing mania.
  • Stroke: For stroke recovery, TMS can enhance brain plasticity and aid in rehabilitating motor and cognitive functions by stimulating the affected or surrounding brain areas.
  • Smoking cessation: TMS can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms by targeting the neural circuits associated with addiction, making it easier to quit smoking.

Criteria for TMS Treatment

TMS is best for people who haven't improved with at least one antidepressant, those who have had bad reactions to antidepressants, or younger individuals. Younger patients, in particular, might find TMS more fitting as they're often more sensitive to the adverse side effects of antidepressants.

If you have a non-removable metal implant, you are not eligible for any magnetic treatment (including MRIs).

A few examples are bullet fragments, shrapnel, metallic face tattoos, stents, aneurysm clips, embedded brain electrodes, and deep brain stimulators. You don’t have to worry about braces or dental fillings, however.

Side Effects of TMS

Any type of medical treatment for mental health issues has some side effects. This is true for antidepressant medications and TMS depression treatment. Unlike medications, TMS treatment doesn’t cause weight gain, sexual dysfunction, or digestive problems.

Many people tolerate TMS therapy well and don’t notice any issues. There can be some minor side effects with this type of therapy:

  • Headaches: According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, about 50% of TMS patients experience mild headaches when beginning treatment. These headaches usually go away after a few sessions.
  • Scalp discomfort or temporary facial twitches: Some patients notice uncomfortable or tingling sensations with the scalp or facial muscles. These feelings generally lessen as treatment continues, but we can also adjust the amount of stimulation to help patients feel more comfortable.
  • Hearing issues: During treatment, you wear earplugs to protect your hearing from any loud noises generated by the TMS. For most people, this is enough to prevent any hearing discomfort.

An exceedingly small number of people have a risk of seizures with TMS therapy. This situation is scarce. We check patients before approving treatment to minimize the risk even further. We prioritize taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

TMS Treatment with Elevate Psychiatry

At Elevate Psychiatry, we always seek to give you the relief you deserve. We aim to provide the best therapy for your lifestyle, needs, and aspirations.

If you want to try transcranial magnetic stimulation, we can walk you through each step and show you exactly what to expect.

Book an appointment online or get in touch with us at one of our locations:


Finding the answers to your questions can help you feel more relaxed about TMS therapy. This state-of-the-art treatment has helped many patients in incredible ways. Here are some frequently asked questions we receive about TMS treatments.

When is TMS treatment a good choice?

We recommend TMS when other therapies aren’t as effective as you want or need. Some people simply don’t respond to antidepressant medications or psychotherapy as much as desired, sometimes because of genetic factors.

TMS has helped many people resistant to traditional treatments for depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, and other mental health disorders. It may also help people with substance abuse addictions to have greater success in breaking free from cravings.

Is TMS covered by insurance?

Most insurance plans now recognize the value and effectiveness of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for treating certain conditions, especially when other treatments have not been effective. Coverage varies widely, so you must check with your insurance provider. They may require documentation of your medical history and previous treatments to determine eligibility for coverage.

How effective is TMS treatment?

Every patient is different when it comes to treatment for mental health disorders. Some people experience more prominent changes than others. According to the latest research, nearly 80% of people who have treatment-resistant depression experience significant benefits with TMS.

How much time does TMS treatment take?

Each TMS session lasts 3-20 minutes. The specific amount of time needed depends on physical factors (the intensity of stimulation required) and the type of disorder for which you need treatment.

When receiving treatment, you must visit our clinic five days a week. The treatment lasts between four and six weeks, depending on the type and severity of your disorder.

TMS is non-invasive, so there are no needles, anesthesia, or sedatives to worry about. You can be in and out of our clinic relatively quickly. TMS doesn’t make you drowsy, and you can immediately return to work or other activities.

When will I notice the results of TMS therapy treatment?

Everyone has a different physical and emotional makeup. Some people notice results more quickly than others. On average, patients should start to see results after two to four weeks of treatment.

How long do the effects of TMS therapy last?

Many people experience significant relief from symptoms for many months after finishing treatment. Their symptoms may disappear entirely during that time. Other people have noticed an improvement in symptoms for years.

The average time the effects of TMS therapy last is about one year. Sometimes, follow-up sessions are scheduled every few months to help maintain results. We customize your treatment to match your needs so it’s as effective as possible.

How should I prepare for treatment?

Many patients take items to help them feel comfortable during their TMS sessions. This can include headphones to help you relax with music during TMS therapy or even take a nap. We encourage it if it helps you relax.

If you’ve experienced headaches before from TMS, you may want to take along a bottle of water and some over-the-counter pain medication. You’ll need to remove any hearing aids, hair clips, or facial piercings when you arrive.

Are there any people who shouldn’t receive this treatment?

Patients who have metal objects embedded in their heads or faces can’t receive TMS treatment.

The strong magnetic pulses used during therapy could cause metal objects to move or heat up. 

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