What is TMS Therapy and How Does it Work?

What is TMS Therapy and How Does it Work?

Millions of Americans suffer from depression, along with the feelings of sadness, helplessness, and low self-worth that go along with it. Fortunately, medication and psychotherapy can be very helpful in relieving symptoms for many people. But for others, those options aren’t effective. That’s when transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can help. 

Premier Psychiatry is a leading provider of TMS therapy for patients in Orland Park, Illinois, who are suffering from treatment-resistant depression. If traditional depression treatments haven’t been working for you, here’s what our team wants you to know about this unique, cutting-edge treatment.

TMS: How it works

TMS uses a powerful magnetic field that’s administered to your scalp without discomfort or incisions. The magnetic field is created by alternating electrical currents, similar to the technology used in MRI machines. 

Waves of magnetic energy are emitted through coils that are placed on your scalp. The magnetic energy passes painlessly to the area of the brain affected by depression. 

Researchers are still learning how TMS works to treat depression, but they do have several theories. TMS waves help increase activity in the areas of the brain affected by depression, including areas responsible for mood regulation. Additionally, TMS increases blood flow to the target areas of the brain and enhances nerve communication.

The effects of TMS “build up” over time. As a result, most patients benefit from a series of treatments based on their symptoms and how well they respond.

The basics of TMS treatments

We can schedule your first visit once we determine you’re a good candidate for TMS. During your treatment, you sit and relax while our team places the magnetic device against your scalp.

When treatment begins and the device begins to emit energy pulses, you may hear or feel some tapping sensations in your scalp or mild discomfort. These sensations won’t last after your treatment session. One of the bonuses of TMS therapy is that we can adjust it if you find any of the effects uncomfortable.

Afterward, it’s not uncommon to experience some tingling or minor discomfort in your scalp near where we placed the magnetic device. You might also have a mild headache right after your session but these effects are temporary.

Find out if TMS is right for you

While TMS is a safe and effective treatment for many people with treatment-resistant depression, it’s not a first-line therapy. Instead, it’s recommended when medication and psychotherapy haven’t succeeded in alleviating symptoms.

It’s also not recommended for people who have:

You can discuss these and other issues with your provider during your appointment.

If you’ve tried traditional therapies and they haven't worked for you, TMS could be the solution you’re looking for. To learn more about TMS therapy, call 708-898-4758 or book an appointment online today.