What You Need to Know About Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy

Table of Contents

TMS is a sorta brain stimulation therapy that uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain. It’s a noninvasive treatment that stimulates nerve cells with electromagnetic pulses, which may help with symptoms of neurological and mental health conditions.

TMS is primarily utilized in the treatment of depression. It’s proven to be effective in treating those who don’t react to antidepressants or psychotherapy. TMS was authorized by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose in 2008.

TMS has also been shown to aid with other conditions such as anxiety and Parkinson’s disease. TMS is also known as repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation because it involves repeating electrical impulses (rTMS). The terms are frequently interchanged.

Read on to learn more about TMS’s advantages and disadvantages.

How TMS therapy works

A TMS technician or a TMS physician performs the therapy. Because it is an outpatient operation, it might be performed in a medical clinic. You won’t have to remain overnight if it’s done in a hospital.

Remove any objects that are susceptible to magnets, such as jewelry, before the operation.

Here’s what you can expect during TMS:

  1. Your technician will ask you to wear earplugs to reduce the sound of the magnetic impulses clicking. You’ll be seated in a comfy chair. You will not require general anesthesia and will be awake throughout the procedure.
  2. If this is your first appointment, the technician will take measurements of your head to establish where the magnetic coil will be placed. They’ll also collect additional measures to customize the TMS machine’s settings.
  3. The coil will be placed over the frontal lobe of your brain by your technician. The therapy will then begin.
  4. A clicking sound will be heard as the magnetic pulses are discharged. Tapping or knocking feeling will also be felt beneath the magnetic coil.
  5. The therapy might last anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes. After the treatment, you can drive yourself home and continue your daily routines.

For roughly 4 to 6 weeks, you’ll need to repeat the process 5 days a week. The length of your therapy is determined by your reaction and the nature of your ailment.

TMS therapy benefits

TMS treatment has a plethora of potential advantages. The method is currently being studied by researchers, however, it may assist with the following conditions:

  • TMS therapy for depression
  • TMS therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • TMS therapy for anxiety
  • TMS for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • TMS for stroke rehabilitation
  • TMS for schizophrenia
  • TMS for Parkinson’s disease
  • TMS for Alzheimer’s disease
  • TMS for chronic pain
  • TMS for nicotine addiction
  • TMS for multiple sclerosis

How much does TMS therapy cost?

A single course of TMS can cost anything from $6,000 to $12,000 in out-of-pocket costs. Your health insurance company may give coverage, but it is contingent on your medical history. Before obtaining TMS treatment, you may be asked to take at least four antidepressants. Alternatively, they could cover you if you have unpleasant side effects from antidepressants.


TMS works by reducing the activity of the nerve cells in the brain, which may help you feel better. It may also be beneficial for diseases such as OCD, anxiety, and PTSD. The technique may even aid with motor dysfunction, making it useful for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke recovery.

Speak with a doctor if you’re interested in TMS. If you’re young, have such a low risk of seizures, and haven’t found relief from antidepressants, you could be a suitable candidate.

Related Stories