If you suffer from depression or other mental health conditions, you may have heard of TMS therapy. But what is TMS therapy? How many TMS treatments are needed to see lasting results? In this article, we will answer these questions and compare TMS therapy to other major therapies. We will also detail a typical TMS session so you know what to expect.
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TMS therapy is mainly used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). It is used when other treatments, such as antidepressants or psychotherapy, have failed or caused intolerable side effects. However, it may also be helpful for other conditions like anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, chronic pain, migraines, tinnitus, and stroke recovery.2
How many TMS treatments are needed to start feeling better? Most people start seeing results after two to four weeks of treatment. Some people may need more sessions or a higher intensity of stimulation to achieve optimal results. Your doctor will track your progress and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
After completing the initial course of treatment, you may need periodic maintenance sessions to prevent relapse or recurrence of your symptoms. The frequency and duration of maintenance sessions vary depending on your individual needs. Some people may need weekly or monthly sessions while others may only need them every few months or years.
How many TMS treatments are needed compared to other therapies? TMS therapy has some advantages over other major therapies such as medication or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Unlike medication, TMS does not cause systemic side effects like weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, or drowsiness. It also does not interact with other drugs or substances.
Additionally, TMS can cause some mild to moderate side effects. These include scalp discomfort, headache, tingling, muscle twitching, lightheadedness, or hearing problems during or after the session. These are usually temporary and subside within hours or days. It is important to consult with your doctor before starting TMS therapy and weigh the benefits and risks of each treatment option.
How many TMS treatments are needed until you’re comfortable? Understanding what a session will look like will help you enter treatment comfortable with the process. The steps of a typical TMS therapy session are detailed below.3
Your doctor will determine the best location and intensity of stimulation for you by performing a test called motor threshold (MT). This involves finding the lowest level of stimulation that causes a slight movement in your hand or fingers. This helps ensure that you receive the most effective and safe dose of stimulation.
How many TMS treatments are needed to be effective? TMS therapy is effective for many people who suffer from depression and other mental health conditions. According to a meta-analysis of 81 studies involving more than 4,000 patients with MDD, TMS therapy significantly reduced depressive symptoms compared to placebo treatment. TMS therapy had a higher remission rate (complete recovery) than sham treatment (17.3% vs 9.8%).4
Another meta-analysis found that TMS therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of OCD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, chronic pain, and tinnitus compared to sham treatment.
At Advaita Integrated Medicine (AIM), we specialize in treating a variety of mental health conditions. We aim to treat the whole person, so we create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to make sure you feel safe and supported in your recovery journey. We offer a variety of treatment options, including TMS, talk therapy, group and individual sessions, and more holistic approaches. These include yoga, meditation, and mindfulness training.
How many TMS treatments are needed for you? We can help you figure this out and get you the help you need. Reach out to Advaita Integrated Medicine today for more information about TMS therapy and our other available treatment options. We will be with you every step of the way.