What’s TMS Treatment and How Does It Work?

Discover what’s TMS treatment and how Advaita Integrated Medicine can help in this comprehensive article.

What's TMS Treatment?

What’s TMS treatment? Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a type of brain stimulation therapy that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It primarily treats depression but can also help with other disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Parkinson’s disease.

TMS therapy is a non-invasive procedure that involves placing an electromagnetic coil on your scalp near your forehead. The coil generates brief magnetic pulses that pass through your skull and reach the parts of your brain involved in mood regulation.
What’s TMS Treatment

TMS: How Does it Help?

The magnetic pulses stimulate the nerve cells in these regions, which may improve their function and communication. This can result in reduced symptoms of depression, such as low mood, lack of interest, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts.

TMS treatment has advantages over other forms of brain stimulation therapy, such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Unlike ECT or VNS, TMS does not require anesthesia or surgery and has fewer side effects.

History of TMS Therapy

What’s TMS treatment? To answer that, we should start from the beginning. In 1985, Anthony Barker and his colleagues at the University of Sheffield in England developed the first successful TMS coil. They used a magnetic stimulator to induce electric currents in the brain of a healthy volunteer to produce hand movements.
Since then, physicians and scientists have been extensively researching TMS. Through years of clinical trials and studies, they successfully refined TMS to treat various conditions. 

TMS Timeline

What’s TMS treatment approved for? Here is a timeline of FDA-approved TMS treatments:1

  • In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved TMS therapy for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD).
  • In 2018, the FDA approved TMS treatment for treatment-resistant OCD.
  • In 2020, the FDA approved TMS for smoking cessation.

Important Considerations for TMS

The most common side effects of TMS therapy are mild and include headache, scalp discomfort, facial twitching, and lightheadedness. These usually subside after the first few sessions. If the side effects persist, patients can reduce symptoms with painkillers, or TMS technicians can adjust the stimulation intensity.
TMS therapy is generally safe and well-tolerated by most people. However, it is not suitable for everyone. Some people may have contraindications or risk factors that make them ineligible for TMS therapy. These include:
  • Metal implants in or near your head (such as pacemakers, cochlear implants, dental fillings, etc.)
  • History of seizures
  • History of brain injury
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Pregnancy

Effectiveness of TMS Treatment

What’s TMS Treatment and What’s the Effectiveness? Find out below.

TMS for Depression

Many individuals experience treatment-resistant depression, with up to 30% of patients not responding to antidepression medication. Evidence has shown TMS therapy to not only improve symptoms of depression but help over one-third of patients achieve remission.2
According to a meta-analysis of eighty-one studies involving more than four thousand patients, TMS therapy significantly improved depressive symptoms compared to sham (placebo) stimulation.3


In a study examining TMS and OCD symptoms, researchers found a significant increase in symptom improvement. The results showed that 38% of patients responded to TMS therapy, while only 11% responded to the placebo.4

TMS for Smoking Cessation

A pilot study evaluating TMS for smoking reduction showed promising results. At a twenty-five-day follow-up, 90% of patients reported maintaining abstinence from smoking and reduced cravings. These findings were consistent with other similar studies.5

What’s TMS Treatment at Advaita Integrated Medicine?

At Advaita Integrated Medicine, we offer TMS treatment for individuals in the Triangle and surrounding cities like Apex, Garner, and Wake Forest. What’s TMS treatment like at Advaita Integrated Medicine? TMS involves a small, handheld device that delivers electromagnetic pulses to brain regions that regulate mood. These pulses stimulate nerve cells to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

There are three devices that target different areas of the brain depending on the condition:
  • H1 Coil: For depression and anxious depression
  • H4 Coil: For smoking addiction
  • H7 Coil: For obsessive-compulsive disorder

What to Expect During TMS Treatment

What’s TMS treatment like at each session? During the consultation, one of our qualified TMS technicians will calibrate the TMS device to the patient’s physiology. They will then initiate tests to ensure everything is working properly. 

At each session, the patient will sit comfortably in a chair. The technician will provide earplugs to protect the eardrums, place the device on the patient’s head, and begin the treatment. The patient will remain awake and alert during the session. Patients may experience mild discomfort or tingling sensations during the session. These sensations are temporary and do not cause any lasting side effects.

What to Expect After TMS Treatment

What’s TMS treatment like after each session? After each session, patients can resume their normal activities right away. They may notice some improvement in their mood after one or two weeks of treatment, but it may take longer for some people. The effects of TMS therapy vary from person to person, depending on their individual response and other factors such as medication use, lifestyle habits, stress levels, etc.

How Long Is TMS Treatment?

What’s TMS treatment’s duration?TMS therapy at Advaita Integrated Medicine involves multiple weekly sessions for four to six weeks, with each session typically lasting forty-five minutes. Depending on the patient and their condition, session and treatment length may vary.
To maintain the benefits of TMS therapy, patients may need to have follow-up sessions every few months or years. Physicians will monitor their progress and advise them on how often they need to repeat the treatment.
What’s TMS Treatment

Get TMS Treatment in Raleigh at Advaita Integrated Medicine

TMS treatment is a safe and effective treatment option for individuals with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. At Advaita Integrated Medicine, only experienced and licensed professionals administer TMS therapy

We work closely with patients to develop personalized treatment plans based on their unique needs and goals. Medical providers can provide TMS therapy as an individual treatment or in combination with other forms of therapy. 
If you are interested in what’s TMS treatment and live in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area, you can set up a consultation with us. Our team will evaluate your medical history, perform a physical exam, and conduct tests to determine if you are a good candidate for TMS therapy.

Contact Advaita Integrated Medicine Today for TMS in Raleigh

What’s TMS treatment? TMS is an innovative and promising treatment option for people with depression who have not found relief from other therapies. It works by stimulating specific areas of the brain with magnetic pulses that may enhance their function and mood. It is safe, effective, non-invasive, and has few side effects. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, consider exploring TMS therapy as a potential treatment option at Advaita Integrated Medicine. We offer TMS therapy and many other evidence-based treatments for mental health and substance use disorders in Raleigh.

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Questions About Treatment?

Reach out to Advaita Integrated Medicine today and let us guide you toward a full and rewarding life uninhibited by mental health or substance use disorder challenges. We are here to support you every step of the way.
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