What to Expect from a TMS Visit

 What to Expect from a TMS Visit 

TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) is still a fairly new treatment, and many people are unaware of its existence. We often get asked what people can expect from a TMS session. After all, a metal coil that dispenses electromagnetic pulses seems scary, like the harmful shock treatments of decades past. You can put your mind at ease in that regard, as TMS treatments are completely benign. Here is what you can expect in a TMS treatment session. 

For your treatment, you recline in a chair. We got an extra comfortable one for this purpose. The TMS device has a stimulator coil that will be run over your forehead and scalp for about 20-30 minutes. You don’t have to stay perfectly still. 

Your therapist will apply a few pulses from the coil and check in with you. If the pulses are too strong, the strength will be reduced. The coil does not feel hot or sharp. TMS is an outpatient procedure. No anesthesia is needed, and you won’t feel numbed or sleepy. While you’re treated, you can listen to music, read, talk, or just hang out with your thoughts. 

You might feel a gentle pulsing, a vibrating sensation, or sort of a tapping feeling. Since TMS interacts with areas of the brain that influence movement, your hands and feet might twitch a little. Don’t worry about this; it’s just a side effect that will likely not happen to you and only lasts as long as the coil is on your head. 

After your treatment, you will most likely feel nothing physically different. A few people might have a scratchy feeling on the scalp or a bit of a headache, but that’s rare and goes away quickly. Let your therapist know how you’re feeling in case the strength of the electromagnetic pulses needs to be dialed down. There is no downtime associated with TMS. You can drive and go back to your home, work, or errands right away. But if you want to take a minute and have a drink of water, absolutely. 

TMS treatments are typically administered 5 days a week for 4-6 weeks or 20-30 sessions. Some patients see results right away, others could take weeks before noticing a difference. We will make a treatment plan that fits your needs. 

TMS has produced overall excellent results in giving people a better quality of life. People experience greater mental clarity, improved mood, less anxiety, and greater ability to focus. Better sleep, better self image, and more energy have also been reported by TMS patients. Journaling about your TMS experience before treatment, during your treatment regimen, and afterward is a good idea. This helps you and your therapist track changes in your body and mind. Always see your general physician first before seeking any new health regimen. 

Contact us on our website any time with questions or to make an appointment. You can also call us at (585) 442-6960.