Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) improves the quality of life for individuals with various conditions, including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. By stimulating specific brain regions, TMS can help reduce symptoms such as low mood, feelings of hopelessness, and chronic pain. This can lead to an overall improvement in mood, better functioning, increased productivity, and a better quality of life. TMS is a non-invasive treatment option with a low risk of side effects; your Psychiatric Consultants of Atlanta specialist may recommend it if you have not experienced success with traditional treatments

What to do when preparing for TMS

If you are planning to undergo TMS, there are a few things you can consider when preparing for the procedure. You need to talk to your doctor and provide them with a comprehensive medical history, including any current medications you are taking, to determine if you are eligible for the procedure. Your provider may also recommend avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, which may affect the accuracy of the TMS. Also, get a good night’s sleep before the procedure, as the treatment can cause mild discomfort or a mild headache, and being well-rested can help reduce any potential pain.

On the day of the procedure, you need to wear comfortable clothing with easy access to your head, such as a t-shirt or loose-fitting clothing. Additionally, if you are prone to anxiety or claustrophobia, you can speak with your doctor beforehand to discuss ways to manage these feelings during the procedure.

What to expect during a TMS session

During a TMS session, you will be seated in a comfortable chair. Your doctor will position the TMS device near your head to deliver a series of rapid magnetic pulses to stimulate specific brain regions. You may feel a tapping or knocking sensation on your head, which is normal. TMS is a non-invasive procedure, meaning you won’t feel any pain. Still, some people may experience mild discomfort or a mild headache, which should subside shortly after the procedure. The duration of a TMS session can vary but typically lasts between 20 and 60 minutes. The number of treatments you will need will depend on why you are undergoing the procedure. Some people may feel an improvement in their symptoms after just a few sessions, while others may require more sessions to see results.

What to expect after a TMS session

After a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation session, you can immediately resume your normal activities. You may experience mild discomfort or a headache, which you can manage with over-the-counter pain medications. However,  these side effects are often temporary and typically resolve within a few hours after the session. Depending on the reason for the TMS treatment, it may take several treatments before you notice any improvements. Your doctor will monitor your progress and may adjust the treatment plan based on your response. It is important to continue attending all scheduled sessions as recommended by your doctor to achieve the best possible outcome. If you have any concerns or questions after a TMS session, speak with your doctor to discuss any issues or potential side effects.