What is TMS?

What is TMS?

TMS therapy is based on the principle of electromagnetic induction discovered by Michael Faraday in 1831. According to this principle a magnetic field can be induced when passing an electrical current through a coil of wire. During a TMS treatment an insulated magnetic coil is placed over the scalp. An electrical current is discharged into the coil which creates a powerful magnetic field. This magnetic field (and not the current directly) passes through the skull and scalp inducing a flow of current in the brain, causing brain cells to fire. TMS is applied focally to an area in the brain thought to be altered in depression.12

During a TMS session:

  • The strength of the magnetic field is similar to the strength of the magnetic field induced by an MRI machine (1.5-3 Tesla).

  • You will be awake, resting comfortably in a reclining chair while receiving treatments. Each treatment lasts about 40 minutes.

  • You will be able to resume your daily activities such as working or driving immediately following your treatment.

  • Treatments are not painful, but you may experience some discomfort on the scalp during the treatment or mild post-treatment headache.

  • During the TMS course our psychiatrist will meet with you periodically to monitor your response to treatment.

  • Your treatment will be administered by a certified health care staff member under the supervision of a physician.