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Is TMS Therapy Right for Me?

Is TMS Therapy Right for Me?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is a technique used to treat many different brain-related conditions such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and smoking addictions. 

Many people find that certain conditions such as depression or OCD just don’t respond well to the first lines of treatment such as medication and/or therapy. When that happens, TMS is a great next step.

At her practice in Newport Beach, California, Venice Sanchez, MD, and the rest of our team offer TMS to relieve your depression or OCD symptoms or to help you stop smoking. 

In this blog, we review how exactly this treatment works and if it’s right for you.

How does TMS therapy work?

TMS is a non-invasive method of brain stimulation therapy. It’s described as non-invasive since it doesn’t require any type of surgery or incisions. Instead, this treatment uses a magnetic coil to deliver electromagnetic pulses through your skin and to your brain to influence its activity. 

Because your brain is electrically active, bringing a magnet close to it can influence the portions of your brain that control decision-making, feelings of pleasure, and emotions.

During the procedure itself, you sit in a comfortable chair and wear earplugs before we place the magnetic coil on top of your head above the front portion of your brain. Then we turn the coil on and you feel and hear the pulses coming from the coil.

You can expect each session to last anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on what you’re being treated for and how severe your condition is.

What can TMS treat?

Dr. Sanchez uses BrainsWay® TMS technology, which has been successful in treating depression and OCD along with helping people with nicotine addiction. 

Depression

TMS is mainly used for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression. Around 30% of people who seek relief from depression find that typical lines of treatment aren’t successful for them. Depression is usually linked to an underactive prefrontal cortex. Because of this, TMS targets that portion of the brain to encourage it to be more active.

OCD

Similarly to depression, many people living with OCD find that traditional treatments don’t help them manage their symptoms effectively. OCD is associated with an overactive prefrontal cortex and striatum, so TMS can help inhibit that brain activity and reduce severe OCD symptoms.

Smoking cessation

When you smoke, your brain releases the happy hormone known as dopamine. It sends reward signals to your brain, including the prefrontal cortex, which is why nicotine is so addictive. Because TMS both targets the prefrontal cortex and encourages the release of dopamine, it can help to reduce your cravings for nicotine. 

If you’d like to learn more about if TMS is right for you, feel free to reach out to our team with any questions that you may have. You can contact us by giving us a call at 949-269-6142 or you can set up an appointment with us by using our online scheduler today.

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