Stimulation (TMS) Therapy
TMS Therapy is a non-pharmaceutical treatment that uses highly focused magnetic pulses (similar in type and strength to those produced by an MRI) to precisely target and stimulate key areas of the brain that control mood, pain, and cravings. These areas of the brain are known to be either overactive or underactive in certain neuropsychiatric disorders.
What is so remarkable about this new treatment option is that it can provide better symptom relief without the side effects usually associated with medication. For most, depressive symptoms decrease significantly after 6 weeks of treatment with NeuroStar TMS Therapy, and there is substantial evidence as well as an FDA approval to support these claims.
TMS Therapy is an FDA-approved, non-drug intensive therapy for clients who are not satisfied with the results of traditional counseling and/or prescription medications.
SIDE EFFECTS? NONE TO MINIMAL, AND TEMPORARY.
This alternative treatment is not systemic, meaning it does not circulate throughout the entire body like with prescription drug therapy. Because TMS Therapy is localized and is administered while the client is conscious, there are no serious side effects. The most common side effect is mild scalp discomfort which typically subsides after the first few treatment sessions and can be alleviated with over the counter pain relievers if necessary.
WE USE TMS THERAPY TO TREAT A VARIETY OF CONDITIONS
At The Healing House, we specialize in treating the following:
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) – TMS Therapy was FDA-cleared for treating depression in 2008 for those that are unresponsive to medication, have unwanted side effects, and/or are non-compliant to a medication regime. When treating depression, the focus of TMS Therapy is on the left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC) region of the brain. This depolarizes the neurons in that lobe, stimulating monoamine neurotransmitters and increased function of the electrical circuits that drive brain activity. An increase in brain activity increases blood flow, oxygen levels and sugar metabolism; the result is improved activity of the 'feel good' neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine) which drastically alleviates the symptoms of depression and which provides an opportunity to achieve full remission for nearly half of the people that complete this protocol (37.5 minutes at 10 pulses/second for four seconds, 26 second intervals, 3,000 pulses total).
General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – TMS Therapy for anxiety is considered an 'off-label' protocol (depression is the only FDA-approved protocol currently). The focus of this treatment is on the right Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC) region of the brain so that the neurons are polarized and that brain activity is better regulated. For those looking for anxiety relief beyond medication and behavior therapy, TMS should be explored as an alternative and supplementary option. Our clients will often complete our extended 'Anxiety Protocol' in tandem with the FDA-approved treatment for MDD, and this bilateral procedure addresses the common interplay between depression and anxiety for better overall mood stability.
Addiction – Addiction can be based either chemically or behaviorally. In both types of addiction, depression and anxiety are often the underlying issues. When depression and anxiety are not addressed, people tend to self-medicate with substances and/or different forms of behavior which, in turn, become habit-forming. Even when someone struggling with an addiction comes to terms with the need for change, it can still be a very difficult process coming off of substances or learning to cope with healthier behavior. TMS Therapy can help revitalize a better balance of biochemistry in these cases. It can be used in tandem with other services at The Healing House to create what would be similar to an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which is particularly beneficial for clients on the back end of a Detox Program or for those with higher symptom acuity. TMS Therapy, under the care of a seasoned and certified psychiatrist, is also a great resource to help more readily 'wane off' of certain types of behavior or particular medications by aiming to alleviate withdrawals from medications like overprescribed pain medications. The Healing House uses well-studied international research protocols to address issues with, but not limited to, the habitual numbing effects of: alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines, marijuana, and cocaine/methamphetamines, and behavioral addictions.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & Chronic Pain – PTSD is a debilitating anxiety disorder induced by traumatic experiences. To date, psychotherapy and prescription medications are what have been available to treat this condition, but most people struggling with PTSD continue to look beyond these therapies for relief. Particular TMS protocols can help alleviate the depression that accompanies ongoing PTSD while also targeting the overactive neurons in the brain's right prefrontal cortex to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. This type of anxiety-focused TMS Therapy, coupled with other technologies like Bio&Neuro Feedback, can serve as a viable alternative when it comes to treating PTSD and needs to be accessed by this heavily underserved population. Just like PTSD is the result of trauma, Chronic Pain can also follow a traumatic experience or an injury. Ongoing Chronic Pain leaves many to deal with the residual effects of depression due to the relentless agony of the pain. Lifting this depression makes it more manageable to deal with that kind of pain, and there are also TMS Therapy protocols that directly target the lobes of the brain associated with pain. The Healing House welcomes the opportunity and offers discounted rates to work with any military personnel, active duty members and veterans alike, that are frustrated with a lack of results from traditional care which is limited.
Lyme Disease & Chronic Illness – The effects of Chronic Lyme Disease and other complex Chronic Illnesses can be emotionally devastating. And unfortunately, treating the mental component of these types of illnesses with medication can result in additional ailments from the systemic side effects. This only complicates the underlying illness which is why we use TMS Therapy along with Counseling and Bio&Neuro Feedback to offer a side-effect free alternative for emotional support. Our physicians coordinate with any specialists in order to ensure medical safety as well as comprehensive care, and our HH team is also Lyme-literate.
Additional Off-Label TMS Therapy Protocols for: Cognitive Impairment (Autism, Memory Loss, Brain Inflammation, Tinnitus, Migraines), Other Anxiety Disorders (Obsessive Thoughts), Cognitive Enhancement (Energy, Performance), and Chronic Pain (or Fatigue).
EVIDENCE-BASED RESULTS WITH TMS THERAPY
• Nearly 3 of 4 improved significantly (via 50% symptom reduction)
• Nearly 1 in 2 achieved remission from Depression (free of symptoms)
• Sustainable symptom relief for over 12 months (maintenance therapy as needed)
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE LIKE?
Specific treatment guidelines originally established by Neuronetics include the following:
TMS Therapy is available only under a Physician's supervision.
Clients receive treatment at a convenient, in-office setting while reclined in a comfortable chair.
Clients remain awake and alert during the administration of treatment; there is no negative effect on alertness or cognition.
Treatment is conducted for between 37.5 and 60 minutes each session, depending on the condition/prescribed protocol.
Treatment is administered for 5 days per week, most often for a full 6 weeks, depending on the condition/prescribed protocol.
Upon completion of each treatment session, clients are able to resume their regular activities, including driving themselves home or moving into another treatment modality.
Most people continue with or subscribe to a variation of their existing medication regime as prescribed by their administering psychiatrist while completing TMS Therapy.