Taking a Closer Look at TMS


Have you ever tried a variety of medications, homeopathic remedies, or therapies for an illness and none of them worked? It can be infuriating when you try so many things but all of them fail. Some may help one part of the illness but not everything. Some may work but cause negative side effects. Sometimes you may feel like you were just meant to suffer. However, no one should ever have to feel that way. Life would be so much easier if there was a universal medication that helped everyone for whatever symptoms they were experiencing. Unfortunately, that is not the case and never will be. Instead, we have to try different ways of reducing our symptoms, and sometimes that can be scary, especially if it involves heavy-duty machinery. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is one of those therapies that is proven successful yet can be intimidating due to the machinery that is used.

The following information will give you an in-depth description of TMS including a brief history, who it is for, what it does exactly, and how it works.


TMS is considered an up-and-coming method of treating mental and neurological disorders. However, it has been around for quite some time. In fact, the whole concept of using magnetic force to heal goes all the way back to the 1790s. Scientists first began to experiment with applying electric and magnetic stimulation into the physiological state. Due to this discovery, they also noticed how it can affect the brain’s function and muscle movement.

A couple hundred years later, researchers looked past the physical and began working towards the psychological. In 1985, Dr. Anthony Barker came up with TMS. Dr. Barker used the first TMS machine to produce magnetically stimulated hand twitches in localized areas. This showed that the machine was able to isolate different parts of the brain. Dr. Barker wanted to make sure the machine was safe and it would have great potential in healing. Therefore, he performed clinical trials on volunteers while they were awake, in which the results proved painless. In the 1990s, TMS proved to be completely safe for treating mental illness, and eighteen years later, the FDA approved it for treatment-resistant depression.

Who is TMS For?

TMS is usually used when talk therapy and medications have not relieved the symptoms you are experiencing. Many use TMS as a supplement to talk therapy and medication, but it can work as a stand-alone treatment. It is also great for those who have opposing reactions to SSRIs, such as increased depression and weight gain.

The following are some mental illnesses that have been proven to improve with TMS.

  • Treatment-resistant depression
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

The above illnesses are what TMS is usually advertised for; however, it can help treat other conditions such as:

  • Asperger’s
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder

TMS is normally thought to be just for mental illnesses, but it has helped with people who suffer from chronic and degenerative neurological concerns, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Migraine/Chronic pain, and even Alzheimer’s

What Does TMS Do?

In order for you to decide whether or not TMS is right for you, you need to have a better understanding of what it does to the brain and mental illness. TMS uses magnetic pulses that targets areas of the brain accountable for emotional regulation. These pulses motivate the mind to form new neural connections which results in reducing depressive symptoms.

How Does TMS Work?

The machine used for TMS may look intimidating and scary, but there is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it is quite a gentle apparatus.

When using the machine, a coil is placed on the outside of your scalp and an electromagnet transfers magnetic pulses from the machine to the brain pain free. The coil is attached to a hose in order for it to be adjusted according to scalp size.

The pulses consist of highly concentrated magnetic fields that quickly turn on and off. The brain is not affected in its entirety, just a few centimeters below where the coils are placed. Practitioners who have been specially trained make sure everything is in its right place.

Trying something new can be scary and anxiety ridden for many people, especially when it comes to their health. You want to find the right treatment that will help alleviate the symptoms you are experiencing due to your illness. If you feel like your current treatment plan is not working, or you want to add to it, contact GatewayTMS today to discuss how TMS can help you. We would be happy to help answer any questions you may have!