What is TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a treatment modality that uses magnetic waves to stimulate and excite molecules inside brain cells in order to activate improved cell functioning.  Magnetic therapy has been around for a long time.  Only within the past 10 years has magnetic therapy been used on the brain to treat mental disorders in the United States.  The FDA cleared the treatment of depression with this modality in 2008.  The health insurance companies are now beginning to cover the treatment of depression using this treatment modality.  Outside of the United States, it’s been used to treat many other conditions including anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

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Looking at a brain scan (PET scan) of a depressed person (on your right), the brain’s color is mostly blue which means the brain cells are not active.  A non-depressed brain (on your left) has a lot of yellow and orange colors, which mean the brain cells are firing up and active.  TMS treatment stimulates the brain and causes the brain cells to become active again.

How is TMS Treatment Conducted?

Each TMS session takes less than an hour.  A complete course of TMS treatment is around 6 to 8 weeks.  During the first 4 to 6 weeks, you will come in daily for treatment, 5 days a week.  Afterwards, the treatment session will be tapered based to your response.

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At the first TMS session, the psychiatrist will find the location where the brain needs to be stimulated by the electromagnet.  Subsequently, your brain will be stimulated at that location every time you come in. You’re comfortably seated during the entire session.  There is no anesthesia, incision, or blood draw involved.  You will be awake and can converse during the entire session.

After the session, you can perform any activity without restriction.  Patients come in before, during, or after their work schedule and function without interference after the session.

Why Choose Us?

We are an in-network provider with multiple insurance carriers.

We use state of the art TMS machine from Denmark that is capable to delivering theta bursts that conventional TMS machines can’t.  Theta bursts have been shown to be superior to conventional treatment protocols.

We are a comprehensive mental health practice that provides medication management, psychotherapy, and acupuncture therapy in addition to TMS service.

We are open on the weekends and after normal business hours for your convenience.

We have multiple locations throughout Southern California and you can go to any of our facilities to continue maintenance treatment after TMS treatment should you need any further treatment.

We have the most affordable rates if your insurance company does not cover you for your TMS treatment.

Who qualifies for TMS Treatment? 

TMS treatment cannot be conducted on anyone who has metal or implanted devices in his or her body.  Clinical trials are being conducted on patients suffering from ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, OCD, etc.  However, most health insurance companies will only pay for the treatment if the patient has treatment resistant depression and has gone thru many failed medication treatments.  We can conduct a clinical interview with you to see if you may qualify for TMS Treatment paid for by your insurance company.

How to Receive TMS Treatment from Us?

Please complete the following fields and we’ll contact you to set up an appointment with our psychiatrist for an evaluation.

Contact Form: Name, Birthday, Email Address, Phone Number

Why Choose Us?

TMS is a safe, noninvasive, and effective treatment for difficult to treat depression.  It’s been a credible form of therapy for treatment resistant depression in the United States for almost a decade.  Major academic health centers such as Harvard, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford University have been using it for many years.  It has much less side effects compared to ECT (Electric Shock Treatment) and medication treatment.  Many people suffering from depression have tried multiple medications without complete remission of symptoms.  When they tried TMS, a significant number of them have a complete remission of symptoms.

TMS vs. Medication

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TMS doesn’t cause weight gain, dry mouth, drowsiness, jitteriness or sexual side effects like many antidepressants do.  Medication is absorbed into the body and affects many areas of the body such as the liver, kidney, thyroid, gut, muscle, etc.  TMS affects mainly the part of the brain that we want to stimulate and has no effect on other parts of the body.

TMS treatment cannot be performed on people who have metal or device implanted in their body.  People who have metal or device implanted in their body can still take medication.

TMS treatment is more costly than antidepressant treatment in the short-run.  However, TMS treatment may be more cost effective than antidepressant treatment in the long run since its effect on achieving remission can be more robust than antidepressant treatment.  Taken into account hospitalization cost, doctor and therapist cost, long-term medication cost, and depression related diseases cost, TMS treatment can save money for the health insurance company and for the patient.

TMS vs. ECT (Electric Shock Treatment)

TMS uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate a localized portion of the brain whereas ECT uses electricity to stimulate a bigger portion of the brain.  ECT requires a person to be unconscious under anesthesia.  TMS treatment is an outpatient procedure and doesn’t require anesthesia or blood works.  TMS doesn’t cause short-term memory loss like ECT does. TMS treatment costs much less than ECT.

The effect of ECT on depression appears to be stronger than conventional TMS.  However, there are more possibilities of something going wrong due to anesthesia with ECT.  There are also more possibilities of side effects from ECT than with TMS Treatment.