TMS therapy and lifestyle

Embracing Wellness: Life with TMS Therapy

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Living with depression can be challenging, especially when traditional treatment methods like medication and therapy haven’t provided the desired relief.

Fortunately, there is an innovative treatment option called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy that offers hope for those struggling with depression and other mental health disorders. It is particularly effective for individuals who haven’t found relief from antidepressant medication and psychotherapy alone.

This blog will explore the world of TMS therapy and how it can positively impact your mental health journey. We will delve into the science behind TMS therapy, its effectiveness in treating depression and other mental health disorders, and how to integrate TMS into your lifestyle.

Additionally, we will discuss the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle during TMS therapy and the role of support systems in your recovery. By the end of this blog, you will have a comprehensive understanding of TMS therapy and how it can help you embrace wellness.

Understanding TMS Therapy

TMS is a noninvasive procedure that uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. These pulses are delivered through magnetic coils placed on specific areas of the scalp.

The precise mechanism of how TMS therapy works is not fully understood, but researchers believe that the electromagnetic pulses stimulate nerve cells in the brain, particularly in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for regulating emotions, including mood, and is often implicated in depression and other mental health disorders.

During a TMS session, the patient sits in a comfortable chair while a TMS technician or physician places the magnetic coils on their scalp. The technician then calibrates the TMS machine to deliver the electromagnetic pulses at the appropriate intensity.

The patient may experience a tapping or knocking sensation beneath the magnetic coil and hear a clicking sound during the procedure. The treatment session typically lasts 30 to 60 minutes, and the patient remains awake throughout. After the session, the patient can resume normal activities and even drive themselves home, as there is no need for anesthesia or sedation.

It is important to note that TMS therapy is not a one-time treatment. The procedure is typically repeated five days a week for four to six weeks to achieve optimal results.

The exact duration of treatment may vary depending on the individual’s response and specific condition. To maximize the benefits of TMS therapy, following the treatment schedule as prescribed by the healthcare provider is essential.

Differences Between TMS and Other Depression Therapies

While there are various treatment options available for depression, TMS therapy offers several advantages over other therapies. One of the key differences is that TMS therapy is a non-invasive procedure, unlike electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which requires general anesthesia and can cause memory loss and other side effects.

TMS therapy also differs from traditional antidepressant medication, which can have side effects and may not be effective for everyone. TMS therapy specifically targets the areas of the brain involved in mood regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex, while antidepressant medication acts on various neurotransmitters throughout the brain.

Additionally, TMS therapy is effective for other mental health disorders, such as OCD, anxiety, and PTSD. This makes it a versatile treatment option for individuals with multiple mental health conditions who may benefit from a noninvasive and targeted therapy approach.

Integrating TMS into Your Lifestyle

Integrating TMS therapy into your lifestyle requires commitment and good time management. While the treatment sessions may take only a fraction of your day, it is important to plan and prioritize your schedule to ensure you can attend each session without disruption. 

Setting aside dedicated time for TMS therapy and making it a priority in your daily routine will help you stay consistent and maximize the benefits of the treatment.

Tips for Scheduling and Time Management

When integrating TMS therapy into your lifestyle, it’s important to consider tips for scheduling and time management:

  • Plan your TMS therapy sessions at a time of day when you are least likely to have conflicting appointments or responsibilities.
  • Consider scheduling your treatment sessions in the morning before work or other commitments.
  • Use a planner or digital calendar to keep track of your treatment schedule and set reminders.
  • Communicate with your employer or supervisor about your TMS therapy schedule to ensure understanding and support.
  • Seek help from family and friends to assist with adjusting your daily routine during treatment.

Balancing Therapy with Work and Family

Balancing TMS therapy with work and family responsibilities requires careful planning and communication. It is essential to prioritize your mental health and communicate your treatment schedule and needs with your employer and family members.

Here are some tips for balancing therapy with work and family:

  • Communicate openly with your employer about your treatment schedule and any necessary accommodations.
  • Consider taking time off from work or adjusting your work hours to accommodate your therapy sessions.
  • Seek support from family and friends to help with household chores or childcare during the treatment period.
  • Prioritize self-care and maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure optimal energy levels for therapy and everyday activities.
  • Lean on your support network for emotional support and understanding during your mental health journey.

Health and Wellness: Life With TMS Therapy

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during TMS therapy is crucial to supporting overall well-being and enhancing the effectiveness of the treatment. Taking care of your physical health can positively impact your mental health and improve treatment outcomes. 

Diet and Exercise

Maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise can positively impact your mental health and well-being during TMS therapy.

Here are some tips for incorporating healthy diet and exercise habits into your lifestyle:

  • Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day.
  • Engage in regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, yoga, or cycling, to promote overall well-being and boost mood.
  • Avoid or minimize the consumption of caffeine and processed foods, as they can negatively affect energy levels and mood.

Importance of Good Sleep Habits During TMS Therapy

Good sleep habits support mental health and well-being, especially during TMS therapy. Adequate sleep promotes optimal brain function and can enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.

Here are a few tips for maintaining good sleep habits during TMS therapy:

  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal your body that it’s time to sleep.
  • Create a conducive sleep environment by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Limit exposure to electronic devices, such as phones and computers, before bedtime, as the blue light they emit can disrupt sleep.
  • Avoid stimulating substances, such as caffeine, close to bedtime, as they can interfere with sleep quality.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Incorporating mindfulness and relaxation techniques into your daily routine can further support your mental wellness during life with TMS therapy. These practices can help reduce stress, promote emotional well-being, and enhance the overall effectiveness of the treatment.

Consider the following techniques:

  • Practice mindfulness meditation to cultivate present-moment awareness and reduce stress.
  • Engage in deep breathing exercises to promote relaxation and calm the mind.
  • Explore relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery.
  • Incorporate yoga or tai chi into your routine to promote relaxation and mind-body connection.
  • Prioritize self-care activities that bring you joy and help you unwind, such as reading, bathing, or engaging in hobbies.

The Role of Support Systems in TMS Therapy

Having a strong support system is essential for anyone undergoing TMS therapy. The journey towards improved mental health can often be challenging, and having the support of friends, family, and community can make a significant difference in one’s recovery.

Here’s how different support systems can play a role in TMS therapy:

Support Groups: Joining support groups specific to mental health conditions can provide a sense of belonging and understanding. These groups offer an opportunity to share experiences, learn coping strategies, and receive support from others who have gone through similar challenges. Utilizing online support groups can be particularly beneficial for those needing access to in-person groups in their community.

Community Support: Engaging with the local community and seeking support from community resources can further enhance recovery. Many communities offer mental health support services, educational programs, and resources to assist individuals in their mental health journey.

Mental Health Professionals: Mental health professionals, including therapists and psychiatrists, play a vital role in providing guidance, support, and evidence-based treatment during TMS therapy. They can help individuals navigate their mental health journey, adjust treatment plans as needed, and offer therapeutic interventions to address underlying issues contributing to mental health symptoms.

Finding Community Support Groups

Community support groups can be a valuable resource for individuals undergoing TMS therapy. Here are some ways to find and join support groups:

  • Research local mental health organizations, clinics, or hospitals that offer support groups.
  • Utilize online platforms and forums for mental health support, such as online support groups or social media communities.
  • Ask mental health professionals for recommendations and referrals to local support groups.
  • Seek recommendations from friends, family, or others with support group experience.
  • Attend mental health conferences or events in your community to connect with others and learn about support group opportunities.
  • Consider starting your own support group if limited options are available in your area.

Memor Health offers a range of behavioral health resources, including crisis hotlines, and mindfulness workshops. These resources provide crucial support, enhancing the benefits of TMS therapy and promoting holistic well-being.

Embrace a comprehensive approach to mental health by integrating these valuable community support services into your recovery plan. For more information, visit Memor Health Behavioral Resources 

Life With TMS Therapy: How Family and Friends Can Help

Family and friends can provide invaluable support to individuals incorporating TMS therapy into their lives. Here are some ways they can help:

  • Offer emotional support and understanding throughout the therapy journey.
  • Educate themselves about TMS therapy and the individual’s unique needs.
  • Be patient and empathetic, as recovery takes time and may involve ups and downs.
  • Assist with transportation to and from therapy sessions, if needed.
  • Help create a peaceful and supportive home environment to promote relaxation and healing.
  • Encourage self-care activities and healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Respect the individual’s treatment plan and provide space when needed.
  • Participate in family therapy sessions if recommended by the mental health professional.

Navigating Side Effects and Concerns

As with any medical treatment, TMS therapy has potential side effects and concerns. It is important to be aware of these and discuss them with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision. 

Disclose any medical conditions or implanted metal devices to ensure the safety and efficacy of the treatment.

Common Side Effects and How to Manage Them

While TMS therapy is generally safe and well-tolerated, there are some common side effects that patients may experience. These side effects are usually mild and temporary, but it’s important to be aware of them. If any side effects persist or worsen, it’s important to inform your TMS technician or healthcare provider.

Here are some common side effects of TMS therapy and strategies for managing them:

  • Mild headaches: Headaches are the most common side effect of TMS therapy. They typically occur during or after the treatment session and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Lightheadedness: Some patients may feel lightheaded or dizzy during or after treatment. It’s important to sit or lie down until the sensation passes.
  • Scalp pain: Some patients may experience mild discomfort or pain on the scalp at the site of the magnetic coil placement. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers or by applying a cold pack to the area.
  • Tingling or facial twitching: Some patients may experience tingling sensations or facial twitching during treatment. These sensations are usually temporary and subside once the treatment session is complete.
  • Sleepiness: Some patients may feel tired or sleepy after the treatment session. It’s important to rest and avoid activities that require alertness until the sleepiness resolves. 

To Close

Embracing wellness through TMS therapy can be a transformative journey toward mental health. Understanding the basics of TMS and the nuances of integrating TMS therapy into your lifestyle requires patience and balance.

Prioritizing self-care through diet, exercise, good sleep habits, and mindfulness techniques is vital during this process. Support systems are crucial in navigating the ups and downs, from managing side effects to finding community support.

By embracing holistic wellness and incorporating TMS therapy into your life with diligence and care, you pave the way for a brighter and healthier future.

Picture of Yvette Kaunismaki

Yvette Kaunismaki

Yvette Kaunismaki, MD, specializes in psychiatry with a holistic approach, focusing on integrating therapy and medication for women’s issues, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. She emphasizes a team-based method, aiming for balanced mental health through collaborative care with experienced therapists.

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