TMS Therapy for Anxiety: Will TMS Be What Stops the Racing Mind & Body?

Two parts of the human brain have been associated with anxiety disorders: the insula and prefrontal cortex (PFC). The PFC is widely spoken about in mainstream media and is more than likely a bit more well known. It is the part of your brain that is associated with emotional regulation, executive functions such as thinking, problem solving, initiating new behaviors, and it is also associated with self awareness – including personality development. The insula is necessary in our concept of self awareness. This includes our physical body and our emotions and how they meet to create our perception of the present moment.

This explanation was important to start with because if you have anxiety or you know someone who does, you must be familiar with hearing or being told “it’s all in your head.” In a sense, it is! But not in the way they mean, when they say that. TMS therapy for anxiety disorders has shown to facilitate the appropriate communication between the PFC and brain regions that activate anxiety to decrease that activity by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

How Does TMS Therapy Work?

TMS therapy for anxiety is a non-invasive treatment that involves putting on what looks like a swimmers cap, but actually is a cotton cap that allows us to measure and mark your head to show us (and you) specifically where we need to treat with our MagVenture TMS Stimulator. What to expect during treatment:

● During treatment you can view your phone, watch a show or peaceful visuals on our projectors, read a book, or conversate with our highly trained technicians.

● You can immediately return to your daily tasks after treatment, including driving home, or even back to work!

● You are seated in a reclined treatment chair with a head and foot rest.

● Sessions vary from 5-25 mins – it all depends on the patient and the provider’s protocol recommendations.

TMS therapy is an FDA approved course of treatment and is covered by most insurances as long as you meet the medical requirements! Please contact us to see if you qualify.

The Science & Benefits Behind TMS Therapy For Anxiety

As we touched on in the beginning, there are two major areas of the brain associated with anxiety – the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the insula. One region that we did not touch on is the amygdala. The amygdala is responsible for processing fear and emotional responses. When undergoing TMS therapy for anxiety, the stimulation will target the PFC to enhance its activity, leading to better regulation of the amygdala, which is overactive, thus a reduction in anxiety symptoms. TMS strengthens the relationship between these brain regions, decreasing anxiety and building resilience.

Simply put – when someone has too much anxiety, their prefrontal cortex is not communicating effectively with the areas of the brain that are responsible for anxiety responses. TMS therapy gives the underactive area a boost, and the overactive the chance to even out, helping your brain cope far better with stress. The benefits of TMS include:

Non-Invasive Treatment: There is no anesthesia, no blood work, no lab work, and no incisions. Patients remain awake during the treatment and are welcome to bring their phones, watch a show, or read.

Minimal Side Effects: TMS therapy for anxiety is generally well tolerated. Some patients have reported mild headaches or mild scalp discomfort, both can be treated with over-the-counter medication and subside quickly. These side effects are incredibly mild compared to medication side effects that include weight gain, insomnia, mood swings, sweats, shakes, suicidal thoughts, & more.

Targeted Treatment: As we talked about – TMS therapy is targeting the areas of the brain that are causing the anxiety as opposed to a more generalized treatment of the symptoms.

Long Lasting Relief: We have nearly 75% of our patients who complete their treatments and reach remission. 20-30% of patients may need a tune-up, so to speak after 1 year or 2 years, so the durability of this treatment surpasses other unconventional treatments. It feels impossible to live without anxiety when you have it, but you just haven’t found the right avenue of help yet.

Who Can Benefit from TMS Therapy?

TMS therapy for anxiety in particular is great for anyone who has not responded well or at all to traditional treatments. If you…

● Have tried multiple medications with little to no relief

● Experience intolerable side effects from said medications

● You’ve tried talk therapy and a combination of medications without relief.

● Would just prefer to treat your anxiety without pharmaceuticals.

● Feel you have tried everything and aren’t seeing a long-term solution in your horizon.

TMS therapy could be great for you. As we mentioned above, please contact us to ensure you are a good fit and qualify – our clinical team will help to guide you. There are other individual factors to consider!

Effectiveness of TMS Therapy for Anxiety

Aside from our own patient outcomes, there are numerous studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of TMS therapy for anxiety disorders. Research shows that TMS can show reduction of anxiety symptoms with many patients experiencing improvements in mood, sleep, and overall quality of life.

In a study highlighted in the National Library of Medicine, they found that most of the studies out of the 21 conducted obtained the sustained effect of relief of anxiety symptoms after undergoing TMS therapy. Something to also note from this study and others is that TMS therapy has shown to be particularly effective for patients with co-occurring depression and anxiety – offering relief from both conditions at the same time. Sometimes anxiety can be a symptom of depression and vice versa, so knowing that TMS can help both is extremely powerful.

Final Thoughts

TMS therapy for anxiety is a groundbreaking treatment option that offers real hope to those who have not found relief through traditional methods. It’s safe, non-invasive, long lasting, and FDA approved with very minimal, if any, side effects. As with any treatment option, it’s necessary to consult with a provider to make an informed decision on if this is right for you. Reach out to us today at your preferred location to set up a time for a consultation!

If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety and is seeking an alternative treatment, consider TMS therapy. With ongoing advancements, NeuroStim and TMS therapy for anxiety continues to be a beacon of hope for those in need of some relief.