What will actually happen to me when I have TMS?


Brain Mapping

Before treatment begins, the psychiatrist who is prescribing your TMS will need to identify the correct placement of the magnets on your head and the prescribed dose of magnetic energy for you. Your first appointment typically lasts about 60 minutes. During this appointment:

You will be taken to a treatment room, asked to sit in a reclining chair and given earplugs to wear during the procedure.

An electromagnetic coil will be placed against your head and switched off and on repeatedly to produce stimulating pulses. This results in a tapping or clicking sound that usually lasts for a few seconds, followed by a pause. You will also feel a tapping sensation on your forehead. This part of the process is called mapping.


Initial Treatment

The psychiatrist who is prescribing your TMS will determine the amount of magnetic energy needed by increasing the magnetic dose until your fingers or hands twitch. Known as your motor threshold, this is used as a reference point in determining the right dose for you. During the course of treatment, the amount of stimulation can be changed, depending on your symptoms and side effects.

The TMS psychiatrist will then issue a prescription for future treatment sessions, which will be adhered to by the TMS treatment Credentialed Clinician.


Treatment Development

During each subsequent treatment you are seated in a comfortable chair. You are fully conscious and responsive. There are no medications involved in the treatment. The TMS clinician positions the magnet over the appropriate area of the scalp as prescribed by the psychiatrist and activates the magnet.

You will need to remove any metal hair clips, earrings and studs, glasses and hearing aids during your treatment. For ease of treatment it is preferable that you do not have gel, mousse or other products in your hair.


After your therapy

At the end of the treatment you can return to your usual routine activities, including driving your car.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments that you will have depends on your mental health condition, how quickly you respond to the treatment and the clinical judgement of your psychiatrist. TMS is typically given 5-6 times a week for 20 treatments. Treatment needs vary from individual to individual but typically your psychiatrist will prescribe maintenance treatment if your depression symptoms are returning.

Costs of TMS

For private patients, each session costs $180.

A full course of TMS is 20 - 30 treatments.