TMS and You

San Ramon: (925) 837-1100

Modesto: (209) 253-1700

Palo Alto: (650) 518-7555

Los Gatos: (408) 740-3100

Berkeley: (510) 463-3310

Typical TMS Treatment


Each individual TMS treatment session is a short outpatient procedure that lasts about 30-45 minutes. During treatment, patients can relax in the treatment chair, and you can speak with our TMS Specialists whenever necessary. After the procedure, patients can immediately return to their normal routine, including driving.

Your first treatment session

At the first treatment, our TMS-certified technician will determine how to most effectively administer your treatment. For this reason, the first session could last up to an hour and a half.

We will first perform a test to identify your motor threshold. The motor threshold is the amount of magnetic field strength that results in a movement of your right thumb. This test is important because it identifies the magnetic field strength that will be used in your treatment. This field strength is customized for each patient to deliver the correct treatment dose.

The first treatment session will also be used for fitting the coil to your head. The TMS technician will determine the place on the head where the TMS treatment will be applied and the magnetic coil will be moved to that location. This will allow you to receive optimal treatment.

The TMS Specialist will then administer TMS Therapy over an approximately 40-minute period. In 30-second intervals, the device will deliver rapid "pulses" of the magnetic fields. These will feel like tapping on your scalp. Some patients may find this tapping uncomfortable. Your physician may be able to make adjustments to reduce this discomfort.

After the procedure

Immediately following each treatment session, you may return to your normal daily routine including driving. During or after treatment you may experience headache or discomfort at the site of stimulation. These are common side effects that often improve as further treatment sessions are administered. If necessary, you can treat this discomfort with an over-the-counter analgesic. If these side effects persist, your TMS physician can temporarily reduce the strength of the magnetic field pulses being administered in order to make treatment more comfortable.

In clinical trials by NeuroStar TMS Therapy, most patients who benefited from TMS experienced results by the fourth week of treatment. Some patients may experience results in less time, while others may take longer. We will discuss your treatment progression throughout the treatment course. If symptoms persist, you may want to consider other antidepressant options.

Are you ready for TMS?

If you or a loved one is considering TMS Therapy, please call our office to schedule a consultation. We will review your current situation and assess whether TMS is right for you. If you elect to do TMS Therapy, we will schedule an initial visit where we will determine your motor threshold and fit the coil for therapy.

TMS Therapy Insurance Coverage

Since the FDA clearance of TMS in 2008, insurance coverage for eligible patients has increased significantly. Currently, there are over 60 coverage polices for TMS, including most Medicare contractors. Although TMS is not a first line of treatment, it is an alternative option for those who are not responding to or cannot tolerate medications. Patients are encouraged to speak directly with their Doctor regarding any specific insurance questions. Patients can also contact a Reimbursement Specialist and receive assistance with understanding insurance coverage and verifying insurance benefits. For a list of the insurance companies and applicable states that cover TMS Therapy, please click here.