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If you follow along with the things happening at MindPath Care Centers or in the general mental healthcare world, you may have heard about a new service called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy or “TMS.” You’re probably wondering, with a name like that and how it looks, what does it even do and is TMS therapy even offered near you?

In short, TMS is a non-medication therapy cleared by the FDA to help treat depressionobsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and smoking addiction in patients who have not found relief with standard treatments. It can be a helpful form of alternative therapy if you have not found any lasting or meaningful change to your quality of life from other treatments. Not only is TMS therapy easy and noninvasive, but more than 60 clinical trials have shown it to be effective.

But let’s go a little further in-depth and explain exactly who stands to benefit from this service and how it works:

What does TMS Therapy do?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation involves sitting in a comfortable chair in one of our offices while a technician places a machine onto your head. Instead of you taking medicine, the TMS machine uses short, magnetic pulses, sent through a magnetic coil, to stimulate nerve cells in the parts of your brain believed to be involved in regulating mood and emotions.

It may sound scary, but these magnetic fields are the same type and strength as those produced by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine used in hospitals. The main difference is that, instead of using it to view large areas of your body or your whole brain, the pulses reach only about 2-3 centimeters into the brain, only affecting the area directly beneath the treatment coil.

As the magnetic pulses move into your brain, they produce tiny electrical currents, activating brain cells that are thought to release serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. In many people, mental health conditions may be caused by an imbalance of these chemicals (also called neurotransmitters) in the brain. You might feel like you’ve entered a sci-fi movie, but TMS Therapy is based in reality and may be able to relieve your symptoms by restoring these chemicals to the proper balance.

Before you can start TMS, you receive a health assessment to determine your specific needs, and then you may start out with daily sessions for 3-6 weeks. If needed, you may have tapering sessions for 3 more weeks.

If TMS works for you, you will see your symptoms improve or even go away completely. This may take a few weeks of treatment.

What are the benefits and side effects?

While individual results can vary, MindPath’s TMS treatment remission rates for depression collectively are significantly higher than that of other published studies. MindPath found that, out of 181 patients from 2019-2020, 89% of them had greater than 50% improvement in symptoms and 61% went into remission. Only 11% had no response to the treatment.¹

This is great news for the future of mental health and, as TMS is still being researched and tested for different conditions and different parts of the brain, we are committed and pride ourselves in immersing in the latest discoveries.

On the other hand, you may be wondering about what the side effects are when using a machine like this. One of the best parts of TMS is that it has very minimal side effects.

With TMS Therapy:

  • You are awake and alert during the treatment
  • You don’t need anesthesia or sedation
  • The treatment is “non-systemic,” meaning it does not involve medication taken by mouth, so nothing is circulating in your bloodstream
  • You can resume your usual activities immediately
  • Your memory or mental clarity is not affected

But, like any other type of treatment, some side effects are possible. These may include headaches, discomfort where the coil is placed, tingling or spasms of facial muscles, and/or lightheadedness. Most of these side effects are mild and go away shortly after each session – diminishing over time. Sometimes, as well, symptoms may feel worse before they start to improve, but it is usually not something to worry about.


Where can I receive TMS Therapy?

We offer TMS at six locations across North Carolina. These include


  • 1130 Situs Court, Ste 109
    Raleigh, NC 27606
  • 3610 Bush Street
    Raleigh, NC 27609


  • 3604 Shannon Rd, Ste 200
    Durham, NC 27707
  • 4220 Apex Hwy, Ste 200
    Durham, NC 27713


  • 6060 Piedmont Row Dr S, Ste 500
    Charlotte, NC 28287


  • 6752 Parker Farm Dr, Ste 100
    Wilmington, NC 28405

Trent Brown

Trent Brown is the Social Media and Content Manager at MindPath. Trent graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a former newspaper journalist, in which he focused on spreading awareness about disability issues. He has been published in multiple journals, papers and magazines, and is an aspiring fiction author.

We want to hear from you! Send comments you want to share with us to blog@mindpathcare.com. These messages will remain private and, while we may share details of your thoughts with others or online, we will do so anonymously unless you state another preference.

¹*Between 1/4/2019 to 8/11/2020
** n = 181 total number of patients who completed the protocol for MDD
*** Based on standardized scales QIDS, PHQ9, or Ham-D. If the patient scores at or below the definition of mild in any of these scales, patient is determined to be in remission.
**** Patients are evaluated at the beginning, once per week and at the end of 36 treatments. Our remission statistics are tabulated from the end result after all treatments, although some patients go into remission well before the end of treatment.
Note: Clinical outcomes and expectations are different for each patient and, as a result, one patient’s response may not be indicative of another patient’s response.

Please note that, while we publish accurate information with professional input, no information in this blog is intended as a replacement for medical advice from licensed providers. To receive such advice please contact MindPath Care Centers at mindpathcare.com or call us at 877-876-3783, and we will connect you with a professional who can further assist you.

Tropical Storm Isaias is headed towards the Carolinas

Tropical Storm Isaias is headed towards the Carolinas. Please note that we plan to be open for appointments; however, be aware that power outages may be widespread which may impact telehealth and other appointments. We may not know until the last minute in all of our locations on Tuesday. Please be patient. We will waive missed appointment charges on Tuesday, August 4th in light of complications from the weather. If you and your provider are unable to connect, we will reach out to reschedule your appointment as soon as possible.