5512 NE 109th Ct, Ste N, Vancouver, Washington 98662, United States
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(360) 719-2449

Welcome to TMS NW, PLLC

Frequently Asked Questions

What is TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. 

Brainsway's Deep TMS for depression and OCD is a non-invasive treatment which can stimulate the brain region responsible for symptoms and generate significant improvement. TMS delivers electrical stimulation to the brain. The technique involves placement of a small coil over the head; a rapidly alternating current is passed through the coil wire, producing a magnetic field that passes unimpeded through the brain. 

Who is eligible?

TMS is indicated by the FDA for the treatment of depressive episodes in adult patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder and OCD,  who failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from previous  anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication treatment in the current episode. 


TMS therapy should NOT be used if you have metal implants in or around your head (except for standard amalgam dental  fillings). These include but are not limited to a cochlear implant, implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), pacemaker, deep brain stimulator, vagus nerve stimulator, or metal aneurysm clips or coils, staples, or stents.

How does TMS work?

In each TMS therapy session, the patient is comfortably seated in a chair, a custom cloth cap is placed onto the head followed by a cushioned helmet. The helmet generates brief magnetic fields, at a similar amplitude to that used in  magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems. Typically, during TMS therapy sessions, patients hear a tapping sound and feel a tapping sensation in the head area during the 20 minute-treatment. To diminish the sound, the patient is provided with  earplugs.

After each session, patients can return home independently, and immediately resume their daily routine.

How frequent are sessions?

TMS requires daily sessions over 4-6 weeks.  Treatment sessions build on one another so it's best to follow the recommended treatment course. Once treatment is complete there can sometimes be checkup/maintenance visits as needed.

What are the most common side effects?

The most common side effect is temporary, mild pain or discomfort in the  area of the treatment site, which occurs during the TMS therapy session. This typically occurs only during the first week of TMS  treatment. Other side effects may include muscle twitching, headache and jaw pain.

How is TMS compared to ECT?

A generally well-tolerated outpatient treatment, Brainsway Deep TMS  therapy does not require hospitalization or anesthesia, and does not  entail risks for memory loss, systemic side effects or an indefinite drug regimen. In contrast to electroconvulsive therapy, TMS does not induce convulsions. 

How is deep TMS different than traditional TMS?

Deep TMS offers effective results in almost half the time of other treatments  (just 20 minutes per session compared to 37 with traditional TMS), requiring daily sessions over 4-6 weeks.

Is TMS effective?

Yes. Brainsway Deep TMS therapy was tested in over 60 clinical trials. An extensive multi-center study for treating treatment-resistant depression, with Brainsway Deep TMS, enrolling 230 patients, Brainsway Deep TMS  therapy significantly reduced depressive symptoms and generated  improvement. Following this study, the FDA approved Brainsway Deep TMS therapy for major depressive disorder in patients who did not benefit from any number of previous medication treatments.

What else is TMS approved for?

In the U.S. there are now 2 FDA cleared indications: Depression and now OCD!  TMS is considered investigational as a treatment for all other indications, including but not limited to: bipolar, schizophrenia, bulimia nervosa, migraines, fibromyalgia, panic disorder, Parkinson's disease, PTSD, alcohol dependence, smoking cessation, chronic pain, Alzheimer's, ADHD and Autism.

Will I be able to stop medication?

It is possible to achieve and sustain remission from depression following TMS treatment.  This can mean medication doses can be lowered or tapered off completely.  This all depends on the client's needs.  During treatment, medications are continued and clients are stabilized on their regimen prior to treatment.

Does TMS NW Provide Psychotherapy?

No, TMS NW does not provide psychotherapy.  Clients are encouraged to continue care with their therapist during treatment for best results.

What are insurance requirements for approval?

Please see the insurance portion of this website for detailed information.