Transcranial Magnetic devices are patented technologies that treat the brain electrically to relieve depression, anxiety and insomnia. It works by stimulating the brain to produce serotonin and other neurotransmitters required for healthy mood and sleep, while also lowering cortisol and modulating the center brain regions responsible for managing the sympathetic nervous system (known as the "fight or flight" response). Most patients report symptom reduction within the first 1-2 weeks of 20 minute sessions.
In terms of treating insomnia, our technology is not a sedative - rather, the device helps your brain produce a restful state that accelerates sleep onset and enables longer periods of sleep and total sleep time (TST). Improving sleep is important in and of itself, and it's also a critical means of reducing depression and anxiety.
The device we use has been regulated for use longer than any other wearable neuro-stimulation device on the market. Over 85,000 people have used it in the United States, and over 14,000 licensed healthcare providers have been prescribing our medical device since 2009.*
The device has been on the market for decades without any reports of long-term negative effects. Less than 1% of patients report a mild, temporary headache or dizziness when using the device.
Additionally, although not a side effect, improper use of the device may result in minor skin irritation beneath the electrode sites - this can occur if the sponges are not thoroughly wet before use or if the scalp and/or hair are not clean.
The device we use is not the same as ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy). While both deliver alternating current to the brain for therapeutic effect, they are at vastly different strengths. Ours provide mild stimulation therapy designed gently - it does not cause a seizure or serious side effects. ECT, while often effective, is performed in a hospital while the patient is under anesthesia and is designed to induce a seizure. ECT often causes memory loss. ECT delivers 800-1000+ mA of electricity, which causes a seizure. Ours delivers 1-4 mA of electricity and does not cause a seizure. ECT is administered when a patient is under anesthesia. Of course, we do not do that. Only medical facilities use anesthesia. Our system does not require that. It delivers such a mild current that patients typically wear it while reading a book, on the computer or watching TV. The stimulation from our device is rarely perceived and is not uncomfortable.
While the results improve depression, memory, attention/focus, etc., our device has also been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. The therapy plan is typically 4-6 weeks, with patients coming in for 20 minute sessions at least 4 days a week. It is approved and covered by some insurances. Our office does not file insurance, therefore this therapy is an out-of-pocket expense. However, those who have an HSA or FSA account with their insurance can use it for these therapy sessions. Under insurance, the cost as much as $300 per session. Our cost, however, is $60 per session. We believe that anything necessary needs to be proactively successful in the outcome but also affordable.
Who should not consider transcranial magnetic stimulation?
Those that are not eligible candidates would be patients who have electronic device implants, such as pacemakers, cranial implants like deep brain stimulators.
Those with known heart disease are also not candidates.
Currently pregnant women should wait until after delivery before this therapy.
May I use the device in combination with medication?
Yes. The device does not negatively interact with any medication and may be safely used with antidepressants and/or other medications. Do not reduce or stop taking your medication without first speaking to your doctor.
What about research? How much is known about this method?
The particular device we chose to bring into the office is the most highly researched wearable brain stimulation device on the market. It is not overwhelming or heavy apparatus. It's as light as a headband, placed on across the forehead. There are not 50 wires, only 2. The company that engineered it conducted research on biomarkers (increased serotonin, lowered cortisol), depression, anxiety, insomnia, patient safety (including pediatric), Parkinson’s disease, and the treatment of substance use disorder patients - in total involving more than 1100 participants. In addition to this research, our device has been prescribed by 14,000 healthcare providers to 85,000 patients, as mentioned earlier. The FDA has already cleared our technology for the treatment of depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Most recently, we conducted three clinical trials during the pandemic and, in January 2022, launched a landmark pilot program with the Seattle Police Department to improve the mental health of uniformed police officers. In February 2022, we launched a pivotal study to obtain new FDA approval for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder.
A study conducted at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital and published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease concluded that Bipolar II Depression (BD II) patients who received 4 to 7 sessions weekly experienced significant reduction in self-reported depression symptoms compared to patients using a placebo device. No serious side effects or adverse events such as hypomania were experienced by patients in the study.
Another study evaluated 10 patients who had cerebrospinal fluid and plasma collected before and after undergoing 20 minutes of cranial electrical stimulation (CES) with a cranial electrical stimulator. Data analysis showed that cerebrospinal fluid and plasma levels of serotonin and beta-endorphin increased significantly, and melatonin increased significantly in plasma. This hypothalamic modulation may explain the reported antidepressant effect of cranial electrical stimulation. See full report.
What about cost?
Those who have an HSA or FSA account with their insurance can use it for these therapy sessions. Under insurance, the cost as much as $300 per session. Our cost, however, is $60 per session. We believe that anything necessary needs to be proactively successful in the outcome but also affordable.
The recommended therapy time is 4 sessions per week for 4 to 6 weeks. (Total therapy of 4 - 6 weeks will range from $960 to $1440.) Patients know in the first 2 weeks how they are progressing, then can proceed from there.
Financing for this therapy coming soon!
"I tried to manage my own depression and anxiety symptoms with medication when I was in my twenties - these drugs helped me for a couple of months, but the side effects became unsustainable and effectiveness rapidly deteriorated over time.
I’m here because we all deserve better mental health, and this technology led me to a level of relief that I didn’t believe was possible. For me, the combination of the device, regular exercise and a healthy diet has been successful, but not perfect. But my outcome is solid. I don’t feel like I have to perform all the time anymore, and I have the energy and peace-of-mind needed to be a parent and spouse." -Kelly
"I've suffered from chronic anxiety for over 7 years. Only recently were my symptoms diagnosed as PTSD. The device it is almost like flipping a switch - it reboots my brain back to a resting state of clarity and calm." -Elisabeth
"I had been suffering from two months of relentless insomnia. I am here to tell you that this device has been nothing short of a miracle. ALL other symptoms including the insomnia have been eliminated! The big test was when I had to give a speech before a large crowd which normally would devastate me with anxiety. I did have a small amount of nervousness but I was able to overcome it and deliver the speech with confidence and I actually enjoyed it once I began! Truly a miracle! Gone is the ever present debilitating anxiety that was preventing me from enjoying life. And if you suffer from insomnia or depression why take drugs when this device can change your life? It’s certainly worth a try considering there is a 30 day trial. For me it has been a lifesaver!" -Gail
*Our office does not prescribe pharmaceutical medications or prescriptive services. This therapy is a non-invasive modality, in keeping with our naturopathic stance to employ methods that help the body- not puncture, alter, shock or harm the body.