transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

non-invasive brain stimulation treatment

What Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) or Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive technique that helps to treat a number of disorders through mild stimulation of the brain.  

At Medsana Medical Clinic, TMS treatment is typically administered by accredited TMS clinicians to alleviate symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or other conditions in cases where other treatments have not been effective.

In TMS, a small electromagnetic coil is gently placed on your scalp to specifically target areas of the brain involved in regulating mood with repetitive magnetic pulses . 

At the correct strengths, these pulses produce a therapeutic effect and stimulate beneficial electrical activity in the immediate nerves with little to no pain. As a result, a standard session will see you lying in a comfortable chair without the need for either anaesthetic or sedation.


Who Is Suitable For TMS Treatments? Will It Work For You?

This procedure has been studied for over 35 years and research indicates that repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an effective treatment for depression. 

There are a number of ways that depression can be treated. One treatment or a combination of treatments that is effective for you may not be effective for another individual, and vice versa. 

TMS services is generally offered to patients who do not respond to or find relief in other treatments such as psychotherapy and medication. It may also be offered as an alternative to ECT or patients that cannot tolerate the side effects of anti-depressant medications.

It is important that you discuss with our doctors to determine any individual factors that may affect the likelihood you will benefit from TMS therapy. Before scheduling a course of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation at Medsana Medical Clinic, our doctors and TMS therapists will complete a comprehensive evaluation to determine if it is both safe and appropriate for you.


Video: What Is Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)?

happy young lady looking out the window and enjoying coffee in the morning

"There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t."

John Green

What Are The Risks Associated With The TMS Treatment?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) and endorsed by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists as an effective treatment of depression. Research to date indicates that TMS carries minimal risks and no long-term side effects when proper procedures are followed in both the selection and treatment of patients. 

Our clinicians take any risks very seriously and will carefully screen each patient for potential risk factors before treatment. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor or one at Medsana to discuss whether this treatment is suitable for you.

Patients are able to drive to and from each treatment session. Tolerance to the common side effects is generally developed and due to their mild nature, few patients will discontinue treatment.

Common side effects:
  • Clicking noise may be uncomfortable (earplugs can be provided)
  • Localised discomfort on your scalp
  • Mild headaches
  • Possible facial muscle twitching
  • Transient light-headedness or tiredness
Very rare side effects:
  • Risk of seizures
  • May induce a manic or hypomanic episode
Doctor comforting and holding hands with a patient

What Is Involved With A Standard Course Of TMS Treatments?

Patient Care

A Coordinator will contact you to ask screening questions, answer any questions you may have and book your initial assessment. They will also facilitate funding arrangements (if required) after completion of the initial assessment.


Visit our TMS clinic in Brisbane, Australia where our Psychiatrist and/or TMS Clinician will assess your suitability, treatment history and establish a baseline measure which will be used to determine whether the treatment is working. Additionally, the resting motor threshold – dose and individual TMS treatment – will be determined.

Acute Treatment

In this phase, you will have 3-5 rTMS sessions a week (approximately 60mins/session) for 4-7 weeks using our advanced TMS machine. A Psychiatrist/TMS Clinician will measure how you are responding to treatment at regular intervals. After this first block of treatment changes in your mood should be noticeable.

If TMS therapy is working for you, treatment will continue. A report will be delivered to your treatment team at the end of this phase. Treatment may be extended if necessary, depending upon your response.

Maintenance Treatment

After you have completed the acute phase of treatment, you may be prescribed ongoing maintenance treatment as part of your relapse prevention plan.

If you would like to address your mental health and want to know if magnetic therapy for depression is suitable for you, please book an initial consultation to discuss this further with one of our caring General Practitioners. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, we are here to help.