Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is known for its effectiveness as a noninvasive therapy for treatment-resistant depression and other mental health conditions. If you’ve decided that this treatment is right for you and are ready to jump into a series of sessions, there are a few things you can do before, during, and after your treatment sessions to help you make the best of them.

Before Your Treatments

Preparing your mind and body for TMS treatment will help you to reap as many benefits as possible while undergoing this therapy. While it might sound surprising, drinking caffeine before your treatment can help you to experience more benefits because of its stimulating properties. The caffeine combines with the pulses created by TMS to maximize their effects.

As you undergo TMS therapy for your mental health, it’s also recommended that you create a schedule (and keep to it) that will allow you to make the most of your visits. With TMS treatment, being consistent is key.

During Your Visit

Keeping your brain active during TMS treatments is important because the therapy works better with an engaged mind. Because of this, it’s important that you don’t let your brain rest during treatment. Do your best to remain vigilant. One way to achieve this is by keeping up conversation during the therapy session. Engaging in conversation makes your brain more capable of processing information, supporting the effects of the pulses it’s receiving.

After Treatment and Beyond

The day of your treatment, there are a couple of things that will help your body and mind feel greater relief from the symptoms of depression. Immediately following your session, if your schedule will allow it, experts recommend taking in a workout at the gym to give you an energy boost and sleep better. And a good night’s sleep is recommended for one very important reason, as well: early treatment sessions can have a drowsing effect, and getting restful sleep will help balance your mood and energy.

There are other good steps to take during treatment and beyond, including eating a balanced diet. A healthy diet will benefit you by keeping your mental energy levels boosted during your sessions, but will also pay off in the long run, supporting your body and mental health. Likewise, staying hydrated will help you to feel fresh and alert.

And remember that everyone reacts differently to TMS treatments—there’s no “right” way to experience it. As you go through your treatment sessions, be sure to be gentle with yourself to support your mental health and healing.

About the Author

Kimberly Sandberg Aloha Integrative Health
Kim Sandberg is the owner and founder of Aloha Integrative Health and a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She has two advanced degrees: a Masters of Science in Nursing as a Nurse Anesthetist and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. She has worked in a variety of settings, though the biggest impact on Kim and her work came from her 28 years of service in the Navy Reserve.

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