Is TMS an alternative therapy?
There is no singular treatment for depression, as each individual possesses unique needs, resulting in personalized responses to various depression treatments. The imperative for a specialized treatment plan for depression, crafted by experts, becomes evident for achieving the most successful outcomes and effective relief of depressive symptoms. While medication stands as a traditional approach widely employed by many physicians to address depressive disorders, its efficacy varies from case to case. Scientific advancements and the insights of mental health professionals have led to the development of alternative approaches such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
For those who have not experienced favorable outcomes with medications, there is a preference for less invasive treatment options and holistic approaches that not only target physical symptoms but also enhance overall well-being. Consequently, many individuals exploring alternative depression alleviation methods encounter TMS and pose the question, “Is TMS an alternative therapy?” The answer is affirmative – TMS is an integral component of a holistic approach to depression alleviation. This approach concentrates on addressing the physical health, emotional well-being, and overall wellness of an individual.
At Integrative Healthcare Center, our expert clinicians advocate for incorporating TMS into a comprehensive treatment plan that integrates various therapies. These include psychotherapy, mindfulness practices, balanced diets, physical activity, proper sleep hygiene, counseling, and support groups. The combined use of these modalities enhances the effects of TMS for depression, facilitating patients in attaining long-term, sustainable results.
Within this Integrative Healthcare Center blog, we will delve into TMS as an integral part of a comprehensive depression treatment plan, explore the advantages of combining TMS with diverse approaches to address all core issues and elucidate how holistic treatment strategies contribute to achieving remission of major depressive disorder.
What is TMS for Depression?
TMS is a contemporary, non-invasive, alternative treatment approved by the FDA in 2008 to address depression. This treatment option, integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan for depression, ensures safety and comfort with negligible side effects. Patients can swiftly resume their regular daily activities immediately following the treatment sessions.
During transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy sessions, a medical professional places a coil on the patient’s skull, emitting frequencies that target the prefrontal cortex of the patient’s brain—an area crucial for mood regulation. Experts recommend TMS, especially for individuals who have not responded favorably to previous medication therapies.
Despite its seemingly intricate name, “transcranial” refers to the procedure passing through the skull, “magnetic” denotes the use of magnetic fields (like Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI), and “stimulation” signifies the activation of brain cells in the prefrontal area, aimed at alleviating depressive symptoms. While TMS can be an effective stand-alone treatment, a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that combining TMS with other therapies, such as behavioral therapy, resulted in positive response rates of 66% and remission rates of 56% by the conclusion of treatment, with a sustained remission of 60% noted during the follow-up period.
Beyond TMS: Enhancing Depression Treatment with a Holistic Approach
An integrative or holistic treatment plan for depression goes beyond the traditional methods by considering the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Holistic treatments consider underlying causes such as psychological factors, hormonal changes, substance use, and environmental factors, including socioeconomic influences.
Combining TMS with other therapeutic approaches has been shown in research to alleviate symptoms of major depressive disorder further. Integrating TMS into a comprehensive treatment plan for depression provides additional support, especially for individuals who have not experienced recovery effects with other treatments.
Strategies for a Comprehensive Treatment Plan for Depression:
- Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) addresses harmful thought patterns and behaviors, complementing the neurobiological effects of TMS. The combination of CBT and TMS enhances the overall impact of the treatment plan, making it a valuable component for alleviating depression effects.
- Counseling and Support Groups: Emotional support and safe spaces for externalizing experiences, thoughts, and emotions are critical on the road to remission. Empathizing with others going through similar situations helps individuals learn strategies and coping mechanisms that have proven beneficial.
- Nutrition and Exercise: Incorporating healthy lifestyles, such as regular exercise and proper nutrition, plays a crucial role in supporting overall mental well-being. Studies from Harvard Medical School emphasize the importance of diet, exercise, and sleep hygiene in decreasing depressive symptoms.
- Mindfulness Practices: Research from Psychiatric Clinics of North America indicates that mindfulness-based interventions effectively reduce the severity of anxiety and depression symptoms. Moreover, incorporating meditation and mindfulness exercises during TMS brain stimulation can produce synergistic effects.
Incorporating additional methods into a depression treatment plan with TMS broadens the spectrum of therapeutic strategies available, addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects inherent in the multifaceted nature of depression. Science and research-backed strategies synergize with TMS, offering individuals a personalized and practical roadmap to remission. Adopting a diverse and customized treatment plan for depression ensures a more comprehensive and supportive journey toward finding relief from major depressive disorder.
Integrative Healthcare Center Recommends TMS as Part of Integrative Treatment Plan for Depression
At the Integrative Healthcare Center, we recognize that depression is a widespread disorder affecting millions of people nationwide. Located in Nashua, New Hampshire, our clinic assists individuals in New England grappling with major depressive disorder and seeking relief beyond conventional therapies. Within our center, we offer Deep TMS therapy, and our team of depression treatment physicians is committed to helping you design an integrative treatment plan that combines the most beneficial methods tailored to each patient’s needs. This approach enhances the effects of TMS on depression by addressing all aspects of the patient’s well-being.