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    Each treatment involves the gentle placement of the TMS coil against the patient’s head. Over a 30-40 minute period, pulses from the TMS coil are delivered in 30-second intervals. These pulses feel like tapping on the scalp. The tapping should not be bothersome and the technician can make adjustments if the taping is uncomfortable. TMS therapy also produces a loud clicking sound, so earplugs are recommended and usually provided


    Martha Rhodes

    For me, the only challenge I had to deal with during the first week was the intense tapping that required some getting used to. It felt like a small woodpecker tapping on the left side of my head in the front above the temple. The tapping was very quick for four seconds and then it was off for twenty-six seconds and then on again for four seconds. This sequence lasted for the thirty-seven minute session. It “smarted” only for those four seconds. I was a bit of a wimp about it, and because I was so fragile and depressed, it made me feel even more pitiful. But it’s like anything else, you get used to it—sort of like buying a pair of shoes you absolutely adore but they hurt your feet for the first week or so until you break them in. Then you feel like you could walk a mile and back in them. The same thing happened with getting through the adjustment to the tapping. Eventually I hardly noticed it.



    I just started TMS two weeks ago. When the doctor first set the intensity at 120% I freaked out because it hurt so much. If this happens, don’t despair–just make sure the doc sets the intensity much lower (in my case, 80%) and gradually ramps it up over the course of a few days. Within 5 days I was at the full intensity and while it’s uncomfortable, it’s no longer painful. Taking some ibuprofen before a session helps.



    I have had a variety of sensations, depending on coil position. With each new session’s first pulse if I have any serious discomfort (such as pain radiating down into face) the tech has made minor adjustments to the coil position to remedy that. The typical sensation for me is a firm tap on the scalp almost as though with a small hammer. It does not hurt, but I would not say it is pleasant. The one thing that happens to me that I am really unsure about is that my right hand and fingers violently twitch with each pulse….so no holding onto anything during treatment sessions.



    See this from this forum on the issue of twitching.

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