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How rTMS Works: A Guide to Non-Invasive Treatment for Mental Illness

How rTMS Works: A Guide to Non-Invasive Treatment for Mental Illness

Breaking free from mental illness can feel like a never-ending battle. But what if there was a non-invasive, medication-free solution that could help you reclaim your life? Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could be the solution. blog, we will explore the stigma surrounding mental health in communities of colour, and provide some strategies for navigating these challenges.

What is rTMS?

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive, painless procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It is an effective treatment for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
In an interview with Dr. Digney from Optimind Clinic, Dr. Digney discusses that rTMS is a modality used to help people, particularly those with treatment-resistant depression, feel better. Dr. Digney explains that the underlying principle of rTMS is to activate the nerves in the brain that are not functioning properly, either positively or negatively, using an electromagnetic field. This technique stimulates the cortex of the brain where the nerves are located, and the stimulation of specific areas can help to connect into the networks that aren’t functioning correctly, ultimately reducing depression symptoms. According to Dr. Digney, approximately 50% of those who undergo rTMS treatment achieve remission, while roughly 20% do not respond. It is encouraging to note that rTMS is a promising option for those who have not found success with other treatment methods.
Check out this clip of Dr. Digney demonstrating how the rTMS machine works:
In this informative clip, Dr. Digney from Optimind Clinic discusses the science behind repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and how it can be used to treat mental illness:
As you saw in the video clips above, rTMS works by using an electromagnetic coil to create magnetic fields that pass through the scalp and skull. These magnetic fields can then activate nerve cells in the brain, which can help to improve symptoms of mental illness.
The procedure is typically done on an outpatient basis and involves placing the electromagnetic coil over the patient’s scalp. During the procedure, the patient will hear a clicking sound and feel a tapping sensation on the scalp. The treatment usually lasts around 30 minutes, and patients can return to their normal activities immediately following the procedure.
One of the main benefits of rTMS is that it is a non-invasive treatment option, which means that it does not require surgery or the use of medication. This can be particularly beneficial for patients who are unable to tolerate or do not respond well to traditional treatments for mental illness.
In addition to its effectiveness in treating mental illness, rTMS has also been shown to have few side effects. The most common side effects of rTMS are mild discomfort, headache, and scalp discomfort.


Overall, rTMS is a promising treatment option for mental illness, particularly for patients who have not responded well to traditional treatments. It is a non-invasive, safe, and effective way to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, which can help to improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and OCD.
To determine whether rTMS is a suitable treatment option for you, it’s best to seek the advice of a mental health professional. You can schedule a consultation with a licensed practitioner at Optimind Clinic who can provide you with more information, answer any questions you may have, and assist you in making an informed decision.

About Optimind Clinic

At Optimind we are the experts in TMS. TMS is non-invasive, pain-free, evidence based treatment approved by Health Canada in 2002. Safe, with minimal to no side effects, TMS is a treatment used worldwide. Whether you are seeking a safe and effective treatment for mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, PTSD, or OCD, or you are seeking to improve your memory and cognition to truly make your best years your best, we are here for you. At Optimind we are client focused and research-driven, using objective evaluative tools and leading-edge training and technology. We offer an innovative, persistent, and compassionate approach. We are the longest-standing, most experienced provider of TMS in the region, and our highly trained team holds certification from Harvard, CAMH, and the International TMS Society so you can Just. Feel. Better.

To easily search, compare and book an appointment with a mental health professional near you, visit medimap.ca.

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