What is TMS?

TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is a non-invasive medical procedure used to treat certain mental health conditions, particularly depression. It involves the use of a device that generates magnetic fields to stimulate specific areas of the brain. This stimulation is believed to improve neuronal activity in the targeted brain regions, which may help improve symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions. TMS is typically administered as a series of treatment sessions, and it has been approved by TGA, Therapeutic Goods Australia, as a safe and effective treatment option for depression.

Medicare & DVA covered*

No out-of-pocket fees**

Non-invasive treatment

* No-out-of-pocket fees for Medicare patients who meet the Depression eligibility criteria.
** Read more about the cost of TMS and Medicare coverage

The Melbourne Psychiatry Centre is now offering repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an effective treatment option for Major Depression and possibly other psychiatric disorders at our Brighton location.

How does TMS work?

TMS is delivered using a highly specialized machine.

1. Coil Placement: A TMS coil is placed on the scalp, typically over the region of the brain being targeted for stimulation. The coil is usually held in place by a mechanical arm, allowing precise positioning.

2. Magnetic Pulse Generation: When the TMS device is activated, it generates a brief, powerful magnetic pulse. This pulse passes through the scalp and skull without causing any harm to the tissues.

3. Inducing Electrical Currents: As the magnetic pulse passes through the skull, it induces electrical currents in the underlying brain tissue. These currents are of sufficient strength to depolarize neurons in the targeted area.

4. Neuronal Activation or Inhibition: Depending on the parameters of the stimulation, TMS can either activate or inhibit the activity of neurons in the stimulated region. High-frequency stimulation tends to increase neuronal activity, while low-frequency stimulation decreases it.

5. Neuroplastic Effects: Repeated sessions of TMS can lead to lasting changes in brain activity and connectivity, a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. This makes TMS a potentially valuable tool for treating various neurological and psychiatric conditions.

TMS is used in both research and clinical settings for various purposes, including mapping brain function, investigating neurological disorders, and treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and certain movement disorders. However, the exact mechanisms underlying its therapeutic effects are still being studied.

Benefits of TMS

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) offers several potential benefits over traditional medications for the treatment of depression and other psychiatric conditions. Here are some of the key advantages of TMS:

1.Non-Invasive: TMS is a non-invasive procedure that does not require surgery or implantation of devices. Unlike electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), another brain stimulation therapy, TMS does not induce seizures and does not require anesthesia.

2. Fewer Systemic Side Effects: While antidepressant medications can cause a range of systemic side effects, such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and gastrointestinal disturbances, TMS is associated with fewer systemic side effects. Most side effects of TMS are mild and transient, typically limited to mild headache or discomfort at the treatment site.

3. Targeted Stimulation: TMS allows for precise targeting of specific brain regions implicated in depression, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This targeted stimulation may lead to more focused and effective treatment compared to medications, which affect the entire brain and can lead to non-specific effects.

4. Potential for Rapid Response: Some patients may experience rapid improvement in depressive symptoms with TMS, often within the first few weeks of treatment. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have not responded to medications or who are in need of more immediate relief from symptoms. 5. No Drug Interactions: TMS does not involve the use of medications, so there are no drug interactions to consider. This makes it a potentially safer option for individuals who are taking multiple medications or who have medical conditions that may complicate medication management.

6. Suitable for Treatment-Resistant Depression: TMS has been shown to be effective in treating depression that has not responded adequately to antidepressant medications, including treatment-resistant depression. This makes it an important alternative or adjunctive therapy for individuals who have not benefited from other treatment options.

7. Well-Tolerated: TMS is generally well-tolerated by most patients. It is an outpatient procedure that does not require sedation or hospitalization, and patients can typically resume their normal activities immediately after treatment.

8. Potential for Long-Term Benefits: Research suggests that the benefits of TMS treatment may persist over the long term, with some patients experiencing sustained improvement in depressive symptoms even after the end of the acute treatment phase.

Overall, TMS offers several advantages over traditional medications for the treatment of depression and other psychiatric conditions. However, it’s important to note that individual responses to treatment can vary, and not all patients will experience significant benefit from TMS. Treatment decisions should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare provider who can assess the individual’s specific condition and treatme

Conditions treated with TMS

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be used to treat several different conditions, including:

1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): TMS is FDA-approved for the treatment of MDD in individuals who have not responded adequately to antidepressant medications. It is often used as an alternative or adjunct treatment for depression.

2. Bipolar Disorder: TMS can be used to treat depressive episodes in individuals with bipolar disorder, especially when antidepressant medications are not well-tolerated or effective.

3. Anxiety Disorders: TMS has shown promise in the treatment of various anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

4. Chronic Pain: TMS has been studied as a potential treatment for chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain. It is thought to modulate pain signals in the brain and provide relief.

5. Parkinson’s Disease: TMS can be used as a non-invasive method to stimulate specific brain regions in individuals with Parkinson’s disease, potentially improving motor symptoms.

6. Stroke Rehabilitation: TMS has been investigated as a tool for stroke rehabilitation, aiming to enhance motor recovery and improve functional outcomes.

It’s important to note that while TMS has shown effectiveness in treating these conditions, it may not be suitable or effective for everyone. A thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional is necessary to determine if TMS is an appropriate treatment option for an individual’s specific condition.

TMS Patient Jounrey

During a typical Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment session, the following steps are involved:

1. Preparation: Before the session begins, the patient is comfortably seated in a chair. The clinician ensures that the patient is relaxed and properly positioned.

2. Coil Placement: The clinician positions the TMS coil on the patient’s scalp, targeting the specific region of the brain that needs to be stimulated. The coil is usually held in place using a mechanical arm to ensure precise positioning.

3. Stimulation Parameters: The clinician sets the parameters for the TMS treatment, including the intensity, frequency, and duration of the magnetic pulses. These parameters are often determined based on the specific condition being treated and the individual patient’s needs.

4. Stimulation: Once the parameters are set, the clinician activates the TMS device, and the magnetic pulses are delivered to the targeted brain region. The patient may feel a tapping or clicking sensation on the scalp as the pulses are administered, but the procedure is generally painless.

5. Session Duration: A typical TMS treatment session lasts anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the protocol being used and the specific condition being treated. During this time, the patient remains awake and alert.

6. Multiple Sessions: TMS treatment usually involves multiple sessions spread out over several weeks. The exact number of sessions and frequency of treatment may vary depending on the patient’s response and the goals of therapy.

7. Monitoring: Throughout the session, the clinician monitors the patient’s response to the treatment, including any immediate effects or side effects that may occur. Adjustments to the stimulation parameters may be made based on the patient’s feedback and clinical judgment.

8. Post-Treatment: After the session is complete, the patient can typically resume normal activities immediately. Some patients may experience mild side effects such as headache or scalp discomfort, but these are usually temporary and resolve quickly.

Overall, TMS treatment is a well-tolerated and non-invasive procedure that can be performed in an outpatient setting. It is often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for conditions such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and certain neurological disorders.

TMS Consultation

The first step before undertaking TMS is consultation with a professional or an expert about the suitability of the treatment for the individual and obtaining information about transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This consultation allows individuals to gather relevant information about TMS, understand its potential benefits and risks, and make informed decisions about whether TMS is a suitable treatment option for their specific condition.

During a TMS information consult, the professional or expert will typically obtain detailed history of your mental health symptoms, past treatment before providing detailed explanations about how TMS works, the procedure itself, and the potential outcomes. They may discuss the specific conditions that TMS is commonly used to treat, such as depression, anxiety, or certain neurological disorders. The professional may inquire about the individual’s medical history, current medications, and previous treatment experiences to determine if TMS is a viable option.

The consult may also include a discussion about the candidacy criteria for TMS, including any contraindications or precautions that need to be considered.

Additionally, the consult may cover the expected treatment duration, potential side effects, and the overall cost and insurance coverage of TMS. The professional may also address any concerns or questions raised by the individual to ensure they have a clear understanding of the treatment.

Overall, a TMS information consult serves as an educational session to provide individuals with the necessary information to make an informed decision about pursuing TMS as a treatment option for their specific condition.


The fees for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can vary depending on several factors, including the location, clinic, treatment protocol, and any additional services provided. It’s best to consult with our TMS nurse to get accurate and up-to-date information on their fee schedule.

However, here are some general considerations regarding the cost of TMS:

1. Initial Assessment: There may be an initial assessment fee, which covers the evaluation of the individual’s condition, medical history, and determining the appropriateness of TMS as a treatment option.

2. Treatment Sessions: TMS treatment typically involves multiple sessions over several weeks. The cost per session can range from a few hundred to several hundred dollars depending on the duration and intensity of the treatment. Our clinic is offering BULK BILLING TMS treatment for patients with Major Depression.

3. Total Treatment Course: The total cost of a full TMS treatment course can vary widely. It depends on the number of sessions recommended for the specific condition.

4. Insurance Coverage: Some insurance providers cover TMS treatment for specific conditions, while others may not. It’s important to check with the insurance company to understand the coverage and any associated out-of-pocket costs.

5. Additional Services: Additional services, such as psychiatric evaluations, medication management, or counseling, may be offered alongside TMS treatment. These services may have separate fees. It is recommended to contact TMS providers or clinics in your area to inquire about their specific fee schedule, insurance coverage, and any potential financing options they may offer.