What is TMS? 

TMS or rTMS is repeated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It’s a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. Done repetitively, it can be highly effective in treating medication resistant depression and other conditions.

When people hear of TMS for the first time they often mistakenly associate it with ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) or shock treatment. It is not the same thing.

A TMS treatment session can be undertaken during your lunch break. There is no downtime, and you can go about your day as normal.


Do I need a referral?

Yes – A GP referral is required for TMS. You can get a referral for our prescribing TMS Psychiatrist at East Side Recovery

What is the process of getting TMS?

The standard process of getting TMS is easy.

  • You make an appointment with your GP to get a referral.
  • You then make an appointment with us to see our Prescribing Psychiatrist for an assessment & mapping of where the TMS will be applied.
  • Next you will make a course of appointments to have the TMS applied.
  • The TMS is applied by trained clinicians, in a consulting room.
  • On the day of your appointment, you are seated on a comfortable chair that reclines & an electromagnetic coil is placed on your head that will deliver the magnetic pulses
  • These pulses stimulate the nerve cells in the brain to promote healthy brain activity

There is no downtime, so you continue with your day as usual

How long does it take?


Every rTMS treatment session will take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes, making it a convenient option for those with busy schedules.

How often do I need to have TMS?

It is recommended to have 30 treatments of TMS for full effectiveness. It needs to be done at least 3 times a week for effective results. If scheduling allows it can be done 5- 6 times a week. You will require a review with the Psychiatrist after every 10 sessions.

Does TMS hurt?

The TMS application is painless – it’s repetitive tapping to the scalp. The area itself may become slightly tender to touch, this usually happens in the first week of your treatment course. It does go away as the treatment continues.

Are there any side effects of TMS?

There are minimal side effects from TMS treatment. Some effects can be:

  • Mild Headaches
  • Scalp tenderness on application site
  • Face twitching or tingling during application.
  • Seizures are an extremely rare side effect. If a person has a history of seizure activity TMS is not recommended.

Our TMS clinicians are all highly trained nurses who monitor the patient while receiving TMS Treatment, you are never left alone while receiving treatment.

What are the long-term effects on the brain?

TMS treatment has been around since the 1990s with testing & studies being conducted continuously. There have been no long-term side effects recorded from TMS treatments.


Can I stay on my current medications while receiving TMS?

Yes, you can. This is something you will discuss with the Prescribing Psychiatrist on your assessment appointment.

How long does it take to work?


Everyone is different; some individuals can feel improvement after 10-15 treatments, while others require 25-30 treatments. This is why we recommend doing the full course of 30 treatments to achieve the best possible results & having reviews with the Psychiatrist after every 10 treatments.

How long does it last? Do I need maintenance?


This can be different for everyone. TMS therapy can have long lasting results with little to no maintenance. However, this will depend on factors such as lifestyle, mental health & current situation. Maintenance may also be needed after a stressful or traumatic event. 

Retreatment options are available with some Medicare benefits payable if applicable.

What Conditions can be treated at East Side Recovery with rTMS?

Depression – Medicare rebate available if eligible

PTSD (Post Traumatic stress Disorder)



Chronic Pain

Comorbidity (more than 1 condition) is very common with these conditions & should be discussed with the Referring GP & Prescribing Psychiatrist for effective treatment.

How much does rTMS Cost?

Initial Assessment & Mapping
– $450 with a Medicare rebate of $412.80

rTMS Sessions Cost – $200 per session if eligible Medicare will refund $143.15 per session.

The amount you receive back increases to $168.40 when you reach the Medicare Safety Net.

There is an Extended Medicare Safety Net that will refund $193.68 from the rTMS session cost once reached.

You can monitor your Medicare Safety Net on your Medicare App on your phone. If you have the app we are happy to help you find this & explain how the Safety Net works or click this link to Medicare benefits MBS

Psychiatrist Review after 10 sessions – $150 – Medicare rebate available for the rTMS session cost if eligible.

Who is eligible for the Medicare Rebate?


You are eligible for the Medicare Rebate if you are:

  • Over 18 years of age
  • Have not previously had transcranial magnetic stimulation TMS
  • Have been diagnosed with a major depressive episode.
  • Have tried at least 2 anti-depressants & talk therapy with unsatisfactory results.

If you are unsure if you are eligible your GP can help you with this when writing your referral.


Who shouldn’t have TMS?

Our skilled healthcare professional specialising in rTMS treatment will conduct a comprehensive evaluation prior to administering the treatment to ensure the patient’s safety and suitability.

Typically, individuals with a history of epileptic seizures or metallic implants in their heads are advised against undergoing rTMS. Other individuals that are not suitable for this treatment include:

  • Children under 18
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Individuals who have head metal implants or medical devices fitted
  • Individuals who have a history of seizures or brain lesions

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