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Struggling with hard-to-treat depression, OCD, anxiety or pain? TMS can get you over that “hump.” Plus, promising signs for brain optimization in people with Autism.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), pain, depression and anxiety are among the most common causes of years lived with disability in the U.S. Medication doesn’t always work. So, what can be done?

Enter Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a non-invasive procedure using magnetic coils to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. TMS is an FDA-approved treatment for major depression, OCD and pain, and proven effective for brain optimization, sleep disorders, PTSD, cognitive problems, autism spectrum disorder, and more.

Understanding TMS

“Sometimes, to have better results, you have to get creative,” says Dr. Lorraine Innes, owner of TMS of Westchester in Mount Kisco. “That could mean combining medications, adding supplements/ herbs or adding interventions like TMS.”

“We’ve always believed in treating the whole person, understanding their entire history, not just their medical information,” she continues. “Initially, the concept of TMS was completely foreign. As I understood how transformational TMS can be, I realized it aligned with our treatment of the whole person philosophy.”

During TMS, an electromagnetic coil, placed on the scalp, delivers magnetic pulses that stimulate targeted nerve cells in the brain. People describe it as a slight tapping on their head, which they adapt to in about three days. Standard protocol is 36 18-minute treatments five days a week. 

“It typically takes about two weeks for most people to notice improvements and begin feeling lighter,” says Innes.

Dr. Innes with two TMS coils behind her. Only one coil is placed on the head during treatment.

Does it really work?

While TMS won’t work for everyone, Innes says between 80 to 90 percent of the people she’s treated benefit, while 50 to 70 percent “get better.”

“One of our first TMS clients was a young man struggling with depression,” says Innes. “Medication helped some, but he experienced many side effects. He decided to try TMS, and it changed his life. He was able to complete college, went on to get his graduate degrees, and he’s now conducting psychological research. He’s stable and happy.”

“We’re currently treating an 88 year old with a long history of severe depression and anxiety,” Innes adds. “She’s completed about 15 treatments and experiencing such significant changes that her son is looking into treatment for himself.”

 Promising benefits for people with PTSD, cognitive problems and autism

Like TMS, MeRT (Magnetic Resonance Therapy) uses the same tool to optimize brain function.

“Studies have shown that when the alpha waves in our brain are synchronized, organized and maximized, our brains work at their best,” Innes explains. “Then, a lot of other symptoms—like depression, anxiety, PTSD, cognitive problems, memory issues and sleep—will drop away.

Similarly, research has found there’s a difference in the amount of alpha wave activity in children with autism, compared to neurotypical children.”

“We’ve seen incredible results so far, such as a three-year-old boy from Canada” she continues. “For example, when I met him, he found clothing uncomfortable, couldn’t interact with others, wouldn’t use the toilet and spent his day banging on the floor. Almost immediately after MeRT treatment began, he willingly wore clothes, interacted with his family, and even hugged his mother. He started to say a few words, followed directions and began using the toilet. It was unbelievable.”

TMS of Westchester has treated people with autism locally and places as far away as Cyprus and England. 

To learn more about TMS or MeRT, visit or call 914.241.0758.

This article was published in the May/June 2024 edition of Connect to Northern Westchester.

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The editorial staff at Connect To magazine.