Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is clinically proven and FDA-cleared to improve symptoms of depression when standard treatment has not helped or has created too many problems.
Southern Colorado TMS Center, LLC (SCTMSC, LLC) is the leader in TMS treatment in Colorado and uniquely operates both Neurostar and Brainsway machines as part of their comprehensive depression treatment program.
If you are ready to take the next step forward, please enter your details to gain access to our patient forms that we would like you to complete before visiting us.
Once you’ve completed the patient forms, Tricia Mandeville, our TMS Coordinator, will contact you to you to schedule an initial consultation for you with Dr. Joe Hammock.
During TMS therapy, an electromagnetic coil is placed on the head over the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain thought to be involved in mood regulation.
The coil then produces a pulsed magnetic field. This passes non-invasively into the head and stimulates the nerve cells in the area of the brain beneath the coil.
TMS therapy is based on knowledge of physical principles dating back nearly 175 years. In 1831, Michael Faraday discovered that a magnetic field could be converted into an electrical current. That basic discovery has been applied to create the powerful and focused electromagnetic coil that stimulates the brain in TMS therapy.
First used in 1985, TMS has been used by researchers around the world to help understand the function of different parts of the brain, and several hundred manuscripts have been published regarding its use in stimulating select regions of the brain.
In the late 1990s, physicians began to explore the potential of TMS therapy for the treatment of a variety of diseases, with depression being the most thoroughly studied to date.
More than 30 randomized, controlled trials of TMS therapy as a treatment for depression have been published by investigators around the world.
In 2006, the largest randomized, controlled study ever conducted with TMS therapy was completed in patients with major depression, demonstrating its safety and efficacy for this use. This study was sponsored by Neuronetics and utilized the NeuroStar TMS therapy system.
The NeuroStar TMS therapy system has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of adult patients with major depressive disorder who have failed to receive satisfactory improvement from prior medication antidepressant treatment.
A TMS therapy treatment session is a short outpatient procedure, where you will be treated and under the supervision of one of our trained TMS specialists.
During treatment, you can relax in the treatment chair and speak with the system operator whenever necessary.
A typical course of TMS treatment consists of five treatments per week over a period of four to six weeks, each treatment lasting from 40 to 60 minutes.
Maintenance sessions are recommended to reinforce the gains made over the next several months, depending on your individual circumstances.
The Southern Colorado TMS Center has partnered with two of the leading technology companies in transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy - Neuronetics and Brainsway. The technology of both companies is FDA-cleared and provide a non-invasive course of treatment.
At your first appointment, your psychiatrist needs to determine how to most effectively administer TMS treatment, so your first session could last up to an hour and a half.
You will be provided with protective earplugs that you will be asked to wear, as the system emits a tapping sound during operation.
Your psychiatrist will then perform a test to identify your motor threshold. This is the amount of magnetic field strength that results in a movement of your right thumb.
This test identifies the magnetic field strength to be used in your treatment, which is customized for each patient to deliver the correct treatment dose.
After the motor threshold test, your psychiatrist will then determine the place on the head where the TMS treatment will be applied.
The treatment coil will be moved to that location. This will allow you to receive optimal treatment.
Your psychiatrist will then administer TMS therapy over a 24 to 37 minute period.
In 30 second intervals, the device will deliver rapid pulses of the magnetic field. This will feel like tapping on your scalp. Some patients may find this tapping uncomfortable. Your psychiatrist may be able to make adjustments to reduce this discomfort.
Immediately following each treatment session, you may return to your normal daily routine, including driving.
During or after treatment you may experience headache or discomfort at the site of stimulation. These are common side effects which often lessen as further treatment sessions are administered. If necessary, you can treat this discomfort with an over-the-counter analgesic. If these side effects persist, your doctor can temporarily reduce the strength of the magnetic field being administered in order to make treatment more comfortable.
In clinical trials, most patients begin to see improvement within one to four weeks of treatment.
Some patients may experience results in less time, while others may take longer.
You should discuss your depression symptoms with your psychiatrist throughout the treatment course. If depression symptoms persist or worsen, you should discuss this with your doctor in order to consider other antidepressant treatment options.
Depression symptoms are most often treated with psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. It is believed that antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. These changes have a positive effect on mood and on reducing feelings of depression and anxiety.
Although antidepressants can be effective for many patients, they do not work for everybody. Over four million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medications. When a patient does not respond or cannot tolerate antidepressants, this is sometimes referred to as treatment resistant depression.
Additionally, since antidepressant medications are typically taken by mouth, they circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body, and may result in unwanted side effects such as weight gain, sexual problems, upset stomach, sleepiness, and dry mouth, among others.
TMS therapy is clinically proven to treat the symptoms of depression for patients who have not responded to previous antidepressant treatment.
You may be a good candidate for TMS therapy if you suffer from depression, but are not benefiting from antidepressants, or wish to seek an alternative to antidepressants.
“My name is Laurie and I am 48 years old. I was on the verge of inpatient hospitalization (for depression) when I was referred to a doctor who felt I was a perfect candidate for NeuroStar TMS therapy. I was skeptical of treatment at first, as I was unaware of the true understanding of how it works. But as I saw my progress and began to feel better I became a believer.
I have not felt this good since I was in high school. I can find joy in the simple things in life and I am no longer afraid to get out of bed in the morning.
With my last major depressive episode, I was forced to take a leave of absence from work. That was the first time in my life that I had become unable to function due to the depression.
Although it has only been a short two months, I can’t remember the last time I felt this good.There is only one thing that I can say and that is that it appears to be working. I remain on medications in addition to my treatments, but I am hopeful about my future!”
‘I’ve been clinically depressed three or four times, each time lasting two to three years. I decided to try NeuroStar TMS therapy after I noticed the chair in my doctor’s office. He explained the procedure to me after I read some of the literature including the testimonials, I decided to go with it. It sounded like it was worth it to help me deal with daily stress situations and my depressive episodes.
After about the second week of treatment and for the first two to three hours after I left the office I felt uplifted. The feeling remained and I started to feel better. I also didn’t get so concerned with stressful events and I worried less.
It has been a year since my treatments and I can’t say I am depressed anymore. Previously, I was taking several different medications just to get some kind of relief. With NeuroStar TMS, I saw beneficial effects quicker than the medications and counseling – and there weren’t really side effects. Despite what I was going through, I rarely even experienced headaches.”
“I am a small animal, exotics, wildlife and zoo veterinarian. I first experienced depression in the early 1990s – and have had multiple episodes for almost 20 years now. Depression has made me withdraw from my friends and family, focus less on my work and goals, and stop doing the things I most enjoyed. I decided to try NeuroStar TMS therapy because other treatments were not working well, the monthly expenses of constant drugs and their potential side effects. Treatments were easy, although a bit uncomfortable the first couple of times, but then became hardly noticeable. Each session got easier and I was off meds quickly. I figured if TMS therapy worked, I would save money in the long run.
I noticed a change almost immediately. I was sleeping better, could focus, deal with things, control my emotions, and was not as depressed. I didn’t have the “weighed down” feeling of depression
I am now back to doing the things I love. I sleep better at night, can handle my high stress job again and I am better able to cope with emotional situations at work. I am more productive on my days off, don’t sleep as much, and enjoy getting things done. I am back to doing things with friends again.”
“My first episode of depression was back in 2002. I was treated with medication but most didn’t work. I went through a phase of ECT treatments which worked for a time but I did have a recurrence of the depression. I never felt like doing anything. I was happy staying home in my dark little cave.
My doctor finally convinced me to give Neurostar TMS Therapy a try. I started going through the treatments 5 days a week.
After about a month, I woke up one day and didn’t feel anxious or depressed and I began to think it was working. I had more energy and wanted to go out and see my friends. And it only got better from there.
After the six weeks of treatment I was back to my old self. I had a headache after the first treatment but after that I was fine and had no problems with it.
I am currently on medication and will continue with it but now I am completely without depression symptoms.”
“My name is Susan. I am a wife, mother, and grandmother. I have suffered from depression since my high school years; it went undiagnosed until my mid-thirties. At that time I was prescribed one anti-depressant. As time went on its effectiveness dwindled. I have since then been prescribed other anti-depressants in varying amounts and combinations with little or no results.
At 57 I found myself taking four anti-depressants, one anti-anxiety pill, one stimulant, and one sleeping pill. My depression went unchanged. I continually suffered from low depression to very low depression; sometimes even suicidal. ECT was suggested to me but I didn’t like the procedure involved or the possibility of memory loss.
I was introduced to TMS at my psychiatrist’s office. I thought maybe, just maybe, this could be the answer to my prayers.
TMS has turned my life around. I laugh and love again. I have so much more motivation and my memory has improved tremendously. TMS has been a true miracle in my life!”
Medical Director of SCTMSC, LLC, John is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with nearly 40 years experience treating depression and related conditions. He is a certified NeuroStar TMS provider and Provider Trainer and a Brainsway Certified Provider. In 2011, John was named Distinguished Life Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association, for his significant contributions to the psychiatric profession. Since 2005, he has been voted for annually by other physicians as one of America‘s Best Doctors.
In his private practice, John focuses on the psychotherapy and treatment of complex depression and bipolar conditions as well as OCD, PTSD, substance abuse, and eating disorders. For further information, please visit John’s website: www.drfleming.info.
Contact John’s private practice at:
Clinical Director of SCTMSC, LLC and Certified TMS Provider, Joe is a licensed psychologist and member of the American Psychological Association. He is a graduate of Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, and additionally holds an MA from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is certified by the International EMDR Association and by the Professional Academy of Custody Evaluators.
In his thirty years of practice in Colorado, he has specialized in the treatment of trauma-based disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, and dissociative disorders. He also has extensive experience in psychological testing and assessment, forensic psychology, and is frequently consulted as an expert witness.
Contact Joe’s private practice at:
Services Director of SCTMSC, LLC, Melissa received her masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University and her masters in Special Education from California State University, Los Angeles. Melissa is a Certified Life Coach and a member of the International Positive Psychology Association. Melissa is also a Certifed TMS Provider.
Melissa has been in private practice in Colorado Springs since 1981, working with adults, adolescents, and couples. Melissa specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, ADHD, and trauma-based disorders. She has received training in EMDR, Cognitive Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, Energy Therapies and Interpersonal Therapy. Melissa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Contact Melissa’s private practice at:
3225 International Circle, Suite 100
Contact Tricia Mandeville, TMS Coordinator at:
The amount that you will pay depends on your insurance, how much your insurance copay amount is, and how much of your annual deductible amount you owe or have already paid this year.
We will do our best to give you and accurate and complete estimate of your financial obligation and will give this to you before you start TMS treatment.
Many patients find that the amount that they pay is about the same as their total antidepressant medications costs for two years, depending of course on their circumstances.