Well, I could never have imagined what it was like.
I arrived promptly at 1:40. First things up were being sure I understood payment and signing away most of my legal remedies. Of course.
The next hour was spent aligning the device so that it stimulated the correct part of the brain, generally in the area over the left front of my head. They’d place the device, let it emit a magnetic pulse and note if my fingers twitched. A small twitch was apparently good. It wasn’t painful, but it wasn’t particularly comfortable. More about that later.
During the alignment, I learned that each treatment would take 40 minutes. The machine would emit 10 (I think) magnetic pulses over about 4 seconds, then there would be about a 26 second pause and the sequence would restart. During the 26 seconds we could talk. I was told someone would be with me at all times during all treatments. Good in case I went into some kind of psychotic rage I guess (just kidding).
Then we started the treatment in “test run” mode to make fine tune adjustments. What a huge difference. At first there was some pain from the pulses that felt like a headache being induced in my head. With some small adjustments they were able to get rid of that, but there was a pronounced uncomfortable feeling running from my upper left scalp down to the tops of my teeth. It’s very, very hard to describe what it felt like. It’s wasn’t painful exactly, but it was quite uncomfortable. They told me what was happening was the magnetic pulses were hitting a nerve that’s connected to the teeth. Some people feel it on uppers only, like me, and other get both upper and lower teeth involvement. When I was done I felt my teeth to make sure they were still firmly in place. They were. My jaw didn’t chatter and my fingers didn’t twitch (that I noticed). I was happy for the 26 second pause and happier to have them to talk with. A soft chord would play aloud before each 4 second set of pulses, so I was never surprised when it started. It did make our conversation a little stilted, but that was OK. The good news is the first day is the worst and supposedly by the end of the first week there’s little to no discomfort. My brain just needs some time to adapt to it.
I asked what’s the soonest I might see any effect in depression or anxiety levels. Two weeks is the absolute minimum, but the vast majority of people don’t notice any effect until they’re 4 weeks into the 6 week program. They also said family usually notices the difference before the patient. In some cases folks get full effect at about 5 weeks and they simply stop treatment.
In case you’re wondering, the treatment is not covered by most insurances and costs about $12K in the Dallas, Texas area.