A New Approach to the Treatment of Anxiety
Chronic Anxiety can take its toll and if prolonged, can cause multiple other issues.
Treatment for Anxiety is now available at the Brain Treatment Center. It’s called MeRT, which stands for Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy.
Simply stated we use a magnetic field to stimulate and balance brain function, guided by very sophisticated imaging and diagnostics. It is completely non-invasive and drug-free.
MeRT(sm) which stands for Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy is a non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical treatment for anxiety and has helped thousands of people overcome this sometimes debilitating condition.
Just about everyone has experienced anxiety at one time or another. It’s natural to be a little bit anxious in some situations, but for most people, feelings of anxiety come and go. But for someone who has an anxiety disorder, feelings are more than just fleeting worries or a stressful day. Instead, feelings of anxiety can last for years and can even be severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but in general, your mind and body are on constant alert which can activate the fight or flight response. Some symptoms can be so severe, that an emergency room visit is warranted. Common symptoms can include:
- Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
- Nervousness and tension
- Faster than normal breathing, and at times, hyperventilating
- Excessive ruminating
- Muscle twitching
- Difficulty focusing or thinking clearly
- Digestive issues
- Avoiding situations or people who trigger your anxiety
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
- Feelings of detachment
- Fear of dying and other phobias
There are different types of anxiety that can include generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can also trigger anxiety and/or panic attacks.
While no one knows exactly what causes anxiety disorders, we do know that they can be triggered by traumatic life events. Genetics can also be a cause, along with other underlying health issues. Anxiety can also accompany other mental health conditions such as depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder.
Generally, anxiety is treated by a physician with medication and counseling. It can also be helped by holistic lifestyle changes such as getting plenty of exercise, getting enough sleep, meditation, yoga, and eating a healthy diet. However, some people have adverse effects from taking medication, and other therapies aren’t enough to overcome their disorder.
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MeRT Treatment Can Help With Anxiety
Doctors Julie Kim and Sandy Lee have brought this state-of-the-art, emerging, technology to the Newport Beach and surrounding areas. It’s used to treat different types of dysregulation in the brain by neuromodulating electrical signals and neural pathways which stimulates and reorganizes brain function, which can help to alleviate anxiety.
Some of the benefits of MeRT treatment can include:
- Improved sleep
- Decreased anxiety
- Increased motivation
- Improved concentration skills
- Better attention span and focus
- Better mood
- Improved clarity of thinking
- Better decision-making skills
- Improved emotional stability
- Less cravings for alcohol and/or drugs
- More energy
- Improved social skills
- Improved self-confidence
While the equipment used in MeRT treatment has been FDA-cleared for depression and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), it is currently used “off label” for anxiety. It is also used “off label” to treat other conditions such as traumatic brain injury/concussion, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, Parkinson’s disease, cognitive conditions, ADHD and other developmental disabilities, and the after-effects of stroke.
You may feel like you have no control over your anxiety however, MeRT can help to aleviate your symptoms without the need for drugs, and help you to live a “normal” life again!
Your Brain is as Unique as Your Fingerprints!
The way that your brain functions and reacts is unique to you. No two brains ever function exactly the same. The MeRT treatment protocol is completely customized specifically for you. We use a quantitative EEG to identify dysregulation and then use a targeted approach that focuses on improving function in the areas of your brain that are not performing as they should.
Your individual test results allow us to use the data to develop a treatment approach specifically for you in order to optimize your brain function. The treatment protocol uses a magnet to gently stimulate distinct areas of the brain which can lead to improved communication and functionality.
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The MeRT Process
MeRT is a non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive treatment.
MeRT (Magnetic E (EKG and EEG) Resonance Therapy is a treatment protocol that evolved from a technology called rTMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). However, rTMS is a more generalized approach because it is only able to target a single location in the brain with one frequency.
Studies have shown that brain wave oscillations are altered in patients suffering from conditions such as Major Depression Disorder (MDD), Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety, and more. MeRT treatment protocol uses a magnetic field to balance and stimulate brain function. The technology involves using very sophisticated diagnostics and imaging so that the treatment is customized for each individual and a personalized protocol is then tailored based on the location, frequency, and amount of power used by the magnet, specific to each person’s unique condition. MeRT is used to improve brain communication, synchronization, and can lead to significant and long-lasting improvements.
Much of the initial MeRT research has been done by the U.S. Department of Defense for veterans returning from combat. There is an article that was published in Defense One that further explains the DOD’s research and the benefits that MeRT has been shown to have on people suffering from TBI, PTSD, and MDD. Additional studies have been completed in the private sector on other conditions.
What to Expect
If you are interested in seeing if MeRT treatment is right for you, we will initially schedule two appointments, both of which are about 45 minutes in length.
At the first appointment, our neurotechnician will perform a qEEG and an EKG. These procedures are painless and involve the patient sitting in a chair until the test is completed. The results will then be compiled, and sent to our physician, Sandy Lee, M.D. and the clinical and scientific team at BTC for interpretation within 48 hours. At your second appointment, our clinician will have a one on one consultation with you to confirm that you or your child is a candidate for treatment, answer any additional questions that you may have, and schedule the assessment period for treatment. Our office manager, Maria, will also meet with you to provide you with a brief orientation so that you are clear on expectations. If you are not local, she will also provide you with additional information about Newport Beach and things to do while you are here.
During the assessment period, treatment is administered every day, Monday through Friday for the first week, and the second week, Monday through Thursday, followed by a repeat qEEG on Friday to see how you or your child are responding. If there is a positive response to treatment during the assessment period, you will have likely noticed some improvements starting to take place, and we will then schedule for the additional treatment duration.
A typical treatment session takes about 45 minutes. The patient will sit in a chair while the neurotechnician administers the treatment via a hand-held magnet that is held near the scalp. The magnetic impulses are delivered for 6-8 seconds each minute. There may be a slight sensation felt while the treatment is occurring, but it is not painful or uncomfortable.
Typically, after going through the assessment treatment period, MeRT treatment lasts anywhere from 6 – 8 weeks, however in some cases, additional treatment time is recommended for optimal results. Each individual is different, and protocols may vary. Your provider will have regularly scheduled follow-up EEGs and meet with you to gauge your progress.
Our clinic does not accept insurance. We can provide you with the appropriate paperwork at the end of your treatment so that you can submit it to your insurance company to see if they would provide you with any reimbursement.
Currently, rTMS is FDA cleared for treatment of Depression and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.) Treatment for all other conditions is considered “off label” at this time, though we are hopeful that treatment for TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) will be FDA approved at some point in 2020. For non-FDA approved treatment, it is highly unlikely that any insurance will provide reimbursement for our protocols.
Some patients have reported that they have been able to receive some reimbursement for EEGs or clinical evaluations, depending on their health coverage. Medicare patients have reported that their coverage provides no reimbursement for MeRT.
Additional Payment Options
We take all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
Care Credit is also an option to assist in financing medical expenses. Care Credit is a separate company than The Brain Treatment Center Newport Beach, and is a credit card that can be used to cover medical expenses and services. They typically offer zero-interest financing for 12 months.
Usually, when you go to the Care Credit website and apply, they will let you know if you are approved very promptly.
Contact Our New Patient Coordinator for Additional Information
It’s normal for patients and their families who are affected by brain disorders to feel frustrated and isolated, and many have lost hope that there is any relief in sight. MeRT is a treatment protocol that has helped patients restore their brain function, reclaim their lives, and feel passionate about living again. We understand what you are going through, and our goal is to help guide you through the process so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not MeRT is the right treatment for you or your child.
Many of our clinicians and technicians have gone through MeRT treatment protocols themselves and have realized first hand what the treatment has done for them, and as a result, are passionate about helping others to heal too.
Our New Patient Coordinator is available to answer any questions that you may have about how MeRT can help you specifically. She’ll take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and put your mind at ease. She can also assist in getting you scheduled with the clinic should you decide to move forward with treatment.
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