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 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 stimulate and reorganize 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
- Fewer 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 alleviate 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 are 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 and is not guided by qEEG results.
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
Initially, you can expect to come in for your first appointment which will last approximately 45-minutes to an hour. We will gather your new patient paperwork at this time, and then our chief neuro technician will perform a qEEG (quantitative EEG) and EKG which is used to evaluate brain activity and enables us to identify any dysfunction or communication problems in your brain. While this appointment usually takes about 45-minutes, if you are seeking treatment for your child with autism, please plan on spending an hour with us. At your qEEG appointment, we will set up the schedule with you for your assessment period, should you decide to proceed with treatment.
Your second appointment is 45-minutes long. During this time, you will meet with Dr. Sandy Lee for your clinical evaluation. She will answer any questions that you may have and discuss your applicable treatment plan.
The assessment period of treatment lasts from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on your age. For children who are 10-years old and younger, the assessment period is 1-week long. For anyone who is 11-years and older, the assessment period is 2-weeks long. The assessment period of treatment will help you and us determine how you are responding to treatment. At the end of the assessment period, a second qEEG will be done to note any changes occurring in the brain.
For children 10 years old and younger completing a 1-week assessment period, the patient will have their initial qEEG/EKG completed, and then attend 4 treatment sessions Monday through Thursday, followed by another qEEg to determine progress in the brain.
For persons 11 years and older completing a 2-week assessment period, the patient will have their initial qEEG/EKG completed, and then attend treatment sessions the first week, Monday through Friday, and then for the second week, Monday through Thursday for a total of 9 sessions, followed by a repeat qEEG to determine progress.
Once the assessment period has been completed and we are seeing progress both clinically and on the repeat qEEG, subsequent two-week treatment periods will be scheduled. Because each treatment period lasts for 2-weeks, you must be able to stay in Newport Beach or the surrounding area. We do advise that to get the most out of your treatment, and for long-lasting results, that you are able to stay for an entire 6-weeks of treatment (which includes the assessment period). The comparison between the initial and second qEEG/clinical evaluation will determine if you are responding. You should also start to experience changes in the way you are feeling during this time period. We highly advise a total of 6-weeks of treatment (which includes the assessment period) for optimal and long-lasting results to take effect.
If you are not yet ready to commit to going through an assessment period of treatment or prefer to have your qEEG and consultation done to ensure you are a candidate for treatment, we do also offer the option of coming in for a qEEG/EKG and consultation with our clinician to see your results before proceeding with the assessment period.
Please note that results and improvements are based on active and strict observation of our regimens. Results may vary based on the individual users and are not guaranteed.
Results of therapy can vary per individual. In general, the longer the length of MeRT therapy, the longer the changes remain. Since each brain is unique, the protocol will be different for each patient as it is based on specific qEEG/EKG data from your brain, and the specific condition being treated. Generally, the results of treatment can last a lifetime, though some people do prefer occasional follow-up treatment as needed.
A typical treatment session takes about 45 minutes. The patient will sit in a chair while the neuro technician administers the treatment via a hand-held magnet that is held near the scalp. The gentle 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.
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 the 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 2022. 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 from 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 firsthand 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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