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 sophisticated imaging and diagnostics. It is completely non-invasive and drug-free.
Just about everyone has experienced anxiety. It’s natural to be anxious in some situations, but for most people, feelings of anxiety come and go. For someone who has an anxiety disorder, however, 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.
MeRT(sm), which stands for Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy, is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment for anxiety. And MeRT treatment has helped thousands of people overcome this sometimes debilitating condition.
Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but in each case, your mind and body are on constant alert, which can activate the fight-or-flight response. Some symptoms can be so severe that you can end up in the emergency room. Common symptoms can include:
- Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
- Nervousness and tension
- Faster than normal breathing or 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
Anxiety is a term that may include generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can also trigger anxiety or panic attacks.
While no one knows exactly what causes anxiety disorders, we know that traumatic life events can trigger them. 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.
Often, a physician will treat anxiety with medication and counseling. Holistic lifestyle changes can also help, such as 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 dysregulation in the brain by neuromodulating electrical signals and neural pathways. This stimulates and reorganizes brain function, which can help to ease anxiety.
Some 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
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!
How your brain reacts is unique to you, as no two brains ever function exactly the same. Due to this, we customize the treatment protocol specifically for you. First, we use a quantitative EEG to identify dysregulation. Then, through a targeted approach, we focus 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.
This treatment protocol evolved from a technology called rTMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). However, rTMS is a more generalized approach because it can only target a single location in the brain with one frequency and is not guided by qEEG results.
Studies have shown altered brain wave oscillations in patients suffering from conditions such as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), 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 sophisticated diagnostics and imaging to customize the treatment for each individual. We then tailor a personalized protocol based on the location, frequency, and amount of power used by the magnet, specific to each person’s unique condition. As a result, MeRT can improve brain communication and 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. An article that was published in Defense One 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
For the initial analysis, you will come in for a comprehensive testing appointment. We will gather your new patient paperwork and then our chief neuro technician will perform a qEEG and EKG, which will enable 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. Should you decide to proceed with treatment, we will schedule your assessment period.
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 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.
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 you may have and discuss your applicable treatment plan.
The assessment period of treatment lasts for two weeks.
The assessment period of treatment will help you, and us, determine how you are responding to treatment. At the end of the assessment period, we will perform a second qEEG to note any changes occurring in your brain.
The first week will be Monday through Friday, and the second week, Monday through Thursday, nine sessions in total, followed by a repeat qEEG to determine progress.
Once the assessment period is complete, and we are seeing progress both clinically and on the qEEG, we will schedule subsequent two-week treatment periods. Because each treatment period lasts for two weeks, you must be able to stay in Newport Beach or the surrounding area. We advise that to get the most out of your treatment—and for long-lasting results—you stay for an entire six 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. We highly advise a total of six weeks of treatment (which includes the assessment period) for optimal and long-lasting results.
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 prefer occasional follow-up treatment as needed. But each person is different, and protocols may vary. Your provider will have regularly scheduled follow-up EEGs and meet with you to gauge your progress.
A typical treatment session takes about 45 minutes. You will sit in a chair while the neuro-technician administers the treatment near the scalp via a hand-held magnet. The gentle magnetic impulses are delivered for six to eight seconds each minute. You may feel a slight sensation while the treatment is occurring, but it is not painful or uncomfortable.
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. Moreover, the results of therapy can vary per individual. In general, the longer the length of MeRT therapy, the longer the changes remain.
We are an in-network provider with TRICARE. If you have TRICARE insurance, it is possible that your policy may provide coverage, depending on your specific situation. Our New Patient Coordinator can discuss this with you in further detail.
For all other insurance, we are considered out of network and cannot file an insurance claim on your behalf. We can, however, provide you with the paperwork at the end of your treatment, which you can submit to your insurance company to see if they may provide any reimbursement. Please note that w are unable to see any Medicare or Medicaid patients.
Currently, rTMS is FDA cleared for Depression and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.) Treatment for all other conditions is considered “off-label.” We are hopeful that treatment for TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) will be FDA cleared in the next two to three years. However, for non-FDA-approved treatment, it is not likely that 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. But this depends on their health coverage. Medicare patients have reported that their coverage provides no reimbursement for MeRT.
We take all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
Care Credit is also an option to help finance medical expenses. This is a separate company from The Brain Treatment Center Newport Beach. Care Credit is a credit card that can 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 promptly let you know your approval status.
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It’s normal for patients and their families affected by brain disorders to feel alone, frustrated, and hopeless. However, there is hope. MeRT is a treatment protocol that has helped patients restore their brain function, reclaim their lives, and get a whole new lease on life.
We understand what you are going through. Our goal is to help guide you through the process so that you can make an informed decision about whether MeRT is the right treatment for you or your child.
Many of our clinicians and technicians have gone through MeRT treatment and have experienced the incredible results firsthand. As a result, they are passionate about helping you 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 and put your mind at ease. She can also help get you scheduled with the clinic should you decide to move forward with treatment.
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