Jim would be better off without me… everyone would be, Karen Morse thought, her mind racing with negative thoughts. For the active school teacher, depression had proven to be the one thing in her life she could not outrun. Recently retired, she had moved to Arizona with her husband, Jim, in hopes that the sunny weather might lift her spirits — but instead, the opposite had happened.
Once she no longer had to get up every morning for work, Karen sunk deeper into the depression she’d suffered from since she was 17. I can’t face the day, she’d think. I don’t want to live anymore. Suddenly, she was refusing to leave her room or participate in the things she once loved, like pickle ball and visiting friends.
In the past, Karen had found relief with antidepressant drugs and talk therapy, but this time, nothing was working -and she was on so many antidepressants, she could barely eat, sleep, or sit still. Reluctantly, she agreed to try electroshock therapy, which was not only ineffective but brought on devastating memory loss.
“I can’t remember anything,” Karen told her doctor, who prescribed her ketamine, a new antidepressant drug. But when that stopped working too, Karen found her hope for a cure fading.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression
Desperate for help, Karen checked herself into residential treatment for a month, where she was introduced to a new insurance-covered therapy called deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS). “The machine creates a temporary magnetic field to stimulate the part of the brain that produces serotonin – the chemical that helps boost feelings of happiness and well-being,” her doctor explained.
Having experienced regular TMS treatments before, Karen was expecting some discomfort and headaches, but as the cushioned helmet of the machine rested comfortably above her head like a dryer at a beauty salon, she was happy to find that the sensation was no worse than a little woodpecker tapping on her head.
In fact, she could read and knit while the machine was at work. After her hospitalization, she continued her treatment for a half hour every day at the doctor’s office, noticing small improvements along the way. It wasn’t until the very last treatment, however, that she noticed a true transformation. “It’s like my depression has suddenly and completely lifted!” she marveled after her 36th treatment, smiling from ear to ear.
Today, Karen’s depression is gone, and the 67-year-old now looks forward to getting out of bed to play pickle ball, walk her dog, and spend time with loved ones. She had been doing monthly booster treatments, which were discontinued due to COVID-19 restrictions, but even without further treatment, her depression hasn’t returned. Her doctor is even slowly tapering off her meds! “Jim and I sit on the grass every day for socially distant happy hour with our friends,” she says. “It means a lot to me, to see people and care about them…I finally have my life back!”
Research Confirms Magnets’ Power to Heal
For thousands of years, magnets have been used to promote healing. It may sound kooky, but modern researchers have discovered that magnetic therapy alters the bioenergetic fields surrounding the body, resulting in amazing benefits like:
Reducing pain: New studies show that applying magnets to an injury decreases pain signals to the brain and boosts circulation to ease swelling. In fact, University of Texas scientists found that a magnetic knee brace eased knee pain by 62 percent!
Easing bloat: Hungarian researchers have discovered that placing magnets on the abdomen can reduce belly bloat and inflammation associated with gastritis by 50 percent. Bonus: Magnetic therapy quickly soothes heartburn!
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.