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  On-line Questions and Answers

   Please click here if you want to ask the doctor about acupuncture or express your opinion.
If You have medical question unrelated to Acupuncture, please click here to visit Get Well web site for professional medical advice.

Correspondence from: Sharon L.
Hi Dr.-

With regards to IVF and Acupuncture- what 'points' are typically used? Where are the needles placed and how many of them are used? Tx!
There is no universal "recipe". An example of the points to be used would be something like K-3; St-36, 25; LI-4; L-2; Sp-6, 13; C-12, etc. Locations on the legs, hands and the belly, about 8-12 needles per session. Also, needling technique is important. If you want to be more specific you can call me 401-738-9355.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: brian dressler
can this cure tendonits,or lessen the pain.
Dear Brian, I am sorry I could not reply sooner. I was away last several days. The answer is a definite “Yes”. Acupuncture can be very helpful in the treatment of tendonitis (at lest with my patients), and actually solve the problem. Please feel free to call me if you have questions, 401-738-9355.


Alex Tatevian, DA

P.S. How is your back? It’s been more than two years.

Correspondence from: H H
I have a 5 and 1/2 year old that suffers from eczema, seasonal allergies, dust mite allergies, and a peanut allergy (i suspect also an intolerance to dairy as well). She see's an allergist and a dermatologist but as far as i'm concerned they do very little for her. I have always used herbs and try to use holistic healing for myself whenever possible.

My question is could accupuncture help my daughter? Do you even take patients as young as 5? Your response would be very much appreciated.
It is ordinary to use acupuncture on children 4 year old and older. My personal experience goes back to 1985 when I participated in the comprehensive program for rehabilitation of children with asthma and chronic respiratory disorders. The age varied from 5 to 12 year old. The clinical results were excellent.

Needling, however gentle and painless, but can be psychologically disturbing for young kids. It is sensible to use Low Energy Laser on children instead of the needles. Last several years Laser acupuncture for children became common practice in Europe

You can find out more about laser on the page on my web site http://doctorgetwell.org/AcupunctureModern.asp#laser and then click on "More about this topic..." Please feel free to call us at 401-738-9355.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: C P
Dear Dr. T.,

I just wanted you to know that I woke up Saturday morning and my swollen eye was back to normal. This has never happened before. Usually it starts to drain and then the skin gets blistered and peels and cracks and the swelling still continues. The only difference this time was the acupuncture.

Thank you so much!

Your web site is very nice, by the way.

Carrie P
Thank you for the good news.

See you soon,

Alex Tatevian

Correspondence from: L. M.
Date: 8/12/2003

Dear Doctor,

I am in generally good health, although overweight, but over the past two or three years I have developed a frustrating problem. I get a cold-- apparently a virus-- about three times a year--and it travels to my lungs after two or three days, and stays there, keeping me coughing for 4-8 weeks. I've had a lot of tests-- x-rays and even an MRI of my sinuses, but nothing seems to be wrong. Two doctors have suggested I have asthma and that seems odd since I am fine when I am not suffering from this cold or bronchitis or whatever it is. They suggest a battery of inhalers and nasal sprays like fluonase and allergy pills. I just can't get interested in all this medicine.

Recently I became aware that acupuncture is used for this sort of problem.

We're about an hour drive from Lexington. Do you have any colleagues that you could recommend in Lexington or my area? I am very concerned about going to someone who is not very skilled at the practice.

Thank you so much for your time.

Dear Mrs. L..M..,

The way you describe your conditions indicates that there is apparently a problem with your immune response. Acupuncture can be very helpful; it is a very effective and safe method to stimulate/support immune system. You can read about it in my article in the Health section of the Federal Hill Gazette; July 2002; Here is the link: http://doctorgetwell.org/Questions.asp/order=2&show=2&year=2002&issue=7

Unfortunately, I don't know acupuncturists in your area and cannot refer you to anyone.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: J. J. J.
Hello, I am writing about any information you may have availble to send about infertility and acupuncture (including how it works, what happens, cost, etc.).

I have heard a little about acupuncture and its treatment of infertility but am not sure if it is a route we should take. Therefore, any information that you may have that would aid in making our decision would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,

J. J. J,
Dear Mrs. J,

There are many publications about this lately. Especially convincing was published in the April 2002 edition of the medical journal "Fertility and Sterility". The study found that acupuncture increases the chance of pregnancy for women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) by 60 percent.

As a matter of fact I wrote about it in my monthly column in the Federal Hill Gazette (here is the link: http://doctorgetwell.org/Questions.asp?order=2&show=1&year=2003&issue=8).

At our office, we have treated numerous patients who were undergoing course of therapy for infertility and previously failed IVF attempts. When supported by acupuncture course, IVF was successful in all our cases. It could be of cause a coincidence but so far, these are our statistics.

Plan to spend from 45 min. to one hour. The cost is usually $60.00 per session.

Re. your med. insurance: you may have an acupuncture rider with your plan. Please call them to find out. If you have Blue Cross you are entitled to a discount at our office (I am a provider for BCBS). You can call us at 401-738-9355 if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: J.J.J.
Dr. Tatevian,

Thank you so much for the information--it was very helpful.

I am interested in pursuing the acupuncture route.

Thank you again.

You are very welcome!

Correspondence from: W Y

I enjoyed the jokes and humorous quotations on your site. I was wondering if you knew of any jokes about accupuncture. My freind has recently completed her accupuncture studies and I would like to give her a humorous poster or picture about accupuncture. I have been searching the web, but haven't found anything yet. Do you know of any? Thanks.
Thank you for your kind words and for giving us a good idea. Look in the “Humorous Quotes” for a new page “Acu-Jokes”. It will be there in a day or two.

Best regards, Alex Tatevian & Vlad Shabalin

Correspondence from: laksh pathy
hello doctor can i give teratment for cancer which is in the begining stage plz tel me the way the patient is having cancer in the throat ok bye take care
The early stage of cancer can be confirmed (or ruled out) by a histological analysis and would require an adequate medical treatment.

I strongly advise you not to take responsibility for giving such diagnosis, to withhold from making assumptions, and not to administer any “treatment for cancer”. If you suspect a tumor, please direct your patient to the PC physician or an oncologist. Delay can be costly, but causing panic with no reason can be very traumatic for the patient as well.

Sincerely, Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Y Y

I have a question regarding an acupuncture treatment I had performed approx. 2 years ago. My visit was for allergy symtpoms and received only one treatment. I went to what appeeared to be a reputable physician.

For the past two years I have had extreme problems with my joints, especially in my wrists and jaw/head area. It often affects my mobility in these places and has limited by ability to write and actually talk at times.

Have you ever heard of anything like this? It seems unusual after only one visit. I saw a medical doctor to make sure I did not have any type of infection or what not. Could this be nerve damage? I would appreciate any info. or advice you could provide.

Thank you Y. Y.
Dear Y,

In short, the answer is: not likely. If you were treated for allergies, the needles were placed probably in your hands, wrists, face, and occipital area and legs perhaps. Even if the needles were inserted deeper than necessary and penetrated inside the joints capsule (which is already unlikely) they could not cause sufficient damage to leave lingering pain for two years. The multiple nerve damage is even more unlikely.

So, it seems like an unfortunate coincidence.

Sincerely, Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Y Y

Thank you for your answer and quick response. That kind of puts my mind at ease . I have unfortunately been through alot the last 8 to 10 years with my health for what they have called Chronic Fatigue, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I assume this may be all part of this, although things are slowly improving.

Thank you,

Most welcome!

Correspondence from: James C
If you have a headache, do you need to have the needles put into your head?
No, not only. The needles are put in many places in your body to treat headaches and the selection of the points varies in every case. So don't be surprised if an acupuncturist chooses points on your hands, feet, legs, upper back and the head.

Correspondence from: Jessica .
Dear Dr. Tatevian,

My father is 42 years old and suffers from cluster headaches. They are severe and extremly painful for him, and seem to be quite constant. He also suffers from constant aches and pains such as in his legs and back, but I am not sure if these are connected with his headaches. He always seems to be in pain and none of his medications seem to be working for him. I was wondering if you think some sessions of acupuncture with you would help to cure his cluster headaches.

I would really appreciate your response about whether or not you think acupuncture would help with his cluster headaches, because I hate to see him in the unbearable pain he goes through.

Thank You, Jessica
Dear Jessica,

Two out of three among my patients with cluster headaches achieve stable remission and manage to go off medication. In addition, considering his constant aches and pains in his legs and back, there is a reason to suspect fibromyalgia or chronic pain syndrome that contributes to his headaches.

I encourage you to convince your father to try acupuncture. He has nothing to loose, and it may be his best bet.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: M S
I have heard something about acupuncture used to improve the skin on the face and get rid of the wrinkles, something like an "instant face lift". Is this a joke?
No, it is not. This method has been common in Europe for decades. I still keep a 25-year old article from a German newspaper about a doctor who included "acupuncture facial" in his practice. Acupuncture activates blood circulation and provides better nutrition to the skin, improves lymphatic drainage and stimulates the tone of mimic muscles. The result is visible and immediate. The recommended frequency of the sessions is every 1-2 weeks.

Correspondence from: Pamela Johnston
Dr. Tatevian-

Hello! I received a phone call from a nurse affiliated with your office about a survey. She had mentioned that you are now doing laser. What exactly does that entail? I am having chronic pain in the trapezius muscle area still. …. I need to feel better...I am tired of being in pain.

Do you have any suggestions? The latest that I've been told is to exercise and try yoga to strengthen my neck muscles. I have seen a massage therapist a few times and that seems to help for a few days. Please respond when you get a chance... Thank you, Pamela Johnston
Dear Pamela,

I would encourage you to try Laser Acupuncture. It has advantages over needle acupuncture, especially in your condition. I put some info about laser acupuncture on my web site. Here are the links:

http://doctorgetwell.org/AcupunctureModern.asp#laser http://doctorgetwell.org/acupuncture/ModernLaser.asp

Please call me at 738-9355 Sincerely, Alex Tatevian

Correspondence from: Melyssa Smith
How many pepole in the U.S are recieving acupuncture today, in comparison with the past five years?

I'm going some research,and I'm having some trouble geting a clear cut answer. If you can suggest a web site,that would be very helpful.

Thanks, Melyssa Albany, N.Y
I am sorry, I could not reply sooner. Honestly, I don’t have the “clear cut answer”. I spent great deal of time trying to find these statistics and I failed.

I don’t think anybody can find the numbers because as long as acupuncture is not covered by med. insurance and remains out-of-pocket cash service, there will be no reliable statistics.

If you find anything, should you decide to share it with me, I will greatly appreciate it.

With best regards,

Alex Tatevian

May be this will help:


Complementary and Alternative Medicine Facts:

More than 70% to 90% of physicians consider CAM therapies, such as diet and exercise, behavioral medicine, counseling and psychotherapy, and hypnotherapy, to be legitimate medical practices.

Approximately 80% of medical students and 70% of family physicians are interested in receiving training in multiple areas of CAM therapies.

In any given year, 69% of Americans use at least one type of CAM therapy.

Due to high market demand, at least 67% of health insurers and HMOs, such as Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, Mutual of Omaha, Prudential, California Pacific, Catholic HealthCare West, HealthNet, and Oxford Health Plans, cover CAM therapies.

Chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal therapies, and mind-body techniques, among other CAM therapies, are offered at 64% of U.S. medical schools.

Approximately 57% of physicians have referred patients to CAM professionals.

It has been shown that 56% of Americans believe their health plans should cover CAM therapies.

Estimates place the size and value of the CAM market at $24 billion, a figure projected to increase at a rate of 15% per year.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) currently invests about $40 million per year in CAM-related research. Based on the popularity and growth of CAM therapies in the U.S., the American Medical Association (AMA) ranked alternative medicine among the top 3 subjects (out of 86) for mainstream medical journals to address in the coming years.

In response, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a highly renowned medical journal, identified alternative medicine as the 7th (out of 73) most important topic for future publication.

Chiropractors are licensed in all 50 states, and 12 states require that health plans include chiropractic benefits. There are nearly 40,000 doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) throughout the country.

Acupuncturists are licensed in 34 states. There are currently 21 schools in the U.S. that offer certification in homeopathic medicine.

Naturopathic professionals are licensed in 12 states.

Correspondence from: X Y
I have psoriasis and by the end of the cold season it gets so bad that I cannot bring myself to go to the beach when summer comes. Is acupuncture effective for skin diseases, or am I destined to wear turtlenecks and pants?
There are basically two types of psoriasis, which can be described as "winter" type and "summer" type. If your skin gets worse during winter and improves in summer, most likely you have "winter" psoriasis. This is good news because "winter" psoriasis is very responsive to treatment.

Acupuncture will help your skin in a matter of days.

Moderate exposure to sunlight also can make a dramatic difference; so don't hide the affected areas of the skin. The sun in your backyard is as good as on the beach. Don't stop taking your medication (especially if you are on steroids!) without approval of your physician.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: ab cd
Dear Acu Well Acupuncture Center,

I was wondering if you can use acupuncture to treat kidney stones. Also if you can I would like to know specifics such as how many treatments, cost of the treatments and how successful they are. I would greatly appreciate it if you could email me back with some information. Thank you for your time.
Yes, acupuncture can be very helpful in treatment of this condition in different ways. Acupuncture intervention can be of assistance to relief spasm and help to pass small stones without colic and to help to avoid infection.

Generally, kidney’s function is responsive to acupuncture, and it may be instrumental in prevention of reoccurrence of kidney stones. The course of treatment would be two times per week for five weeks, then supportive sessions every 1-2 week. This all depends, of course, on the specifics and severity of the kidney stone disease.

The cost of acupuncture session varies from $40 to $80; at Acu Well it is $60 (see “The Practice” on the web site). I cannot come up with a reference of clinical trial or publication at this moment, but clinical experience speaks in favor of success. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Michael Kilby
I know this may seen like a retarted question, but last I saw the movie "Kiss of The Dragon" and Jet Lee in the movie had this wrist band with acupuncture needles on it and throught the movie (to stop his enimies) he would take a needle and stick it on certain areas of the body IE: Neck & arms. This would basically paralize them so they could not move. Well he also used one on this guy and placed it on the upper part of his neck and it (of course) paralizes him and sent the blood to his brain and he had blood pouring out his eyes. Pretty cool actually.

I think that part was hollywood style, but I was just curious if you can paralize someone by placing a needle on certain areas of the body? Didnt want to ruin the movie thats why I wanted it confidential.

Thanks, Michael K.
Dear Michael,

Yes, it is a movie in Hollywood style. Nevertheless, your question is very interesting.

The “Kiss of the Dragon” point is actually point 15 of the Governing Vessel. It is a popular and widely used point for therapeutic purposes. Also known in Martial Art as a knock out point and even as a lethal point.

The therapeutic needling requires great caution as the incorrect angle of the needle insertion can (in theory) direct the needle into the cerebellum and even into the brain stem.

The effect may be very harmful (just another reason to make sure that your acupuncturist is qualified and experienced). However, in practice, no adverse effects associated with this point were reported, and to do harm by needling this point an acupuncturist must be extremely ignorant, arrogant and very creative at the same time. Or it would require a secret knowledge and special skill available only to selected Hollywood stars.

Also, take a look at the chart of the Martial Arts Points on my web site. Go to Acupuncture – Traditional – Points – scroll down. I prepared the diagram for illustration.

Thank you for the remarkable question. With your okay, I will post your question on the web site. And, by the way, Jet Li in that movie was magnificent, I am his big fan.

Best regards,

Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Michael Kilby
Date: 02/24/2003

Thank you for the response! It has opened my eyes a lot. That would be great for you to post it.

Thanks again and take care!

You are very welcome!

Correspondence from: John S
Hi Dr. Tatevian,

Thank you for your site. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that you really kept your promise: there is no “promotional or commercial bias”. Very rare these days.

I especially enjoyed the history part. Let me know when East Asia is ready.

John S
Thank you John.

The information about history of acupuncture in East Asia is too controversial; I need more time for research. It is coming soon, I’ll let you know.

With best regards.

Alex Tatevian

Correspondence from: Chris Usler
Hello Dr. Tatevian

I just wanted to tell you that my project on acupuncture, won 1st. place in the science fair and i am going to the state fair.

Your idea really impressed the judges and gave that extra boost for me to win. Thank you very much! Chris Usler
Hello Chris,

Thank you for the good news. Congratulations!!! I am very happy that I was helpful. Let me know if I can be of any assistance in the future.

Good luck and take care.

Alex Tatevian.

Correspondence from: Judy 185
I was wondering if your acupunture treatments ot other services were covered bt healthmate Coast to Coast? Judy185
Dear Judy,

I am sorry about the delay. My son was born on that day when you sent your question, and I am a proud father and a little behind.His name is Gregory.

I am a provider for Blue Cross, but your coverage depends on the plan that you have. The best way to check is to call the # on your card.

In any case you are entitled for 20% discount as a BCBS subscriber.


Alex Tatevian

Correspondence from: Chris Usler
Dear Dr.

I was diagnosed with a severe case Sever's disease when I was 11 years old. I was treated with acupuncture which helped me. I am now 13 and have had no problems for the last 6 months.

I became interested in acupuncture while being treated and would like to do my 8th grade science fair project on it. I have gotten a lot of information about acupuncture from your website and other sources on the web.

Do you have any ideas on how I could demonstrate the way acupuncture works? Naturally I cannot use needles, but is there a way to demonstrate? I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

Thank You

Chris Usler
Dear Chris,

Thank you for your interest in Acupuncture. I think I have an idea for your demonstration. You can show how an acupuncture point location device works. You can make such device yourself using 9 (6) Volts battery, flash light bulb and some wires. The basic device for acu-points detection is simpler than you might think.

I can help you with the details. Call at my office # 401-738-9355; my receptionist will check my schedule and will let you know what time I would be available.

With best wishes,

Good luck,

Alex Tatevian

Correspondence from: Al Stone
Very impressive Antarctica slide show you got there. : ) Be well. -al stone
Thank you Al,

I am of a very high opinion about your articles, so you can add me to the list of your fans, and to your mailing list in case you write and release something new.

With best regards,

Alex Tatevian

Correspondence from: bill clifford

Among the simplest would be massage, acupuncture, warm/hot bath, warm paraffin applications, to name a few.

Please do not hesitate to call me at 401-738-9355. I can be more helpful if I know more details.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Nancy Maclean
Many thanks for your time! Nancy

Correspondence from: nancy maclean
I recently noticed that my ankles are very swollen...usually at the end of my work day. This seems to have become more frequent in the past month. I am 5'10' and 150 lbs. My B/P is usually 100/60 & PR is around 55-60. I have enjoyed physical activity for years (running, weight lifting, etc). There has been no change in medication (Wellbutrin for years, Ambien occ for the past 8 months). I also have taken a multi-vit, vit C, Ca++, & Vit E every day. I drink from 8-10 glasses of water/day, no caffeine, & eat vegetarian fare. I do not drink etol or use illicit drugs. I have no hx of any medical problems. I am not on HRT therapy even though I have been menopausal for the past 2 years. I am a Marriage & Family therapist & psychiatric nurse practitioner. My job involves sitting for 50 min sessions, but I do get up and walk in between sessions. I have done this for years. Any thoughts about the edema? Should I be taking this issues to my physician? Is it just a fact of getting older? Many thanks for your time! Nancy
Dear Ms Maclean,

Yes, I think you should take this issue to your physician to rule out heart and kidney condition, however unlikely. Then you could try acupuncture,

However, the solution may be on the surface. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day can be somewhat excessive for your weight 150 lbs.

Re.: your question “Is it just a fact of getting older?” We will revisit it in 30 years.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: steve stone
to whom this may consern im an 18 yearold male iam resently haveing problems with anxiety i do alot of what if thinking and worrie i dont have to much fear of things at frist i thout it was jelluse always thinking what if shes cheating on me but then i went to my fammly doctor for chest iv been haveing they told me that i checked out find and that it mite be anxiety i would realy like to know what you think about this holw thing and what could i do to help my self and are then and over the conner drugs that would help or any thing you could think of thanks alot i would like to have an email back about this

sinserly steve stone
Anxiety, depression and insomnia are always on the top of the list of conditions that are successfully treated with acupuncture.

The first thing acupuncture will do is to restore your normal sleep pattern. If you do not have enough night’s rest, it leads to exhaustion, irritability and depression. Acupuncture will help to balance the activity of your nervous system by engaging your own body’s regulatory mechanisms and enormous internal resources.

The most effective way to start acupuncture treatments is three times the first week, then twice a week up to 12 sessions. You will see improvement after the first week.

Also, as a support therapy I would recommend Vitamins B Complex and some simple herbs like Valerian Root and Passion Flower. Should you need medication, it is better to discuss it with your physician.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Carolyn Jones
Why am I having a period, when I at age 52 hasn't had one in the last two years?
It is possible that you are having a period during menopausal phase. However I would encourage you to consult with your gynecologist to rule out serious organic disorders. After that I would feel comfortable to recommend acupuncture.

Acupuncture treats the symptoms of menopause without drugs or administration of substances of any kind, which makes it the most natural and safe approach.

Are you on hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? To find out more about HRT go to http://doctorgetwell.org/Questions.asp?order=2&show=2&year=2002&issue=9


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Paul X
I have chronic asthma and am afflicted frequently with a cold that moves directly to my bronchial tubes; my doctor will give me nothing for this and claims I have a virus and to take over-the-counter cough syrups with an expectorant. It takes me weeks, literally, to get over bronchitis--then in two or three months, here it comes again. Some time ago I was able to get phenegren expectorant when I had these bouts but my doctor says it isn't available anymore. My question is this, if phenegren expectorant can't be obtained, isn't there some other similar liquid (high powered of course) available by presecription that would have positive results. I am a teacher and I have to talk; with bronchitis and the accompanying cougn, it is difficult for me; I would appreciate your comments. Thank you, Paul
Dear Paul,

To look at the core of your problem, it seems that your frequent colds indicate inadequate immune response, and must be addressed first. I am sorry I do not prescribe medication. All I can do is to assess your condition and advice you from acupuncture perspective.

Acupuncture proved to be effective to boost immune system. Also, asthma is a classical indication for acupuncture. Sometimes a simple technique like dynamic vacuum massage (cupping) can do more than drugs.

The question is how to break the “vicious circle”, and then you would not need to chase away the bronchitis each time. Please do not hesitate to call me at 401-738-9355. I can be more helpful if I know more details.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: bill clifford

Thank you.

Bill Clifford
Briefly, neuralgia is a painful condition of the nerve due to inflammation, irritation etc.

Sciatica, trigeminal neuralgia, shingles are all neuralgias. All are very successfully treated with acupuncture. Please contact me if I can be of any assistance.

Sincerely, Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: ????????? ?????????

Having bloating, pain below ribs, swelling, rolling fever and lack of appetite.

Please advise...

Thank you,
Thank you for your correspondence. It looks like a standard question from a midterm exam in Acupuncture College, and considering the terminology that you use, I have the feeling that you are familiar with acupuncture and Oriental medicine. If this is the case, you must know that the history of your disease as well as the examination of your tongue and pulse can provide vital information for accurate diagnosis. Knowing your gender would help too.

For now, I can only advice you to see your physician- the sooner the better -to be checked for gallbladder disease. Once conditions that require immediate medical attention are ruled out, I would feel comfortable recommending acupuncture.

From the Oriental prospective, your symptoms constitute Middle Jiao disorder and apparently indicate stagnation of Qi in Liver/Gallbladder affecting Stomach/Pancreas. You may need herbal formula XIAO CHAI HU TANG to Harmonize Shao Yang division/level (exterior-interior - between Tai Yang & Yang Ming).

I will be happy to be of more assistance should you decide to contact me.


Alex Tatevian, DA

P.S. Have a good Thanksgiving Day.

Correspondence from: Mark W
Does acupuncture actually treat the medical condition or just kill the pain?
Pain reduction is only one of the effects of acupuncture. Most importantly it reduces inflammation, eliminates muscle spasms, activates blood circulation and accelerates the regenerative process.

That is why the effect of acupuncture lasts.

Dr. GetWell

Correspondence from: Barbara B
I have late-stage Lyme Disease, which went undiagnosed for many years. My symptoms fluctuate greatly; the most severe ones are dizziness/low blood pressure, numbness/tingling and weakness (the numbness and weakness go together), and a sensation of muscle spasms, esp. in arms, legs, face & neck. I have had some mild arthritis, but pain is not a significant problem. I'm on a long-term antibiotic regimen, and while it is helping overall, improvement is slow and sometimes my body feels overwhelmed by the die-off reactions.

I wonder if acupuncture might help my immune system and overall functioning through this process.

If so, how often would I need to come in for treatment?
Dear Barbara,

From what you wrote, I strongly feel that you can benefit from acupuncture treatment. The best way to manage your condition is to start acupuncture three times a week. As your condition improves, we will reduce number of treatments to twice a week and once a week accordingly.

I would expect to find the first signs of improvement after six sessions.

Feel free to contact me for more information.


Alex Tatevian, DA

About the itching: it is hemorrhoids. You may try Preparation H, or something of that sort. In the cultures were people traditionally use rinsing with water instead of toilet paper, hemorrhoids does not exist.

Regarding your pain: I am sorry, I cannot answer unless you are more specific. Sincerely,

Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Faye McCutchen
I have had what I call ulcers inside my mouth for some time. At first I thought it was a reaction to an antibiotic. My surgeon put me on Zovarax. That didn't help.I went to a General Practioner who gave me Zilactin-B. That didn't work either. I went to my dentist who called it Lichen Planus and gave me Dexamethosone. At first I thought this was the wonder drug. After two weeks and it had not cleared up completely he referred me to an oral surgeon who diagnosed it as Lichen Planus and he put me on Lidex. My mouth had improved drastically but now it is flaring up again.

The only medication that I am on is an over the counter colon cleanser from the Health Food Store. This contains Cascara Sagrada,Buckthorn,Senna, Fennel Seed, Peppermint,Papaya,Rose Hips,Buckthorn Bark,Barberry Root,Celery,Acidophilus and Gelatin. Is there anything in this that would cause my mouth to get so sore. It is the inside of my mouth at the back at my jaw teeth and my tongue will also get sore.
Dear Faye,

How long are you taking the colon cleanser. Did you start it before the ulcers occurred? If the answer is yes, stop taking it for a month and see what happens.

Please reply,

Dr. GetWell

Correspondence from: mary adams
I am a 53 year old female. My height is 5'4" and I weigh 165 pounds. I am married and have two grown children. I am a CPA working in public accounting full time. In July 2002 I discontinued hormone therapy,(Prem-Pro), as I was feeling poorly and the news of the hormone study was made public. I had been having tightness or pressure in my chest and head that would come and go. I did seem to have some sinus congestion but I did not feel that this was causing the pressure. My blood pressure was normal and there were no other indications that I was aware of. I was diagnosed as having a sinus infection and medicated with antibiotics, however I question the accuracy of the diagnosis. After I completed the treatment with the antibiotics I still did not feel well and continued having the pressure which gradually diminished over time. Sometime after, I began having joint pain and stiffness in my hips. I notice this after sitting awhile or upon getting out of bed in the morning. After I am up and walking the pain and stiffness seem to disappear. The overall hip discomfort has improved slightly in the last month, but is still somewhat of a problem. I currently take daily vitamins and minerals and feel that I am generally in very good health.

What could be causing the discomfort in my hip joints?
Dear Ms. Adams,

The way you describe your hip pain and discomfort, it appears to be caused by two most likely reasons:

Either it is due to a local problem – arthritis in the hip joint (s). It can be confirmed or ruled out by X-ray. Please keep in mind that degenerative arthritis of the hips is quite common and does not necessarily cause pain.

The second reason may be a chronic back problem with irradiation of pain to the hip area and along the lateral aspect of the thigh. It is usually nagging and stubborn pain and stiffness, especially in the morning and after long sitting, and it forces you to change position frequently.

It is not “typical” sciatica” with acute pain, which comes from L5-S1 segment.

The source oh the problem that manifests as hip pain can be located in the upper lumbar spine: L3-4-5. This should be given a serious consideration.

Finally, the possibility of osteoporosis, if exists, not likely to be linked to you resent discontinued hormone therapy. However, taking multivitamins and minerals in moderation is justified and will do no harm.

If you think that you are overweight, please remember that loosing weight too rapidly can make matters worse because it can weaken your muscles that support spine integrity.

I could be of more assistance given a chance to examine you. Please contact your physician for medical opinion.

Regarding acupuncture: most of my patients with hip pain get better from acupuncture and usually are pain free after 10-15 sessions.

With best wishes,

Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Mike Bulman
I have been diagnosed with Erectile Dysfunction and I am only 22. For me it sort of embarrassing when faced with it because I am so young. I am healthy, don't smoke and don't do drugs. Well I have tried everything my doctors have offerd to me and nothing has helped. I was told by a family friend that I should try Acupuncture, well my question is is there such a treatment for sexual dysfunction? And if yes who can I contact. Thanks
If your doctors ruled out serious organic diseases, then it is likely that you have a functional disorder which can be treated with acupuncture with great success. Find an acupuncturist in your area. If you live in RI you can contact our office at 401-738-9355. Sincerely, Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: ?????? ??????
I know someone who drank some drink(Pepsi) and found a live maggot in it. This person wants to know what happens if she swallowed some live maggots, will they kill you or will the acids from your stomach eat them up? Please reply quickly as this person is greatly concerned. Thanks
The maggots will not kill you, they are dead by now, don't worry. Have a good night, Dr. GetWell

Correspondence from: geoff zable
my wife is almost 8 weeks preg, she is always sick.lastnight she vomitied alittle red, but couldnt tell if it was blood?we found out about 6.5 weeks only because she thought it was the flu,is it normal for even a few people to be this sick?(she is reallllly sick)she does hold down food once in awhile,and good amounts when she does keep it down.next doc vist mon 14 oct thanx
Acupuncture is very effective for treating all kinds of nausea: morning sickness, seasickness, nausea as side effect of chemotherapy etc. The procedure is quite simple and, as usual, painless. Please find a qualified practitioner to make sure that the treatment will not interfere with normal course of pregnancy. Improper point selection can do more harm than good and even cause miscarriage.

With best wishes,


Correspondence from: CHRISTINA JENKINS
Dear Christina,

Stay away from spicy and fatty foods. Avoid large meals; eat in smaller portions 4-5 meals a day. Regarding acupuncture: it can normalize motor function of the gallbladder, alleviate spastic pain, and bring a long lasting relief. It is definitely worth your consideration.


Dr. GetWell

Correspondence from: Pam B
I am on the ICN website,and have found this listing! I have Interstitial Cystitis, a bladder disease that most medical dr's DO NOT know about! I need to find a new pain dr, one who will listen to me, know about my disease, be educated in it! My current pain dr apparently knows NOTHING, as he states he can't even write a prescription for Phenegren,as I thrown up with the smallest amount of an Ultram Pill~that's how sensitive I am to meds, but I need a dr who is going to know about my disease, listen to me when I say I'm a 10 on a pain scale everyday of my life!

I can't live like this......this is a chronic disease that needs to be controlled, which it could be with the right dr!

Could you help me?

Thank You Pamela Barley
Dear Ms. Barley, I know exactly what you are going through. I have had patients with your condition, and it motivated me to study this disease (IC) extensively. I have plenty of material for you to read if you are interested.

I treated my IC patients with acupuncture with great success.

I think, I can arrange for you to speak with one of them, the lady who is pain free for the last three years.

Do not hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to be at your assistance.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Pam
Alex, thank you for responding! I do appreciate it! I also have Fibro, which the dr wanted to do Acupuncture, and I can't do it, as I have a needle fear:(' Are you a pain dr? I have had this disease *IC* for 6 long years now,and believe me, I have tons of information myself, and I'm very well educated in IC.....as I.....being the patient..and the medical dr's NOT knowing anything, or very little......I have had to be my own medical advocate! I do belong to the ICN support group online,and belong to the ICA also, so I am a very well informed patient about my disease, I just need a pain dr that believes my pain is a 10 everyday of my life, and work with me to get my pain under control, so I may be able to have somewhat of a "quality of life"! This is my 2nd pain dr so far,and I'm offered nothing to help me,as he states that "people can become addicted".......well, I have an issue with that statement........"someone who is in chronic pain" 24/7 WILL NOT become addicted, but give them some quality of life back to make it thru another day! Your responses are appreciated!! Thank You Pam Barley
Dear Pam,

I do not prescribe medication. My specialty is acupuncture. If you have needle-phobia, you may try Laser acupuncture. It is absolutely painless, no needles involved, and just as effective.

I wish I could be of more help.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Becky W
Thanks so much for your reply. WE have ruled out the spinal problem. My husband was able to speak with the spinal surgeon and after his conversation the DR. safely ruled out any type of back/spine related problems. He said it was either kidney stones or the gall bladder and since my husband has had the scan for the kidneys and blood work both of which ruled out kidney dysfunction it seems like the likely culprit is the gall bladder. Our only solution now is to wait for the next attack and rush to the ER. Thank you for your time and your return message. I'm sorry I haven't returned your message before now however I've been away from my computer. Thanks again, Becky Wenzel
You are very welcome.

Dr. GetWell

Correspondence from: B W
Name: Becky Wenzel (bwenzel@ftlvn.k12.ks.us) Phone: (816) 390-2646 Date: 9/13/2002 13:3:10

My husband is currently experiencing stabbing, almost paralizing pains in his back, right middle side of the back. He has experienced episodes of this for the past 4 weeks. He was seen by a doctor (not our pcp/he's out recouperating from his own back surgery). He had the scan of his kidney's to check for kidney stones. The results of this said everything was normal. He experienced the pains again, lasting 2 hrs. to 12 hrs. He returned to the dr. which then was prescirbed a mucsle relaxant and a medication for pain. Since Wed. 9/11/02 at 5p.m he has experienced the same stabbing pain. He has taken the medication as directed and has relief for up to two hrs. from the time of taking the medication. The remainder of the time he is in severe pain. I've tried taking him to the nearest ER. He has agreed to go however we live 40 min. away from the nearest ER and riding that length when he is in so much pain is not tolerable. He also had surgery to remove disc particles of ruptured disc, L4 and L5 in Nov. of 1999. One dr. he saw the second time after experiencing this new kind of pain suggested he's passed a small kidney stone. The pain he is experiencing could be due to the fact that he has previously had the surgery and when a stone intrudes one's body the muscles take a longer time to recover and rearrange from the intrusion of the stone. We thought this could be a possiblity, however the pain episodes continue, more frequently and lasting longer with each episode. What do we do? Is this kidney stone, gall bladder attack? or is this something related to the back surgery? We are trying at this very moment to contact his back surgeon, We can't get through the receptionist. What do we do? =
I am sorry; I could not get back to sooner. I just received your e-mail (computer-maintenance day).

I will call you tomorrow at 9AM Eastern Time to learn more details. Your concern about kidney stones and gall bladder attacks seems reasonable. Nevertheless, it may be also spine-related.

To check urine for blood would be the first thing to do. It is quick and simple; you can deliver it to a lab yourself. In any case, differential diagnosis is required.

Until tomorrow,

Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Patricia S
My husband eats what he wants and his cholesterol is 150, while I am on no-fat diet and mine is almost 300. What fat should I eat?
Maybe your husband is right. Avoiding food products infamous for their cholesterol load can do more harm than good. This simplistic approach leads to unbalanced nutrition.

Many of us think we should avoid fat and cholesterol at all costs. The truth is we cannot live without it. Fat aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals in the small intestine. Cholesterol is the raw material that makes natural steroids in the body. Cholesterol is necessary to produce bile and make cell membranes. The brain is practically made of cholesterol.

Essential fatty acids (EFA), are the new buzzwords in medicine. "Essential" means our bodies can't manufacture these fatty acids on their own. EFAs are considered just as important as vitamins, essential amino acids and minerals.

Vegetable oils are a common source of EFA , except for the fact that the more processed the oil, the less EFA it contains. When shopping, buy cold pressed (below 120 degrees) oils. This preserves the vitamin E in oils, which prevents the EFA from turning rancid. Many brands of oil use a chemical solvent in processing and this lowers the EFA levels. Light and heat degrade EFA. Avoid oils sold in clear glass containers or in plastic bottles. The soft plastic releases some of its estrogen-like compounds into the oils.

Simple changes in our diets can be helpful in prevention and treating illnesses. As is true for acupuncture, EFA can restore the physical balance that makes us well.


Alex Tatevian

Correspondence from: x x
To whom it may concern,

I am 22years old and have been suffering from sharp pains in the head for a while now. My question is this, The pain comes and last from 2to6 days.It also causes me to jerk my head to the right and my right arm also now twitches. I also can not always answer when my name is called. I take Excedrine for the pain however it only makes it tolerable. The pain moves from different angles and then it leaves. One doctor thought it was migrians and another said alergeies, however both were wrong.

If you can think of any possible explination I would greatly appreaciate it.

Dear X X, The way you describe your pain makes me suspect that it may be a sort of tension headache associated with upper thoracic or cervical spine condition (with your neck). MRI or an exam by neurologist can clarify this. You can try a course of acupuncture; if my assumption is true, you will feel the difference after several sessions. you can call me at 401-738-9355. I can be more specific if I know more details. Sincerely, Alex Tatevian, DA ============================================

Correspondence from: a b
I'm a woman who is concerned about her pulse rate. At this point my blood pressure is in normal range. At last check it was 128/86. My pulse though is 128. Is that too high and if so what causes this and should I contact my doctor? I don't want to call the doctor if that is normal range. I'm 64 pounds overweight. If it is high could that be why?
Yes, pulse rate 128 very high (when you are resting), but it is normal during the exercise. The first to be ruled out: thyroid hyperfunction and anxiety attacks; then - specific heart conditions.

I will be in the office on Sat. 7/20/02 afternoon; you can call me at 401-738-9355. I can be more specific if I know more details.


Alex Tatevian, DA

Correspondence from: Marissa Kelley
If I take two multivitamins a day, due to the fact that I am a small framed adult, and I don't eat well, will it hurt me?
Dear Ms. Kelley,

If you do not eat well it is possible that you do not have an adequate amount of vitamins with your food, and taking a supplement is justified and is beneficial. The popular notion "the more vitamins the better" is highly debatable and may be even plain wrong.

For example, mega-doses of vitamins A and B-6 can be toxic and dangerous. If your weight is under 120 lbs try to keep it around 100% of recommended daily value. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to call me at 401-738-9355. I can be more specific if I know more details.


Alex Tatevian

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