FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How often after my first treatment do I have to come in?
A:Your doctor will instruct you according to your condition.
Q: Is it alright to see a different associate at ATP Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine?
A: All doctors are of the highest caliber at ATP Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine. We work together as a team to provide the best care for all our patients.
Q: If I can’t get in to see my practitioner, can I pick up herbs or have herbs shipped to me?
A: It’s important to avoid interrupting your treatment program. However, in the event that you do need to miss your appointment, we encourage you to pick up a refill of your herbs or have them shipped to you to maintain treatment continuity.
Q: How long can I expect to be in the treatment room for an acupuncture treatment?
A: It depends on your practitioner’s discretion. Expect 25-40 minutes on average.
Q: Is it normal after an acupuncture treatment to get bruises or swelling on the area where the acupuncture needle was inserted?
A: Occasionally, bruising or swelling may occur from an acupuncture treatment. Simply apply pressure and an ice pack for 10-15 minutes. It will not negatively impact your treatment’s outcome.
Q: Can I exercise or go back to work after my treatment?
A: Yes, you may return to your normal activities shortly after your treatment.
Q: Can I take vitamins and other supplements while I take my herbs? Or will they conflict?
A: It is generally not a problem as long as you take the supplements and the herbs at separate times.
Q: How long after I eat should I wait to drink my tea? Can I drink the tea on an empty stomach?
A: You should wait 15-20 minutes after your meal to drink the tea. It is fine to drink the tea on an empty stomach.
Q: What should I do if I slightly overcook the tea or overcooked it and ended up with only one cup? Is it still good?
A: Not a problem - as long as the tea is not burnt. If you only end up with one concentrated cup of tea add filtered or distilled water to the concentration to dilute it. Add enough water to the tea so that it equals to 3 to 6 cups (depending on the type of tea pot you use).
Q:What should I do if I forget to drink my tea for one dose?
A:You should double up the dose next time. It’s important to intake the prescribed dosage on a daily basis for optimum results.
Q: If I have more tea left over, should I throw it away or can I still drink it?
A:You should drink it, but keep in mind that once the tea is cooked it is only good for 1 week in the refrigerator.
Q:I’am experiencing adverse reactions to the tea, such as abdominal pain and bloating. Is this normal and what should I do?
A: Let your practitioner know. Some people may have a reaction the first or second week, but symptoms usually subside afterwards.
"I was so scared of trying acupuncture but was nicely surprised that there was no pain at all. Why is this?"
Even patients who have had previous experience with acupuncture before going to the ATP Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine are often pleasantly surprised at how virtually painless and more comfortable our acupuncture treatments are. There are 4 main reasons why our acupuncture treatments are so painless:
Needles: We use the thinnest acupuncture needles available on the market (0.12 mm in diameter) - they are thinner than human hair! They are also more than 2 times thinner than the needles typically used in most North American acupuncture clinics.
Guiding Tube: We use specially designed guiding tubes to insert the needle. Guiding tubes, which were invented in the 17th century by a talented and blind Japanese acupuncturist named Waichi Sugiyama, significantly decrease the pain and stinging sensation when the needle is inserted.
Our Technique: Technique plays the important role in achieving painless needling. We spend years in training refining our painless acupuncture techniques. Inserting and manipulating thin, fine and extremely soft needles without bending them requires highly sensitive skills.
Needling Depth: We specialize in a superficial acupuncture needling technique. The acupuncture needles are usually inserted less than a few millimeters in depth.
Is painless, gentle acupuncture less effective?
Some acupuncturists believe that in order to produce a significant effect one must insert needles deeper and administer a much stronger stimulation; however, we do not believe this is necessarily true. Many practitioners clinically observe significant improvement in their patients' conditions using an extremely gentle superficial needling technique. Furthermore, very gentle superficial needling stimulation produces an immensely favorable response in the human physiological system. The study demonstrated that a very small amount of superficial stimulation produces significant responses in the body when applied skillfully with consideration of the patient's physiological condition. Our goal is to deliver the most effective treatment for a patient's condition while providing the most comfortable treatment experience.
Is acupuncture only good for pain?
Many people, including some medical professionals, assume that acupuncture is a method of temporary pain-relief only. This misconception may have resulted from acupuncture being popularized in North America since 1978 as a form of analgesia. It is true that acupuncture is commonly utilized as a form of pain control, especially when performed by physicians, chiropractors, or physiotherapists. The main concept of acupuncture as practiced in China or Japan, however, is to harmonize internal body systems and address the cause of illness. Therefore, temporary relief of pain is only one aspect of acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective method to deal with a variety of health conditions other than those causing pain. The WHO listed a variety of health conditions which can be treated by acupuncture, including organic illness. This is because acupuncture helps to regulate our physiological functioning. Acupuncture primarily affects our nervous system, which controls our entire visceral function.
How does your treatment (acupuncture) differ from anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDS)?
NSAIDs may potentially have several well-known detrimental effects in your system such as gastric irritation and liver damage while acupuncture has virtually no side effects. In terms of the action on your muscle and joint pain, acupuncture works in a completely different manner than medication does.
Most pain-relief and anti-inflammatory medications provide excellent short-term pain-relief by blocking the production of pain-causing substances called prostaglandins. In addition to inducing pain, however, prostaglandins are vasodilators which help enhance circulation. By inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, there will be decreased sensitivity to pain, but blood supply to the muscles and joints will also be decreased, thus creating problems and prolonging true recovery.
On the other hand, our acupuncture procedure produces the complete opposite effect. Except in a few very acute cases, we attempt to enhance blood circulation, especially in the area that there is pain or discomfort. This desired action can be achieved by regulating the autonomic nervous system (which is responsible for internal organ system functioning, regulation of blood circulation and production of relaxation effects) using specific acupuncture techniques. When circulation of the tissue improves, muscle relaxation occurs and in many cases immediate pain reduction follows. However, when circulation improves, the pain in the affected area occasionally intensifies, and is then followed by repair of tissue and muscle relaxation.
Here is an analogy that somewhat explains this healing recovery pain. If you have been sitting for a long time, your legs start to get tight and feel numb. This, as you know, is due to poor circulation (ischemic pain). There is some discomfort at this point, but it's not very intense. Most of the discomfort occurs when you get up and start to walk around and blood flow is re-established (recovery pain). In some cases, it is necessary to go through some discomfort in order to get complete relief. Proper circulation in the tissue is important not only for blood to nourish the tissue but also to enhance the elimination of muscle fatigue and pain-causing substances (e.g., lactic acid) thus creating healthy tissues. On the other hand, tight muscles with poor circulation are fatigued easily and more prone to injury.
What if I am Healthy?
Any prescription for good health must include prevention, not just treatment of disease. Acupuncture has been traditionally used as a preventive medicine, but is now verified to also stimulates immune functions which increase resistance to bacterial and viral infections. Acupuncture also increases overall vitality and energy. Many people find that regular monthly acupuncture tune-ups are the best medicine to feel "in sync" and to ensure continued good health.
"An Excellent Doctor Treats a Patient Before Disease Arises" - Bian Que (Known as the King of Medicine, 4th C. B.C.)
Where do you put the needles?
The location of the needles depends on your particular pattern of symptoms. But in general, needling points are chosen on the entire body. This is because we approach your signs and symptoms as being a manifestation of your body's disharmony. Some of the commonly utilized body balancing points are located on the forearms, legs and abdomen.
Do I need to believe that acupuncture will work in order for it to be effective?
Significant results have been obtained when acupuncture is used for very small children and animals, both groups being less likely to be affected by the degree of their beliefs. These studies suggested that acupuncture produces a significant physiological response regardless of your belief or faith in acupuncture. However, your role in your recovery cannot be emphasized enough; if you maintain a positive attitude with a firm belief in the treatment you are receiving and have a desire to recover, it can only help.
The powerful synchronizing effect between the action of acupuncture and your attitude makes sense since the cure comes from your own body, regardless of the form of therapy you receive. Even western medical practices are beginning to recognize the importance of the patient's attitude towards treatment. Consequently, a growing number of modern hospitals are incorporating hypnosis or psychotherapy as a routine part of pre- and post surgery conditioning. It certainly works.
Is there any scientific proof that indicate acupuncture works?
In recent medical practice, the doctor's personal preference or belief has played a diminishing role in selecting the medical procedure for their patient. Instead, much more emphasis has been placed on evidence from rigorous research. This is called evidence-based medicine (EBM). This trend has also influenced the practice of acupuncture and over the last decade, acupuncture has been put through serious testing according to western scientific research standards.
In 1997, the US National Institute of Health conducted a large conference where panels of expert scientists discussed the efficacy and safety of acupuncture based on current evidence. Following the meeting, NIH issued a report entitled the "NIH Consensus Statement of Acupuncture", which acknowledged the effectiveness of acupuncture in a variety of health conditions. Furthermore, they recommended US insurance companies cover acupuncture for treatment of some recommended conditions.
Do you use disposable needles?
Yes, we have been using only disposable needles since the opening of our practice in the U.S. in fall 1999. Each needle is discarded into a medical hazard container after single use.
Are there different grades or qualities of needles?
Yes, there are a number of different grades of disposable needles. We use only the highest quality needles in the market. The average cost per needle that we use is approximately 2 to 5 times more expensive than common brands'. High-quality pre-sterilized needles are guaranteed for 100% non-contamination. Additionally, the ultra-fine needle tips provide smoother insertion, ensuring much less discomfort during treatment.
Are there any side effects of acupuncture?
As with any medical treatment, there is a chance of developing unfavorable reactions after acupuncture treatment. Adverse effects of acupuncture reported in the literature include infection, nerve damage, fainting, and puncture injuries to vital organs. These complications, however, are exceptionally unusual, especially under the care of qualified acupuncturists. Tiny bruises around needling sites are not very common but occasionally occur. These usually diminish completely within a week. Compared with medical and pharmaceutical intervention, acupuncture is considered an extremely safe treatment with minimal chance of any complication.
How Do I Choose an Acupuncturist?
It is important to check an acupuncturist's credentials if one is to consider the safety and efficacy issues involved in treatment. In addition, it is also advised that you ask which technique he or she uses. Even among qualified acupuncturists, the techniques used vary greatly according to each one's background.
Furthermore, it is strongly recommended that you ask about an acupuncturist's needles and sterilization policy - especially about their use of disposable needles. Your health and well-being are too important to treat lightly. Be sure to visit our website and check our acupuncturists' qualifications and detailed description of our highly hygienic treatment procedures.
I have tried acupuncture somewhere else before and did not feel any improvement, will there be any difference this time or in further trials?
It is true that not everyone responds well to acupuncture, however, it is important to remember that failure to respond to treatment from one acupuncturist does not necessarily mean that your condition cannot be helped by acupuncture. Dr. Tao and Dr. Ping from the ATP Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine have qualifications and extensive experience not only in acupuncture but also in a large range of alternative therapies and applied physiology fields. Therefore, in many cases, they can offer unique insights to a variety of health conditions that were previously non-responsive to conventional medicine or other alternative approaches.
Does all acupuncture work the same way?
When discussing acupuncture, it is important not to generalize the effect and response from acupuncture treatment like that of medication (for the most part, medication does provide an expected reaction from targeted populations). Physiological response from acupuncture varies greatly based on various factors such as practitioner's skills. In fact, experimental studies indicated that an acupuncture needle inserted in the same point produces a different reaction depending on a variety of other factors such as depth of the insertion, amount of stimulation, and position of the patient. A unique acupuncture system, whose design is based on Dr. Tao and Dr. Ping's extensive research and clinical experience, is utilized at ATP Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine to relieve your symptoms and address the root cause of the problem simultaneously in the most effective and timely manner possible.