Friday, September 12, 2014

Acupuncture Manila

By Dr. Ryan Nino C. Padua

        As a medical practitioner, I do have my share of frustrating instances wherein my knowledge and training fell short of cracking a certain case wide open. Hence, I always kept an open mind and explored possibilities that lay outside my realm.However, I am wary of practitioners and/or endorsers who peddle their herbal concoctions as a panacea to man’s ills.Therefore, my openness is guarded by a healthy amount of skepticism and doubt.

Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to interact with a practitioner who sees western and traditional medicine as yin & yang and not fire and ice. His name is Philip Nino Tan-Gatue, MD, CAc, CMA. A Clinical Associate Professor of UP College of Medicine and the Director of the Acupuncture Services at The Medical City. Having studied at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and further trained at the Xuanwu Municipal Hospital and in the First Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we can certainly say he’s the top-honcho in the Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine here in the Philippines.

So what is Acupuncture? To anyone (including me) that entails sticking in needles at specific points of the body to tap into its ‘Chi’ and therefore induce relief (from pain or ailment)or to render a person catatonic akin to how it was used by assassins in Kung Fu moviesThe scientific’ view was to stimulate nerves so as to lessen pain. To my embarrassment, during the discussion that idea turned out to be too pedestrianand therefore betray my ignorance of the subject. Luckily, I didn’t blurt it out and afterwards did my own research for my own enlightening.

Acupuncture, as defined by Dr. Tan-Gatue, is a form of controlled stimulation wherein the nerves A-delta fibers are stimulated giving off the “qi” sensation. As the needle stays in, and as it is removed, it creates an inflammatory response mild enough to entice the whole immune system to do restorative repair (akin to how sleep acts to restore the body). As a form of therapy, Acupuncture can be used primarily for musculoskeletal and pain conditions but what surprised me is its applicability to other medical conditions wherein contemporary mind-set dictates therapy with pharmaceutical agents. One example given by Dr. Tan-Gatue is on Chronic Kidney Disease. With acupuncture working IN TANDEM with the attending nephrologist’s protocol he was able to help in keeping that patient’s creatinine stable. Mind you, he applied Acupuncture as an ADJUNCT to existing medical therapy.

          To clarify my point better, can you imagine The Beatles with John Lennon being replaced by Paul McCartney? Or Led Zeppelin with Robert Plant being replaced by Jimmy Page? In other words, Acupuncture (or the ‘Alternative’ Medicine) and Western Contemporary medicine must be viewed as yin and yang which complements each other to create one harmonious whole. This doesn’t involve acupuncture alone but the whole gamut of Traditional Chinese (TCM) and Alternative Medicinegiven that we also have our own herbal (and at times mystical) approaches to disease and infirmity. Now how do we integrate two entirely different worlds into one cohesive approach? Simple. Semantics.

           Eastern and Western medicine started roughly at the same time and evolved roughly at the same pace until the 18th century wherein western medicine became the forefront (given that it is widely disseminated and heavily researched). Eastern medicine also evolved but only became mainstream late when it became apparent that Western medicine wasn’t invincible as previously believed. Unbeknownst to many, Eastern medicine is tackling the SAME human body and the SAME diseases but with different approaches that were distilled through history and made effective with time. Labels and techniques were different but the principles and outcomes were relatively the same. Kind of like thinking outside the box and coming up with novel solutions to old problems. That’s how Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Contemporary Medicine are alike as much as they are different.

            As for me, that is the essential point Dr. Philip Nino Tan-Gatue was trying to convey. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicines are NOT health fads or last resort for western medicine case failures. Rather, it should be regarded as a worthy ally in the search for treatments to rid humanity of disease and infirmity. We should keep in mind that contemporary western medicine owed its roots to traditional or historical medicine, no matter which general direction it hailed from.

          To know more about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Philip Nino Tan-Gatue holds clinic at the following centers:

Manila Acupuncture Clinic UP-PGH
Rm. 208 University Physicians Medical Center
University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital
Tue & Fri 4-6pm
Contact Sheena +639499377888708-0000 loc 160

Accupuncture Services
6th floor, Center for Wellness and Aesthetics
The Medical City
Mon & Wed 2-5pm
6356789 loc 6576

Peak Form
Unit 807, The Infinity Building
26th Street Bonifacio Global City

Oasis Acupuncture Clinic
Centro Maginhawa
97 Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village East, Quezon City

1 comment:

  1. I've been going to streetsville acupuncture for a month for head, neck, and shoulder issues I've been having for the better part of a decade. The treatments have been amazing; I feel calm and pain-free for days after the sessions.