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How Acupuncture Saves Lives by Dr. Phil Niño Tan-Gatue, Licensed Physician and Acupuncturist

Photo credit to Ronnie Bernardo of The Helicon Projects

I’ve always been curious on how acupuncture works whenever I see on tv and internet pictures of patients having a number of needles inserted in a particular part of their body, I always freak out seriously.  That’s why when an opportunity came to listen to a certified acupuncturist to talk about this matter, I have to grab this chance.

Last Monday, July 21st   I joined a group of bloggers for a dinner with Dr. Phil Niño Tan-Gatue, a licensed physician in Manila to explain his thoughts about traditional Chinese medicine particularly acupuncture. Though the talk is very informal, he did it in a way that he backs his own opinions, cited general information and recounted evidence – based researches to answer our questions.  Dr. Phil is a Clinical Associate Professor in University of the Philippines College of Medicine and the Director of Acupuncture at The Medical City.  He has finished studies in China particularly in Nanjing and updated his insights regarding this in the USA as well.

Dr Phil showing a needle pricked in his skin. Yay!
With this kind of introduction, I think he is one of those perfect to speak about this. Let me share you  what I learned about that night to help him dispel a lot of myths and misunderstanding regarding this field.

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture, refers to the insertion and manipulation of needles into the body, usually at set locations known popularly as “points”.  In the broad sense, it refers to a collection of procedures related to needling.

Can acupuncture heal ALL diseases?
Just like any other alternative ways of treatments, NO it cannot cure everything but it can help with  a lot of problems.

Why did he decided to pursue a career in acupuncture?
Dr. Phil has a migraine that always gives him a lot of inconvenience to his lifestyle and less productivity to his work. Through acupuncture, he said this massive headache has disappeared. After that he felt he need to spread the word so according to his blog he decided to teach so that “he can make young doctors and the general public be aware that Chinese medicine can work hand in hand with conventional and local way of keeping the Filipino nation healthy”.

Does it hurt?
Since a needle is required to be inserted in a particular part of the body, of course a minimum amount of pain can be felt depending on the person’s tolerance level to handle it.

Is it safe?
Needles should be sterilized first and should be used only once to avoid risk of transmissions of infectious diseases.

What are the examples of ailments that acupuncture can help to heal?
A LOT.  Stiff neck, cough, poor eyesight, anemia, high blood pressure, sinusitis, HIV & AIDS, lupus, hepatitis etc. it can even help in smoking cessation, drugs, acohol and psychological disorders.

How long is a typical session?
It can be from 30 minutes to an hour. It depends on the practitioner’s style or the intensity of the need to heal it.

More questions please!
There you go, I hope was able to give you a little bit of awareness regarding the use of acupuncture to help save lives. If you want to dig deeper, he has a blog where you can check out here. You can also read the rest of ailments that acupuncture can cure in his FAQ section.

Dr Phil demonstrates the process to a fellow blogger
By the way, Dr Phil is offering acupuncture services at Philippine General Hospital, The Medical City, BGC Taguig and Teacher's Village Quezon City. You can always contact him for consultation and treatment.

If you want to reach out to him in social media, you may click his official Facebook page here and on Twitter here

At Nomama Artisanal Ramen
*** Shown in the main profile photo are the rest of bloggers who also joined the talk. Yours truly is the one the far left wearing a green blouse and Dr Phil is the third from the right. Special thanks to Nomama Artinasal Ramen at Capitol Commons Pasig for the free appetizers. Their specialty is a variety of ramen. You will surely love it! 

Thanks also to Ms. Kathy Kenny Ngo of for having me.

1 comment

  1. The spinal adjustment is the way chiropractors treat the subluxation complex, which is interference to the nervous system. Most acupuncturists Toronto treat with their hands, others use instruments like the activator.