ACUPUNCTURE – A lot of people are scared of needles and having a few poked at you to treat a sickness is not really a very pleasant idea to picture at in anyone’s mind.  Some would even choose to suffer from their illnesses than have someone stick a couple of long needles on their backs.

But Doctor Philip Nino Tan-Gatue, a leading authority in the medical science of acupuncture here in the Philippines explains why the eastern-born treatment is nothing to be afraid of.


Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific acupoints along the skin of the body.  It was then recognized as a form of alternative medicine practiced mainly in China.  Acupuncture refers to the insertion and manipulation of needles into the body’s acupoints.  These needles are then manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation.  Needles can be placed on sites of local pain or on pre-defined acupoints that lie on pathways of Qi known as “meridians” or “channels”.

The most important benefit that acupuncture offers comes from the fact that it does not involve administering or taking any medication.  There are patients who, for various reasons, are unable or unwilling to take medications.


The Health Benefits of Acupuncture:

  • Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat Disorders (Sinusitis, Sore Throat, Hay Fever, Earache, Nerve Deafness, Ringing in the Ears, Dizziness, Poor Eyesight)
  • Circulatory Disorders (High Blood Pressure, Angina Pectoris, Arteriosclerosis, Anemia)
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Spastic colon, Colitis, Constipation, Diarrhea, Food Allergies, Ulcers, Gastritis, Abdominal Bloating, Hemorrhoids)
  • Gynecological / Genitourinary Disorders (Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Irregular, Heavy or Painful Menstruation, Endometriosis, Menopause, Fibroids, Chronic Bladder Infection, Complications in Pregnancy, Morning Sickness, Kidney Stones, Impotence, Infertility in Men and Women, Sexual Dysfunction)
  • Respiratory Disorders (Asthma, Emphysema, Bronchitis, Colds and Flus)
  • Immune Disorders (Candida, Chronic Fatigue, HIV and AIDS, Epstein Barr Virus, Allergies, Lupus, MS, Hepatitis)
  • Addiction (Smoking Cessation, Drugs, Alcohol)
  • Emotional and Psychological Disorders (Anxiety, Insomnia, Depression, Stress)
  • Musculoskeletal and Neurological Disorders (Arthritis, Neuralgia, Sciatica, Back Pain, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Stiff Neck, Bell’s Palsy, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Headaches and Migraines, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Polio, Sprains, Muscle Spasms, Shingles)
  • Acupuncture Also Treats (Chemotherapy/Radiation Side Effects, Diabetes, Dermatological Disorders, Weight Control)

What are its limitations?

It is practitioner dependent – acupuncture is not just sticking needles in.  It involves diagnosis, points selection, needle insertion and manipulation.  A certain mastery of skill is required.

Another limitation is that it is difficult to use acupuncture for treating diseases with an obvious anatomic cause.  Treating muscle pain because of spasm is one thing, but treating an injury like a torn tendon may require surgery.  It is also good for initial stages of infections, but it’s only secondary for later, more severe infections.

What are the restrictions once you start undergoing acupuncture?

Generally, Acupuncture is discouraged for people who are hungry or who have just had a heavy meal.   Hemophiliacs are also discouraged from undergoing acupuncture.  Also, it is recommended that patients avoid exposure to cold right after acupuncture (2-3 hours) because this might lead to cramps and spasms.

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