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Medical acupuncture for returning OFWs.

THE PHILIPPINES has become a prime destination for medical and wellness care. Compared to first world countries, the cost of obtaining treatment in the country is often more costeffective, thus making the country attractive to returning Filipinos or foreigners.

Anywhere around the world, it is rare to find an acupuncturist who is also a medical doctor. In the Philippines, one such doctor specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He has also trained under a Chinese acupuncturist and is a certified acupuncturist.

Following is a short exchange with Dr. Franklin Domingo. He is a medical doctor who has been practicing acupuncture since 2006. He sees patients at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center, the Pain Control Clinic of Makati Medical Center, and at Southern Luzon Hospital in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.

One of his patients who started on a wheelchair claimed to have walked on her fourth session with acupuncture.

Relax, control pain

Other patients experience different and slower results. It is up to the individual to determine what is best for his overall health.

Many returning overseas Filipino workers are also overworked and stressed executives. How can acupuncture help regain balance and better health?

Domingo: I think that acupuncture can help overworked and stressed executives achieve their optimum levels of good health by helping them to relax, sleep better and control pain if they suffer from neck pain, back pain including headaches among other conditions.

You are both a medical doctor and an acupuncturist. When do you prescribe meds and when do you prescribe acupuncture?

Domingo: Being both a specialist in physical and rehabilitation medicine and a certified medical acupuncturist has helped me assess my patients not only from a western physician's point of view but also from an eastern medicine practitioner's point of view. This helps me see the patient as a whole.

After reviewing the history, and examining the patient I integrate my knowledge of both western and traditional Chinese medicine, and then give the patient options that can best cure his particular condition.

Peerreviewed papers

The options that I will present will depend on my assessment. I also inform my patients about the advantages and disadvantages of these different options as well as what my recommendation will be.

There are some traditional doctors who are skeptical about the practice of acupuncture. Kindly expound on this professional field that is not well understood.

Domingo: I know that there are still some doctors who are not aware of the benefits that their patients may have by undergoing medical acupuncture procedures from certified medical acupuncturists.

I think it helps that there is now a growing number of peerreviewed scholarly papers on acupuncture.

Some of them have also been published in the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine which is published by the American Medical Association. This was written by Dr. Andrew Vickers in 2012.

Can acupuncture prevent stroke or heart attack? Or is the role of acupuncture more on rehabilitation and pain management after physical trauma?

Domingo: There also appears to be mounting evidence of the use of acupuncture for preventing heart attacks. [You can read the article of Dr. John Longhurst which includes 20 years of research in this field.]

Fast, slow responders

Does acupuncture work for everyone? What advice would you give middleaged executives who are searching for the secrets to longevity?

Domingo: I believe that acupuncture works for everybody. You don't even have to believe in acupuncture for it to work.

There are fast responders to acupuncture in whom the benefits are already apparent immediately after the session.

In some patients who are not fast responders, it may take a few sessions for the benefits to be directly felt by these patients.

For middleaged executives on the search for the secrets of longevity, I ask them to consider medical acupuncture. Its history dates back to 3,000 years. Not only emperors in ancient China have realized these benefits.

Proper diet, regular exercise

Even movie stars, TV hosts and some politicians both here and in the US have regularly taken advantage of what acupuncture has to offer and have incorporated it into their busy schedules.

Combined with a proper diet, regular exercise and adequate amounts of sleep, acupuncture can help these individuals achieve an optimum state of health that will help them give their best to what matters most in their lives.

Clinic hours: Asian HospitalTuesday to Thursday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (8765749); Southern Luzon HospitalMonday to Saturday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (09322215689).
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 8, 2015
Words:758
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