Articles and Interviews

Through the years, Dr. Tan-Gatue has spoken far and wide about Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Much has been published in print and online.  Here is a sampling of various articles and links to them.

Doctor, Doctor I am sick… heal me with needles very quick!

(To be fair the title was NOT my idea)

I sit on my desk, listening to my newest patient. She tells me all about her hand problems. She feels that the hand lacks energy. However, a cursory physical examination shows no abnormality in the strength of her grip or any other muscle in her arms. A few years ago, I would have either dismissed her complaints as the result of fatigue or ordered a battery of tests to try to pinpoint an organic cause to her problems. Today, I ask her questions seemingly unrelated to her hands. I inquire about her dietary habits, her sleeping patterns, and her psycho-emotional situation. I also feel her pulse and look at her tongue.
I then come up with a diagnosis and treat her by needling some points on her feet and back. She later reports that she is sleeping better, has better appetite and has her arm strength back. Welcome to the world of traditional Chinese medicine.


On reading Giovanni Maciocia’s books for the first time:

“I know it’s a cliché, but there is no better way to describe the feeling I had while reading those books other than I fell in love.”

Sage-like words from Professor Wang Zicai:

I had this professor who told me (and I roughly translate form Chinese), “There are many western doctors who try to study acupuncture, but only a few succeed. This is because they do not really believe in nor study Chinese medical theory, especially the channels. Never stop learning, never stop studying. Learn from different masters. Most of all, never stop studying.”

More than just pain:

Many of my patients also seek help for insomnia, stroke, digestive problems and (as in the introductory case I presented) movement disorders and other neurologic problems. I even have a few patients who come in for weight loss and diabetes control.

On how young Chinese-Filipinos see it:

It is sad and unfortunate that the very descendants of this rich heritage are the ones who doubt the efficacy of this treasure we call Chinese medicine. Foreigners are traveling in droves to China to study it. Schools of Chinese Medicine are popping up like mushrooms in the United States and Europe.

Teaching in the University of the Philippines College of Medicine:

This is the primary reason that I decided to teach—to make young doctors and the general public aware that Chinese medicine can work hand in hand with conventional medicine in keeping the Filipino nation healthy.

Click here for the original article.

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Health Today Philippines June 2012

The article by Corinna Nuqui was about Men’s Problems.  Here is an excerpt:

Philip Tan-Gatue, M.D. is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner who is also a licensed physician. With regard to andropause and erectile dysfunction, he opines: “[TCM] views men’s sexual health in the following phrase: ‘while supplies last.’ [It] acknowledges that it gets harder to reload as one gets older. [F]or all the pills and potions that TCM can recommend as their own version of Viagra, the traditional and more conservative attitude [is]: ‘Sleeping alone is better than all the tonics in the world.’”

Click here for the original article.

Dr. Tan-Gatue has also been interviewed in the Philippine Star twice.

“Oh Pooh” – January 27, 2010.  RJ Ledesma is a riot. Some excerpts

But the Tao of Dr. Philip Tan-Gatue, MD, Oriental doctor and Mazinger Z fan club president, is a different story altogether. Although Dr. Tan-Gatue may be similar in shape to Pooh, the resemblance strictly ends there. Our good doctor continues to share with us the deepest, darkest secrets of Chinese aphrodisiacs from the ancient Taoist masters, who teach us the efficacy of sea cucumbers; that kidneys are not only there to help you pee; and the true cause behind spontaneous combustion….

Totally untrue.  I have yet to found the Mazinger Z fan club.  A significant chunk of the interview is NSFW.  Here are some tamer excerpts:

In Chinese medicine, it’s all about balance. There are also herbal tonics that work on both the “yin” and “yang” aspect through the blood which heal a lot of diseases related to those sexual concerns. Some of these herbs overlap in function..

Actually, I think that’s the only tame excerpt.

Click here for the original article.

“Needle Me This” by RJ Ledesma.  March 23, 2011

He sort of misquotes me… but the general gist is there…

From a scientific perspective, acupuncture points are usually areas where smaller nerves branch out from bigger nerves, or areas of connective issues where there are many nerve endings. The nerve endings are like sensors. These sensors are like wires with a lot of sub-filaments that conduct sharp pains or heat or pressure. The sensors that acupuncture stimulates are those that give you the feeling of pressure. That is why when the needles are inserted, you don’t feel the prick, you just feel the pressure. Once you activate a particular pathway of nerves, there is an effect on the local area. For example, the skin reddens.

RJ asked if one can have acupuncture right before or after intercourse:

No, that is a contra-indication. They say you cannot have acupuncture if you are too hungry or too full or too physically tired. Why? Because we are stimulating the nerves. So what do you think happens if you give them acupuncture when they are overstimulated? Well, let’s just say that I’ve been puked on.

Click here for the original article.

Dr. Philip Nino Tan-Gatue

Dr. Philip Nino Tan-Gatue MD, CAc, CMA,is one of the leading experts in Traditional Medicine and Chinese Medicine in the Philippines. Currently, he is a Clinical Associate Professor in the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and is Director of Acupuncture Services at The Medical City. Find Dr. Philip on Google Plus , Facebook, Twitter and on