The Council for Health and Development (CHD) has been promoting acupuncture treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Celestino Dizon, acupuncturist of CHD, said that by undergoing acupuncture sessions, one’s immune system could be strengthened to lessen the danger the dengue virus brings to the body.
BY AUBREY MAKILAN
Fear of dengue now hounds many homes all over the country, and even some other countries.
In the Philippines, there have been reports of 13,468 dengue cases with 167 dead from January to August this year alone. The Department of Health (DoH) named some barangays (villages) in Metro Manila where the cases of dengue are high: Caloocan, Malabon, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasig, Quezon City, Valenzuela and Taguig.
In fact, dengue patients from these areas have filled even the hallways of hospitals.
The best protection against dengue, which is a clean environment, has yet to be realized. Meanwhile, some wear long-sleeved shirts to protect themselves.
Others apply insect-repellant lotion on the skin. It wears off quickly, however, and it would not take long for insects to feast again on the skin.
If one could not maintain the surroundings free of mosquitoes, if the insect-repellant lotion could not ensure that no mosquito could transfer its virus to one’s body – what, then, should be done?
The Council for Health and Development (CHD) has been promoting acupuncture treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Celestino Dizon, acupuncturist of CHD, said that by undergoing acupuncture sessions, one’s immune system could be strengthened to lessen the danger the dengue virus brings to the body.
Dizon identified the points of the stomach and spleen that need treatment. In TCM, the stomach and spleen together are regarded as the “root of post-haven Qi.” Qi, sometimes spelled “Chi,” is the energy that fuels the body, mind and spirit, that is essential to good health. Generally speaking, the Qi serves several vital functions within the body. When imbalances arise, they are seen as disruptions in the functions of Qi.
Dizon added that the liver should also be empowered for good Qi circulation in the body.
People who do not undergo acupuncture treatment are more at risk for the development of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) than those who complete six to 10 sessions of acupuncture, of 30 minutes per treatment a week, Dizon said.
Dizon added that acupuncture is also effective in bringing down the temperature of a body with dengue fever.
But even in the later stages of DHF, Dizon said, acupuncture can still help stop the bleeding of the patient. He said the bleeding could be stopped by inserting needles at the back, specifically to the acupoint bladder 17.
Also through acupuncture, Dizon said, they have proven that the white blood cell (WBC) count increases after a treatment. This means acupuncture can help strengthen the body’s immune system by increasing the WBC which comprises the major infection-fighting cells in the body.
After the required sessions, the patient should repeat the whole treatment if his or her resistance weakens.
TCM and acupuncture
Aside from dengue, Dizon said that acupuncture can treat different illnesses from ordinary headaches to severe coughs.
Acupuncture can also help patients with tuberculosis (TB) and some types of cancer, like breast cancer, he said.
In the case of breast cancer, a patient should undergo two to three times a week of acupuncture treatment. This will lessen the pain and prevent the aggravation of his or her condition. While for patients with TB, Dizon said there have been cases where the period of medicine intake was shortened from six months to only three months.
While undergoing treatment, the acupuncturist said the patient should have sufficient food and water intake and sleep. He added that they should avoid drinking alcohol and smoking which are regarded as “poison” in TCM.
Western vs oriental medicine
Dizon believes that acupuncture is one effective way of treating patients.
“Nakaka-frustrate kasi ang Western medicine kasi kahit mahusay kang doktor, mahusay ang diagnosis mo, kung walang pambili ng gamot ang pasyente, di magwo-work ‘yon, di gagaling y‘ong pasyente kasi nga wala siyang pambili ng gamot” (Western medicine is frustrating because however good a doctor you are, however accurate your diagnosis is, the patient won’t get well if he doesn’t have the money to buy the medicine), he said.
Although he admitted that there are some practitioners who charge from P300-P800 for treatment, he said that ordinary people, and not only doctors, could do acupuncture.
Aside from their acupuncture services, the CHD also gives training to their member programs in the communities.
For mothers and other trainees in the community, they first give basic anatomy lectures before training them in acupuncture procedures. The training runs for two days.
In TCM, which involves acupuncture, one can already help others if he or she has the knowledge, the skills, needles, alcohol and cotton, said Dizon. The doctor has been practicing acupuncture since the late 1980s. Bulatlat