The Yogini from Manila

St. Luke’s Global City Introduces Complementary Medicine Therapies

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When I got this invitation, I knew I just had to attend. After all, when a leading tertiary hospital like St. Luke’s Global City finally incorporates complementary medicine as part of its healing methods for patients, I know I am seeing a change in the realm of medicine.

Growing up, I always saw that clear dividing line between the Western style of medicine and all others. When you get sick and are brought to a hospital, doctors conduct the kind of medical tests and procedures done in the West like X-rays, blood tests, ultrasound tests, etc. Medicines prescribed to you are also chemical-based Western medicine.

All other other kinds of therapy, including the use of meditation, herbs and esotheric forms of spiritual/physical activity, fell into the realm of Eastern spirituality or alternative/homeopathic medicine.

In recent years, Western medicine-trained doctors are slowly coming to realize that there is a connection among wellness of mind, body and spirit. Years back, I read an article in my subscription copy of Reader’s Digest, written up by a doctor, who observed that prayers and deep spirituality actually helped in the healing of patients. Here is an article I saw online on Reader’s Digest site, The Power of Prayer.

St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City now has a Complementary Medicine Service that offers 3 major services to complement a patient’s Western medical treatment:

1. Massage therapy

2. Yoga therapy

3. Acupuncture

The specialists of these 3 services work closely with a patient’s doctors to map out a complete and holistic treatment.

Massage Therapy

Massage (which includes touching, rubbing, gliding, kneading and various other strokes) has been known to help relax the body, stimulate the nervous system, regulate circulation, relieve pain and promote health. The kind of massage that will be incorporated in a patient’s treatment at St. Luke’s will depend on his condition and objective of the treatment.

The hospital offers two basic levels of massage. The basic level is the wellness massage, usually done simply to make one relaxed and to relieve stress. For those with medical conditions, however, therapeutic massage will be prescribed such as moxibustion (heat therapy) and cupping (Ventosa) which uses glass vacuum cups placed on the skin.

Yoga Therapy

Avril Rodriguez is the yoga specialist at St. Luke’s. There is a beautiful, though small, Yoga Space inside the Complementary Medicine Service area where one-on-one or group yoga sessions can be held. Avril told me that she offers two kinds of yoga classes. The Wellness Yoga Class is for well patients and group sessions are done at the Yoga Space. Patients with medical conditions normally have Private Class with her where she tailors the asanas specifically for the patient.


Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles in specific points meant to release blocked flow of Qi (energy) and regulate it so that it flows freely throughout the body. As it is with massage therapy, acupuncture therapy may include moxibustion and cupping.


I glanced at the current rates of these therapy sessions and found them quite reasonable. Just to give you an idea, these are the rates as of August 2011.

Acupuncture Therapy (30-45 minutes per session) – P1,300/session

Cupping Procedure or Ventosa (10-20 minutes per session) – P500/session

Wellness Yoga Class (60 minutes per session) – P500/session, P4,000 for 10 sessions

Private Yoga Class (60 minutes per session) – P1,000/session

Massage Therapy (15-45 minutes per session) – P1,300/session

Wellness Massage (60 minutes per session) – P1,000/session

Spot Massage (15-30 minutes per session) – P300/session


St. Luke’s Complementary Medicine Service
6th Floor, Yoga Space
Telephone: (632) 789-7700 ext. 6051


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One Comment

  1. Hi, Jane. Thanks so much for coming to our launch! Just wanted to add that we also have a large space where we hold the group classes that are open to all. Gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows that let in so much light, and looking out onto the hospital courtyard and nearby buildings. This Yoga Space is also on the 6th floor of St. Luke’s Global City. Hope you can join us again sometime. 🙂

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