More affordable body pain treatment at new clinic
Epi Fabonan III (The Philippine Star) - May 9, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – For muscle and skeletal problems such as back, neck, arm, leg or foot pain, Filipinos tend to visit their massage therapist first for a good rub and a few stretches. The million-peso industry has gained a massive following in recent decades, with spas that offer different kinds of massages sprouting on every street corner.

In rural areas, the more humble alternative is the manghihilot, whose skillful hands are said to cure fever, flu and other ailments.

Both the urban massage therapist and the rural manghihilot employ intuitive methods in curing musculoskeletal problems, attributing them to common causes such as lamig and pasma. With the absence of a medical background or even professional certification among its practitioners, the industry has been marred with malpractice, which has led to injuries and even death.

The  more viable alternatives to massage therapists and the manghihilot are professional chiropractors like Dr. Carl Sotto Ng, owner of NVGOR Healthcare Center, a new chiropractic clinic in Rosario, Pasig.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic medicine is “a healthcare profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.”

“We treat musculoskeletal conditions of the body using a conservative approach. Traditionally, chiropractors do joint manipulation or adjustments, which are our specialty. People would say we crack joints because there’s a sound to it, but it’s just actually air bubbles that create the sound. We try to correct the alignment of the spine as well as other parts of the body,” Dr. Ng explains.

Among the musculoskeletal conditions that Dr. Ng treats are headaches, spinal disalignment, muscle and joint pains, upper back and lower back pains, neck pains, hip pains, arm and hand pains, leg and foot pains, and temporomandibular joint pains. He uses a number of manuals as well as equipment-assisted techniques.

To become a certified chiropractor, specialists like Ng need to have a degree in chiropractic medicine and be licensed by a chiropractic regulatory body. With the lack of a chiropractic school in the country, most chiropractors study and take licensure examinations abroad.

In Ng’s case, he finished a bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto in Canada, with a double specialization in Genetics-Biotechnology and Biology. After graduating, Ng took up and completed a chiropractic degree at the reputed Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC), also in Toronto. He received his chiropractic license in 2013 after passing the board exam administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE).

Locally, Ng has accreditation to practice chiropractic medicine in the country from the Philippine Institute for Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), an agency under the Department of Health (DOH). He is also a member of the Association of Professional Chiropractors of the Philippines (APCP).

“The way it works abroad is multidisciplinary. We do different orthopedic and chiropractic tests to check what musculoskeletal condition the patient has. If it’s something that’s outside our scope of practice, we refer it to the different doctors necessary,” Ng shares.

He adds that after giving the proper diagnosis, he employs different musculoskeletal manipulation techniques that are gentle and non-invasive. These techniques differ depending on the condition as well as the type of patient. These tend to be more conservative when dealing with older patients.

And true to the clinic’s multidisciplinary approach, nurse Maria Calica and physical therapist Cyrus Doroy always work hand-in-hand with Dr. Ng in assessing every patient’s condition and in providing chiropractic remedies. A physical therapy room and a diagnostics laboratory will also open within the clinic to provide pre- and post-remedy services and care to patients.

According to Ng, he’s had very high satisfaction rates from patients since he began performing chiropractic services. He assures clients that patient safety is of paramount concern.

As for the cost, chiropractic services tend to cater to clients from the high-end market. But what makes NVGOR Healthcare Center different from other chiropractic services is that it offers its services at a more affordable price. Discounts are offered on a number of treatments as well as all-in packages, depending on what is necessary.

“Our purpose at NVGOR Healthcare Center is to offer safe, effective, evidence-based chiropractic services to Filipinos at a cost they can afford. We don’t nickel and dime, and employ only world-class services and state-of-the-art equipment. We are also continuing to upgrade our services, with plans to open a physical therapy clinic and diagnostics lab,” Ng stresses.

With chiropractic clinics like NVGOR Healthcare Center reaching out to more Filipinos, chiropractic medicine may see a renaissance in the coming years as an affordable cutting-edge alternative in treating various musculoskeletal conditions.

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NVGOR Healthcare Center is located at 155 Dr. Sixto Antonio Avenue, Brgy. Rosario, Pasig City, near The Grove, Tiendesitas and Eastwood City. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more about their services or to book an appointment, contact 505-5657, email, or visit

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