Self-Health Empowerment Movement: A wholistic and empowering approach to healing

I first met Dr. Pao Tongson at an Inner Dance meditation. It turns out he and a few friends decided to put it together to allow his patients to have a space where they could talk about their concerns, with the intention of promoting healing. I arrived early so there was time to chat with everyone in the room. I told them that I had just gotten back from a trip and my vision for health in the world meant collaborating with other experts in order to heal. In that conversation I learned more about their mission. 

Self-Health Empowerment Movement

Doc Pao is one of the founders of the Self-Health Empowerment Movement - a non-profit, non-stock NGO that seeks to empower people to take control of their own health. 

“We have been invited to speak all over the country about our advocacy”, he says, “and [we have] even [been] invited to speak in Thailand and Indonesia.” At the moment, the movement is also partnering with the Global Ecovillage Network of Oceania and Asia with Transformation Medicinewith the intent to make health care more simple, understandable, and accessible to all. 

Doc Pao and colleagues can also be found in Wellnessland Health Institute Manila where they see patients on a one on one basis and guide them through their own healing journeys. “It is an out-patient type of clinic”, he says,  “where we see patients mostly with Chronic Diseases (Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Problems, Cancer, Asthma, etc) and slowly uncover the Root Cause of their Disease which leads to the resolution of the Symptoms, and eventually, Wholistic Healing.”

The Dream for Healing

When I asked Doc Pao to tell me more about his gift of healing and where the idea for the Self-Health Empowerment Movement began, he said:

“[It all began when] the medical system that I was seeing then was not the medical system that i wanted to work with. Now, my practice involves spending more time with my patients -  listening to them, as opposed to a 5-10min matching-type-conversation sort of thing (matching the diagnosis with the drug or the laboratory or the procedure to do). Also, I do agree that one parameter for a successful practice of medicine should be how many drugs you can wean off from a patient.. not on how many procedures or laboratories or drugs we can give. [Having been through the traditional model, I now [find myself in] the field of Integrative Medicine. We need the conventional medicine, most especially for the Acute and Emergency Cases (heart attack, accidents, etc), but for the Chronic Cases, i believe that Nature is still our most trusted ally. There is Wisdom in both fields, and I believe that encouraging dialogue and integration of both will benefit both the Practitioner and the Patients most especially.”

3 Important Lessons To Learn from SHEM

When asked to tell me 3 important lessons we could learn from his practice, he said:

“First, if we go at the Root Cause of Diseases, there are just two. Its either Toxicity or Deficiency. Toxicity means that something is there in your body that is not supposed to be there. Deficiency means that something might be there but is lacking. Any of these two and your body will be sick (a body in dis-ease.)”

“Now if there are two bottom line problems, then it follows that there are also two bottom line solutions. That is, if there is something in your body that is not supposed to be there, you remove it (Detoxify), and if there is something lacking, we provide it (Nourish). So if we Detoxify the Body, and we Nourish the Body, and this is very important.. THE BODY HAS THE ABILITY TO HEAL ITSELF. We are divinely designed beings. And the healing ability has always been with us. Always. We just watch too much TV and listen to media too much that’s why we forget.”


If you would like to learn more about the Self-Health Empowerment Movement and see Doctors as down-to-earth and integrative in their practice as Doc Pao, you can visit Wellnessland Health Institute in Quezon City or send them an e-mail through