In today’s world where a large part of the population is fed on fast food, excess sugar, super-sized servings of caffeine, processed meats, chemicals, and hardly enough fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s no wonder why the rates of sick people have risen over the past few decades. In the event that someone does get sick, we are accustomed to pumping our bodies full of pharmaceutical drugs – one for every illness out there – which poses a whole new set of problems and possible side-effects. This approach of living in excess and banking on a pharmaceutical remedy down the line can be quite a gamble considering you are betting with your life. Centro Holisitico is a wellness center in Alabang that operates with a holistic approach to medicine wherein they believe that a healthy body, mind, and spirit – a person as a whole – is needed in order to heal one’s self and maintain a state of optimum health. The center practices Integrative Medicine where they use alternative and conventional therapies combined with western medicine to diagnose and promote healing in their patients, making use of traditional methods which include traditional Chinese medicine, hilot, energy healing, and ayurvedic medicine among others. The importance of their practice is their approach in not only healing their patients, but also in the promotion of disease prevention. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Co-founder Dr. Candy Drilon-Dalman, tells us more about Centro Holistico and the importance of living a healthy life.
What’s the story behind your interest in holistic nutrition?
Our passion for Integrative Medicine started out at The Farm at San Benito. We worked there for a few months back in 2013. We got exposed to this type of practice, the different treatments, and the effects it had on the patients. Because of this, we decided to pursue further studies. We took up courses in Acupuncture and other alternative and complementary medicine courses that we were interested in. Since not a lot of courses are offered here, we had to rely on research, journals, and online learning.
After a few months, our group left The Farm. We wanted to continue our practice here in Manila, but the treatments were not readily available. It's hard for us to prescribe a program when the treatments that are needed are not available in 1 place. We just started talking about putting up a clinic with this concept. Nothing really concrete. Next thing we knew, we were being offered a space. We didn't push through with the location, but since we already had the clinic concept in mind, we decided to push through with it. And the rest is history.
What are the most common problems you’ve noticed with clients?
Number 1 problem is always diet. The typical Filipino diet is not the ideal diet. We eat a lot of carbs (white rice galore), and we pair it with a meat viand. Vegetables are not a staple in the dinner table. And since we're so used to it, it's hard for us to shift to a healthier one.
What is your advice for those who want to get healthy and start eating right?
Start with the basics. Fill up half your plate with vegetables, 1/4 with a good protein source, and 1/4 with good complex carbs. Also, stay away from processed foods. If it does not look like it came from an animal or a plant, do not eat it.
What simple change can people make to improve their health?
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, and get some sleep.
Besides healthy nutrition, what are the treatments you would recommend or practice?
I'd recommend to go for a regular acupuncture treatment. Once a month is okay if you're not really feeling anything. Doing this regularly helps to keep your qi balanced, to help prevent disease. It's also great for those who are highly stressed. I'd also recommend doing the colon cleanse. It's a great detox treatment. It stimulates your liver to function better, and it helps increase your glutathione levels in the body (which is an antioxidant).
Any new advances in holistic medicine?
I wouldn't really say that there are any advances. I think more evidences and studies have been coming out to prove that these practices actually work.
One of the "newer" things that we are practicing is Functional Medicine. It addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It focuses not on the diagnosis, but more on how the person's state of health became that way based on our body's physiology and biochemistry. The therapeutic approach focuses more on lifestyle modifications and proper supplementation.
What’s your favorite natural beauty or home product?
Virgin Coconut Oil. I love it. I use it as my evening facial moisturizer and body oil.
Discover and learn more on how holistic medicine can benefit your body inside and out.
Photos property of Centro Holistico and Lívph