Traditional Meets Alternative Medicine at Centro Holistico

Traditional Meets Alternative Medicine at Centro Holistico

Centro Holistico practices Integrative Medicine, which aims to heal holistically—a proactive approach to healthcare



My health and wellness routine is pretty basic. I go through the standard annual physical exam (APE), which is required by my employer, get my vaccine shots as needed, and go see a doctor when I’m really sick or when over the counter meds just won’t cut it. Essentially, it’s reactive rather than proactive and clearly fragmented. Fragmented because I didn’t know until later in life that there exists a connection between physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. But that’s because I grew up in a time where binary thinking was the norm and my understanding of health was pretty much, “an apple a day makes the doctor go away.” It’s not taught or articulated enough at home or in school that mental stress can manifest physically, or that nutrition can impact one’s emotional health.


Enter Centro Holistico, where traditional and alternative medicine intersect. Formed under HealthElements, Inc., Centro Holistico is composed of a group of medical doctors practicing Integrative Medicine. Since its inception in 2013, the group has been advocating for alternative/ complementary medical treatments.


But wait, what exactly is Integrative Medicine? Integrative Medicine examines the root cause of illnesses and aims to heal holistically through a variety of means, such as diet, exercise, stress management, etc. Traditional medicine and drugs are still used but only when needed. After all, the goal is to be proactive about health and Centro Holistico has made it their mission to help their patients live life to the fullest. And isn’t that what we all want?


Traditional Meets Alternative Medicine at Centro Holistico

Centro Holistico at The Grove


My Centro Holistico Experience

To be honest, I thought that when I was invited to visit Centro Holistico, I would just choose from a menu of services. But, as with every session here, it starts with a consultation. Mine was with Doc Gladys. She went through all the forms I filled out, which was a self-examination of my body and mind. But her questions were unlike the ones you normally get asked at an APE. Doc Gladys asked me about my day, what it normally looks like, my diet, if I exercised or, at least, moved intentionally, if I get enough sleep, recent life changes and so on. I didn’t expect to unpack what I was going through or learn more about how my own body works. 


For starters, I finally understood the concept of macronutrients (macros) via a visual of what my plate should look like. While Doc Gladys agrees that everything in moderation is good practice, I should eat more vegetables—half a plate to be exact.


Through our consultation, I was also able to understand what was likely causing me to toss and turn at night, and why I’ve been getting constant headaches: overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol largely due to lifestyle factors (read: stress level).


The live blood analysis, which is a simple procedure for obtaining a quick and accurate assessment of one’s blood to observe multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies, toxicity, hydration status, etc., that followed only reinforced that I needed to take better care of myself.


Traditional Meets Alternative Medicine at Centro Holistico

Live Blood Analysis


Doctor’s Orders

My consultation ended with a recap of what I needed to do: eat more vegetables, move intentionally (frequent walks before or after work count) and better stress management. The doctor’s prescription for the day was a detox treatment composed of a Colon Cleanse, Acupuncture and IV Therapy.


During a Colon Cleanse, the nurse or hygienist inserts a tube into the rectum while you lie on a bed connected to the toilet. It’s not as bad as it sounds because I felt comfortable from beginning to end. Once the tube is inside, a large amount of liquid made with coffee and turmeric is pushed through the tube to flush the colon. You’ll be asked to hold the liquid in for about a minute while the nurse massages your stomach and release thereafter. The procedure lasts about 30 to 45 minutes or until you finish the required amount of fluids. 


Now should you have questions, a nurse will be with you every step of the way. It might be embarrassing for some, but it’s actually really helpful to have someone with you, especially for first-timers. 


I promise, while you’ll feel a bit of discomfort during the cleanse, the relief you’ll feel after is well worth it. The nurse assigned to me recommends doing it monthly and to follow up with an IV Therapy to replenish lost fluids.


Traditional Meets Alternative Medicine at Centro Holistico

Post-Colon Cleanse


So after tea and a warm compress on the tummy, I was ready for the IV Therapy and Acupuncture session. (Yes, they happened simultaneously.) For the IV Therapy, the concoction will depend on what the doctor recommends. In my case, it was Vitamin C, Zinc and other nutrients my body needs. The treatment delivers these essential fluids directly into the bloodstream.


Meanwhile, Acupuncture uses fine needles to hit specific points in the body (acupoints) and is primarily used to treat pain. The treatment helps restore the natural flow of qi, blood and body fluids in patients. Most of the needles on my body were placed on my head, including my ears, back and a few on my legs likely because my aches and pains were focused on these areas. I was knocked out for the most part but woke up refreshed and well-rested.


The Takeaway

While the detox treatment helped with my headaches and back aches, and improved the quality of my sleep at night, as well as my energy level, it was the learnings from the conversations I had with the doctors and nurses that I appreciate most.


Integrative Medicine puts the focus on the person, which includes the body, medical history and lifestly factors. It exists to complement traditional medicine, providing both doctors and patients more tools to achieve optimal health. This approach will allow not just medical practitioners, but everyday people, like me, identify the root cause of aches and pains we feel. 


So listen to your body, rethink habits and routines you already know negatively impact your health (see: not getting enough sleep, too much salt in one’s diet) and be proactive in taking better care of you.


You’ll thank yourself for it.



To learn more about Centro Holistico, visit their website here, or check out their branches in the following locations:


2/F CommerCenter Alabang, Commerce Avenue corner Filinvest Avenue and East Asia Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City


Phone (2) 882-88863

Mobile (917) 581-2990

Email [email protected]


2/F The Retail Row, The Grove by Rockwell, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave (C5), Pasig City


Phone (2) 847-74574

Mobile (917) 120-7058

Email [email protected]


Penthouse Level H.P.L. Building (formerly ABDC Building), Scout Rallos corner Scout Tuason Streets, Laging Handa, Quezon City


Mobile (917) 192-2472

Email [email protected]



Art Matthew Fetalver

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