When In Manila and seeking the path towards wellness, a visit to Vital Life Center at the Rockwell-Meralco Business Center might be a good place to start.
Located beside The Medical City, this center espouses a holistic approach in screening, preventing, and managing illnesses that can cause a serious dent in your health and quality of living. Combining Western medicine with Eastern or complementary medicine, the center provides a radical way of looking inside your body (literally) and into your lifestyle.
I brought my mom to the Vital Life Center as a pre-Valentine’s present. (Everyone should do this for the first woman they ever loved!) The receiving area was so Zen-inspired we were tempted to try their spa services, but we kept our agenda and proceeded with the screening modalities they offered.
We were guided to the lounge, where our biometrics (e.g., height, weight, blood pressure) were obtained.
Then Mom was asked to proceed to the screening room for her Live Blood Analysis (LBA). The test is basically a non-numerical way of assessing the health of a person’s blood through the aid of a microscope and a recording device that allows the patient herself to view her blood in the cellular level. (Pretty nifty, huh?)
Now, she’s not a fan of a nurse or medical technician poking her repetitively with a syringe because they couldn’t find a thick enough vein to draw 5cc of blood for her blood chemistry. She was happily surprised to know that all they needed for the LBA were several drops of blood, obtained by a small prick from a lancet.
Another advantage of the LBA compared to traditional blood work-ups is that the results are presented then and there. Within 30 minutes, the doctor was showing my mom her blood sample and interpreting what they were seeing in terms of health risks.
The LBA revealed two problematic features in Mom’s blood: the red blood cells (RBC) were not moving and they were cluttered together. Dr. Dalisay Diaz explained that the cluttering is probably because of protein linkages that form when the body is burdened with too much stress or when there is too much red meat in our diet. The lack of RBC movement means that they do not carry enough oxygen (oxygenated RBCs move and bounce off each other) which leads to chronic fatigue and other more serious illnesses.
On my end, I underwent a Body Terrain Analysis (BTA) which determines a person’s biological age, as well as a Pulse Wave Vascular Test to check on my risk for cardiovascular diseases. The blood sample they acquired for the BTA will also be used to check four specific hormones in my body, namely DHEA, homocysteine, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and cortisol.
Oh, the things I do for When In Manila! (Rather, the things done to me for When In Manila!)
The results of the Pulse Wave Vascular Test were available right after the 90-second screening, but I will have to wait for the BTA and hormone test results. I was relieved to find that the age of my blood vessels is within range of my chronological age (20-29). The instrument did identify a starting build-up of cholesterol in my blood vessels. (Darn you, suckling pig!)
(I was directed not to move nor talk for 90 seconds. Looking rather pensive, eh, Chap?)
What I liked about the Vital Life Center is that the doctors speak our language when they explain the results to their patients. Rather than prescribing medication after medication, they center on nutrition and lifestyle changes to promote a natural course of healing and vitality. Here are some insights we got from Mom’s consultation with Dr. Diaz:
- Your daily water intake should be proportional to your weight. The ideal daily water intake of a 60-kg person is three liters. Now start computing!
- Sugar and red meat make your blood more acidic and form protein linkages, a precursor for serious illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and cancer. Reduce your starchy and protein-rich intake and replace them with a fiber-rich diet (e.g., red/brown rice, at least three servings of vegetables, and fruits).
- Non-active RBCs are reflective of a sedentary, non-active lifestyle. Exercise! Taking 11,000 steps a day is a good start for people on the go.
- Stress increases your body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol suppresses the immune system, decreasing your body’s ability to fight pathogens and infections. Shoo away unnecessary stressors, and deal with the necessary ones as soon as possible.
- Red meat and canned goods increase homocysteine levels in the body. High levels of homocysteine are related to the aging of the arteries. Homocysteine can be reduced by taking Vit B1, B6, and B12 supplements.
- For persons taking maintenance drugs for hypertension, a prescribed amount of fish oil can replace statins (e.g., Lipitor) and blood-thinning agents (e.g., Aspirin). Statins have serious side effects that damage body organs, most notably the liver. Prolonged use of Aspirin may cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Fish oil has no side effects whatsoever.
- Finally, Dr. Diaz’s absolute rule: NO FAST FOOD!
When In Manila and swept by the tides of work, routine, and life, make a detour to Vital Life Center and have yourself screened. You’re never too young or old to start taking care of yourself.
Vital Life Center
7/F Rockwell Business Center
Ortigas Ave., Pasig City
+632 6262281 to 82
I would like to thank Dr. Ferdinand Soledad and Dr. Dalisay Diaz for their expert care and advice. Trying our best to stick to your recommendations, though fast foods still slip through on occasion. :D