Dr. Carisse Diana Drilon-Dalman of Centro Holistico

In my previous articles, I have said so much about the excellence of Centro Holistico’s services and treatments, and the effectiveness of their therapies on me and how it impacted my overall health. The way they practice their field of medicine is truly admirable, with the quality care and professionalism they give out to each of their patients.

But I would like to talk about the person behind Centro Holistico and probably one of the movers of Functional and Integrative Medicine in the country—Dr. Carisse Diana Drilon-Dalman. Interviewing her made me so inspired that is why I am featuring her on the blog today.

Dr. Carisse Diana Drilon-Dalman (MD-MBA, CAMA) also known as Dra. Candy is a licensed physician, who focuses on Functional and Integrative Medicine. She is also a medical acupuncturist. She graduated with an MD-MBA degree from the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health program. Dra. Candy has been married to Dr. Ryan Dalman for two years and they have one lovely daughter, Rafi, who is now 15 months old. Dra. Candy and Dr. Ryan are the founders and part owners of Centro Holistico Integrative Health and Wellness Center.

Dra. Candy with her husband Dr. Ryan and lovely baby Rafi.

The work of a doctor is round-the-clock and to become a doctor means you are in for a very demanding job. Add to that mix the complexity of handling a business related to your medical practice; you can somehow grasp how hectic Dra. Candy’s day-to-day schedule can become.

But for her, everything in life must be in balance. Dra. Candy likes the fact that in her line of work, she gets to meet a lot of people and treat various types of health problems, but she also values and prioritizes her time with her family. Being her main source of inspiration, her husband and daughter are the ones giving her reason to wake up every day and do her best at work. She makes it a point to travel out of town at least once a year with her husband to relax and to get away from city life. She also has her parents and brother (a bar topnotcher) who encourage her to push further beyond her comfort zone.

She considers her patients inspiring too, because whenever she sees them get well and are living towards wellness, it motivates her to learn more and be a better doctor. This is why she keeps herself up to date in her practice by becoming certified in Functional Medicine and attending conferences once a year.

Dra. Candy has learned so many things in handling both her career as a doctor and their business that is Centro Holistico. While the pressures of being a business owner can be challenging and to some extent time consuming due to the bulk of work that it entails (that she sometimes have to bring home), Dra. Candy is still grateful that she has this business to grow because she gets to dictate her working hours while still promoting health and wellness to her patients. On a regular day, she wakes early and heads to the clinic after a quick and light breakfast. Then she spends her whole day at the clinic (11AM-6PM), and goes home at the end of the day to have dinner with her family. On her rest days, she stays in bed until 9AM, does chores at home and just takes care of her daughter. She manages stress well by doing one day of “nothingness” a week, where she just spends time with her family lounging around at home all day.

Dra. Candy walks her talk. Whatever she recommends to her patients, she also does.  She says “Eat right. Sleep well. Have some relax time. Drink your water. Eat your vegetables. Exercise. Lead an active lifestyle.”—she basically follows her own advice. She believes that wellness is the state of optimal health—being in our best health.

That said, she makes sure she consumes 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits a day—whether through meals or smoothies/juices; and stays away from sugar. She also packs in protein in her diet and tries to eat organic as much as possible. Dra. Candy also keeps herself active by going for a walk or jog at least 3 times a week, and does yoga at home every morning. It is amazing that she finds time to exercise even while purely breastfeeding her daughter; she achieves this by properly scheduling her workout schedule around her baby’s feeding time. She also does acupuncture and weekly colon cleansing as part of her regular wellness habits and gets a facial and massage once in a while.

Personally, I am inspired how Dra. Candy balances her life as a devoted wife, hands-on mother and an accomplished doctor and business owner. She is a perfect picture of what a life of wellness looks like. She epitomizes what Centro Holisto stands for.

Her advice to those who also aim to achieve success while making a difference: “Know your niche. Pursue your passion. Educate yourself enough to equip you with what you need to help the people who need you.”