Veritas Advanced Wellness takes a naturopathic approach to better health. Debbie Reyes-Coloma finds out how the centre does it.
WHEN it comes to healthcare, I'm more reactive than proactive. I dismiss sluggishness and the sniffles as minor inconveniences. I delay seeking any treatment. And even if I do get medical attention, I want instant relief so I can get on with my day. There's just so much work to do that I simply can't afford to slow down.
There are countless people like me who work hard to provide a better future for our families and ourselves. The irony is that we neglect the most important thing that will enable us to enjoy the fruit of our labour: our health.
"It's health before wealth. Without health, you can't have wealth," emphasises Charles Au, director of Verita Advanced Wellness. He underscores that that there is a huge difference between proactive healthcare and reactive sick care. The first is prevention; the second is intervention.
Verita, which claims to be Singapore's largest progressive and integrated wellness centre, offers natural, non-invasive health assessment — a process that helps individuals understand their unique biology using the latest health assessment technologies and science-based treatment technologies.
The 23,000 sq ft centre located in laid-back Phoenix Park off Tanglin Road focuses on preventive, regenerative and performance-enhancing support approaches. The concept is rooted in naturopathic values. It offers solutions for many common conditions, including adrenal fatigue, ageing, allergies, digestion, heavy metal toxicity, low energy levels, metabolism, skin conditions, stress and weight management.
Au says Verita's practitioners are pioneers in their respective fields of medicine or naturopathy from across the world, ensuring that its assessment and treatment protocols remain at the forefront of preventive healthcare developments.
Wellness encompasses good physical and mental health. Feeling fatigued? Lethargic? Experiencing recurring cough or body aches? Before you pop a pill, it's worth considering that these could be symptomatic of a bigger health issue.
A chronic deficiency or disease does not happen overnight. It is a result of, among others, damaging lifestyle habits, imbalances in nutrition, a lack of understanding of how the body works as well as certain genetic predispositions.
"Most people think that regularly feeling tired when you are in your 40s and 50s is just normal. I used to suffer from fatigue and now I feel better than did when I was 18," says Au, 40. "It's not about the absence of disease. It's actually about realising your full-potential optimum health."
Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine as it is known in the Western world, is a holistic system that is based on the healing power of nature. The aim is to find the cause of disease or deficiencies by understanding the body, mind and spirit of a person.
There are two focal elements in naturopathy: one is supporting the body's own healing abilities and the other is empowering the individual to make the lifestyle changes necessary for the best possible health.
Naturopaths — naturopathic doctors or naturopathic medical doctors who study the discipline for at least four to five years — are similar to general practitioners, except that they do not use chemical-based drugs.
"Man-made pharmaceuticals interfere with our biochemistry. They remove, replace or destroy. Medicines are very strong, very potent, save lives but have toxic and long-term side effects," says Au, who has been researching the benefits of natural healing for over 25 years. He has a business degree and is a certified holistic practitioner, kinesiologist, iridologist and medical thermographer.
Au's in-depth knowledge of the fast-growing field of bio-energetic medicine and functional nutrition enabled him to create the foundation of Verita's advanced integrated wellness protocols, which incorporate millennia-old natural healing practices with cutting-edge science and technology to deliver sustainable health solutions. He works with Verita's naturopathic team and oversees research and development.
A first-time consultation visit to Verita would typically take an hour. A team of professionals will conduct a health assessment: diet, lifestyle, stress, family medical history, environmental exposures, lifestyle, mental, emotional, and spiritual states, and conduct lab tests, if required. Whether a person is healthy or already suffering from an ailment, it is only after this first step is completed that a personalised wellness programme is designed.
In addition to lifestyle and behavioural changes, natural therapies may also be used during treatments. These include aromatherapy, homeopathy, botanical medicine, nutrition, hydrotherapy and traditional Chinese medicine.
"The first step towards optimal health is discovery. We have to find out," says Au, who hopes to see a shift in mindset towards pro-active healthcare.
So don't dismiss symptoms and don't wait to get sick. Prevention really is the best cure. — The Edge Singapore
Singapore-based Debbie Reyes-Coloma is a freelance feature and lifestyle writer for various publications in the region. This story appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on May 29, 2012.