Granted. It's not even called "surgery" anymore. It's "cosmetic medicine" and it doesn't always involve a hospital. This does not, however, make it less harmful to us: Experts say cosmetic medicine can be invasive, expensive, and relatively risky.
There are other ways to improve your appearance and cut off a few years, without using a knife. The goal: the same, desired outcomes of cosmetic medicine by building up your body rather than cutting into it.
According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, women underwent 8.4 million cosmetic procedures in 2011, (an increase of 208% from 1997). Here are the top five procedures women chose and alternative approaches experts say you can use to replicate their results, minus the scars, botulism, and staples…
#1: Breast augmentation (and Breast lift, #5)
While there really is no way to actually make them bigger naturally, you can improve the appearance of your breasts and give them more lift. Jesse Margolius, CSCS, suggests both improving your posture and strengthening your back muscles, to lift the breasts. He recommends pulling your shoulders back instead of rounding them, to lift up the sternum. For back strengthening, Jesse recommends doing “reverse flys” and using a seated rowing machine.
You can’t build up the breast, as it has no muscle, only fat. However, you can build up the muscles underneath your breasts (the pectorals) to make breasts appear firmer. You will gain strength and you might even lose weight, as muscle burns more calories than fat. Push-ups are a great way to build these muscles.
Liposuction targets and sucks up excess fat and cellulite in various parts of the body, including the thighs, butt, inner knee area, etc. As an alternative, Jesse recommends simply reducing your overall body fat: “When you lose weight, all your fat cells will be reduced.”
#3: “Tummy Tuck”
Abdominal exercises can improve your stomach. Traditional “crunches” are now believed to put an unhealthy strain on your lower back. Jesse advises that crunches don’t help much. Instead, he recommends: “Exercises that involve twisting and turning of the trunk – planks and side planks – are amazing.”
#4: Eyelid surgery
Former bodybuilder Deborah Crowley created “FlexEffect Facialbuilding” to counter the effects of aging on the eyes. She explains that your eyelids are muscles (palpebral muscles)with skin on them and after the age of 25 or so, these muscles start to atrophy and by your late 30s, bone loss starts to occur, causing the eye socket to seem as if it recedes. Ms. Crowley recommends keeping the skin as elastic as you can and initiating continued bone growth around the eyes. Her exercises include such things as eyelid extensions and lifts and, to replace bone loss, “pressure reps” and “jolting” techniques. She explains, “Where there’s a jolt, the muscle says I need more bone here, or else I’ll break”, and so more bone is created.
Fight your age, if you so choose, but protect and honor your body in the fight.
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Anna Katzman is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in psychiatry, certified in child and adolescent mental health and a freelance writer and an intern for GalTime. You can visit her blog for additional information.