There are a number of recent fads out there purporting to enhance the attractiveness and health of your body. The question is: which ones are scams or simply don’t work, and which ones actually do? I’ve put together this list of 5 purported body enhancement trends you should steer clear of, and 3 worth giving a try.
1. Anti-aging red light therapy.
Red light therapy is offered frequently as an anti-aging alternative to laser therapy in beauty salons. The idea is to shine infrared lights onto your skin, which purportedly repairs damaged nerves and tissues, improve skin’s brightness, and remove blemishes. Does it work? Well, the research is inconclusive. While it’s possible that red light therapy may stimulate collagen buildup in skin cells, which leads to healthier skin, dermatologists do not know for sure (http://www.thedermreview.com/red-light-therapy/). Most salons will also admit that in order to achieve any kind of results, you have to undergo several rounds of therapy on a regular basis for a steep price. THERE IS SIMPLY NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF FOR ANY OF THESE CLAIMS!
2. Body wraps for weight loss.
Body wraps are a spa treatment where you’re wrapped in either hot towels or an herbal mixture. It is often a pleasant, relaxing experience, perfect for winding down after a long day or resting during a summer vacation. Unfortunately, it’s frequently touted as a way to slim down, detoxify, and eliminate cellulite. None of these claims are true. While your skin might look brighter and cleaner after a body wrap, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that it makes you thinner, and the effects on skin do not last longterm (http://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/body-wraps-what-to-expect#1). By all means, enjoy a body wrap for it’s own benefits! But don’t expect to lose weight in the process. IF IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE — PERHAPS IT IS NOT TRUE!!
3. Dry brushing for cellulite removal.
Dry brushing, or running sharp, short bristles over your dry skin, has been touted with the ability to do everything from sloughing off dead skin cells to increasing circulation to removing toxins to, yes, removing unwanted cellulite. Spas especially promote this process — and set a high price for it — but more and more people are dry brushing at home with the hope that some of these magical results might occur. The truth? While dry brushing does, in fact, slough off dead skin cells and increase some circulation, there is no reason to believe it also removes toxins or cellulite. In fact, we should give our body more credit — the liver removes toxins all on its own by turning harmful substances into a less toxic substance called urea. And pesky cellulite? Well, it’s an anatomical feature which occurs when skin and the bands which hold skin together grow thin. Dry brushing has no effect on either its appearance or the toxins in your body.
4. Anti-cellulite creams.
Anti-cellulite creams have been around since the early 2000s, but they’ve made a comeback lately. It’s no surprise. After all, what man or woman wouldn’t want to get rid of pesky cellulite by simply lathering on a nice smelling cream? Unfortunately, there is no scientific proof that anti-cellulite creams do anything other than smell good. Cellulite is normal among men and women, and it is unrelated to weight gain or loss. Applying a cream, no matter how much caffeine or retinol in it, will not help.
4. The vibrating body belt.
This is the ultimate comeback late night TV advertorial from the 60s showing how you can improve your body shape and lose weight by doing a few things with a vibrating body belt! I wonder how many people purchase them late at night while eating potato chips in bed? There is no scientific evidence that this trend works — don’t waste your money!
At the end of the day, it’s important to do your research on any body enhancement trend before participating in it. These are merely FADS AND TRENDS AND HAVE LITTLE TO NO SCIENCE BEHIND ANY OF THESE OFTEN RIDICULOUS CLAIMS. Plus, they can be expensive!
WHAT REALLY WORKS
1. A healthy diet.
A healthy diet, high in protein and low in carbs, while drinking plenty of water daily (more than eight glasses per day) will make you healthier, happier, and ultimately, fitter. If you want to take it a little farther, eat more early in the day, a light low-carb dinner at night, and nothing but water after 8 p.m.
2. Regular exercise.
Regular exercise, with a trainer if possible, which pushes you beyond your limits for your age or current shape is a great way to better your body. Remember to always get your physician approval if you are embarking on a new or accelerated exercise program, and remember: You are not at age 20 for life!!
3. See a Board certified PS.
If you are both fit and eating well after doing the programs outlined above, and you still have some areas of concern like “love handles “ or rubbing of the inner thighs, and you are near your ideal body weight, you might consider seeing a board certified plastic surgeon with body contouring expertise to have liposuction, a proven procedure that works in these diet and exercise resistant areas!
Dr. Rod J. Rohrich is an internationally known and respected plastic and cosmetic surgeon operating in the Dallas, Texas area. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has led most of the key professional organizations in plastic surgery in the USA. He has received numerous honors and awards in plastic and cosmetic surgery, both nationally and internationally. In addition to his extensive surgical expertise and talent as a gifted surgeon, he is Clinical Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He has authored hundreds of innovative academic publications in the field as well as serving as the editor of the leading plastic and reconstructive surgery journal — the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Rohrich has also performed philanthropic work as a civic leader of organizations such as the March of Dimes, American Cancer Association and Save the Children and has established the Rod J. Rohrich, M.D. Foundation, which supports medical students in his native North Dakota. He is also a founding member and