Holistic Plastic Surgery: 5 Things to Know

Natasha Burton
Photo: thenewaesthete.com

Photo: thenewaesthete.com

We never thought we’d see the word “holistic” applied to plastic surgery but, hey, it’s 2014—anything is possible, right? While this combination might seem like an oxymoron, the idea of approaching cosmetic procedures from a mind-and-body perspective makes sense as far as recent beauty trends go. With the rise of nutricosmetics (beauty products you ingest) and a focus on inside-and-out health and wellness, it makes sense that plastic surgery specialists would adapt their approach to fit the modern beauty climate.

To learn more about holistic plastic surgery, we talked with an actual practitioner, Dr. Shirley Madhere—who actually coined the term “holistic plastic surgery”—to better understand  her “person before procedure” approach.

It’s still plastic surgery.
The term “holistic” refers to the approach Madhere takes as far as pre- and post-operative wellness for her patients goes, but she still performs traditional cosmetic procedures, from breast lifts to tummy tucks to rhinoplasty, as well as non-surgical procedures like Botox and chemical peels.

It goes beyond changing your looks.
The distinction between what Madhere does and traditional plastic surgery is her complex approach. “What I believe distinguishes my practice of plastic surgery is this use of complementary therapies that address the whole person, inside and out, above and below,” she says. “My use of a holistic approach is, in part, based upon the definition of wellness in the context of healing and on the multiple dimensions of wellness—medical, physical, psychological, spiritual, mental, environmental—that help the individual to determine their own sense of well-being.”

It has a nutritional component.
In addition to the procedure itself, Madhere has patients embark on a six-week program which includes a detox of juice cleanses designed to ease the surgical burden on the body and speed recovery, as well as nutritional modification—she will adjust some aspects of one’s diet to help the body 
better metabolize medications and fluids received during surgery. She also supplements surgery with exercise as an integral component of helping them achieve optimal body contouring.

It combines Eastern and Western medicine.
Madhere uses homeopathy (natural medications) to help patients better handle the stress of surgery and to limit any adverse effects of anesthesia. She also encourages patients to take part in the Japanese tradition of Reiki massage to provide relaxation and stress relief, as well as acupuncture to ease pain and discomfort.

It has an emotional component.
Perhaps the most important aspect of Madhere’s approach is her focus on each patient’s inner journey, so to speak, which can be critical for long-term self-esteem and body acceptance. In particular, she encourages patients spiritually, so that they will feel connected to something larger than themselves, and psychologically, to help them tap into their understanding of beauty and how their own changes will affect their health and their appearance.

What do you think of the idea of holistic plastic surgery?

Read more: 6 Things to Consider Before Getting Botox