Beauty treatment with botoxMore and more people are jumping on the “real food” bandwagon, eating more naturally, and hoping to live longer, healthier lives.  Consuming more organic, unprocessed, natural foods, along with increasing physical activity, is a lasting way to improve and maintain overall health and wellness.

So it’s ironic that many of the same people who would no longer put a foreign, unnatural substance into their digestive systems are voluntarily having it injected into their faces! And often at a cost to their pocketbooks and their health.

The use of Botox, and other cosmetic injectables, has increased exponentially in the past decade, but there are several things to consider.

While Botox has its place in modern medicine and is often used as a prescriptive treatment for several conditions, it is not without risk. Presumably, when prescribed medicinally, the benefit outweighs the risk.  This is not always the case when used cosmetically, and not everyone is a suitable candidate.

Generally considered safe if performed correctly by an accredited professional, procedures like Botox can offer true but temporary improvement of facial wrinkles, lines and other signs of aging. But it’s disturbing to see the increase in availability of Botox in places like hair salons, spas and dentist offices. People seem to have forgotten that it is a medical procedure, and like all medical procedures, it has associated risks.

Common, but not serious, side effects include swelling or bruising near the injection site, headaches and flu-like symptoms.  However, when injections are improperly placed, the serum can spread, leading to eyelid droop, cockeyed brows and smiles, dry eye or excessive tearing.  Other rare but more severe complications can include full body muscle weakness, vision problems, trouble speaking, breathing or swallowing, loss of bladder control and, in some cases, even death. For many, it can all seem a little much just to look a little younger temporarily.

But did you know that there are safer, more natural ways to regain and maintain a more youthful appearance?

First, proper diet and nutrition work as a natural anti-aging technique, by supplying your system with the micronutrients and antioxidants necessary to limit damage from the sun and accelerate repair processes. In addition, antioxidants can help fight free-radical damage and naturally promote healthy, young-looking skin.  Other simple lifestyle changes you can make include:

Limit sun exposure — Even though there is no such thing as a “healthy tan,” we do need vitamin D, and it’s unrealistic to stay indoors all summer. Limiting exposure, especially when first adjusting to the early rays of summer, and wearing sunscreen (and a hat if possible) are smart protective measures.

Avoid cigarette smoke — whether it’s yours or someone else’s, cigarette smoke exposes skin to damaging free radicals that accelerate the aging process. In addition, the act of smoking increases the likelihood of deep wrinkles around the mouth and eyes.

Consume omega-3 fatty acids — essential to healthy skin, omega-3 fats help normalize lipids and prevent dehydration in the cells, keeping them strong and full of moisture, which can help decrease the appearance of lines and wrinkle. In addition, these healthy fats may have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help calm irritated skin — even conditions like eczema — leaving a clearer, smoother complexion.

Lastly, there are several safe, more natural procedures available for addressing the signs of aging that do not involve injecting poison into your face.  Let the holistic health practitioners at Whole Body Health guide you through the process of aging, gracefully and healthfully.  Through proper diet, nutrition, beauty and wellness therapies such as AcuGraph, a non-invasive therapy based on the ancient healing art of acupuncture, you can look and feel great at any age.