Holistic, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is defined as: “Dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part.” A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so naturally a whole-or person-can be complete or in harmony only when all of its parts are nurtured. Holistic care is to nurture all parts of the whole being, and it’s a long-term strategy to achieve a healthier, younger-looking complexion and physique for years to come. Most certainly, it’s not a quick-fix in our fast-paced instant-gratification-craving world, nor is it an extreme or fad-chasing approach to maintain the highest level of wellness. Holistic antiaging, or more justly, healthy aging, is the embodiment of aging gracefully, which can be achieved by satisfying four critical holistic pillars of wellness: physical, nutritional, topical and mental.
Holistic skin care is a gateway, and the antidote to “surrender aging.” Surrender aging is a passive, no- responsibility, laissez-faire, hard work-free approach to aging—an attitude of, “You’re going to age anyway, so why do anything?” One way or another, a person builds an aging muscle of inertia. Either they allow the natural course of aging to make its unadulterated way and exponentially accelerate closer to menopausal years, or they choose to age on their own terms, leading a holistic lifestyle. This is something that holistic practitioners can inspire in their clients.
The loaded three-word phrase, “move your body,” is the cure-all for alleviating a premature aging mindset. It’s also the secret to paving the way to just about all other antiaging lifestyle habits.
How is it that staying active literally promotes healthier and younger-looking skin and bodies? Movement generates energy, and more importantly it boosts circulation. An increase in blood flow allows more nutrients and oxygen to be carried to every cell in the body, in turn enhancing overall well-being. It’s also a pretty huge deal that physical activity increases the body’s endorphins, or happy hormones, while countering elevated cortisol, the stress hormone. All of this naturally strengthens the immune system, and a healthier body is key to looking and feeling ageless.
Professional holistic treatments are so much more than just a feel-good experience. Practiced for centuries, procedures like acupuncture, cupping, gua sha and other types of bodywork are growing in popularity for good reason. Whether intended to alleviate stress symptoms, encourage blood flow, clear meridian blockages or move stagnant lymph, the end result leads to improved vigor. These practices are also helpful for addressing the look of facial aging, as they boost microcirculation, promote lymphatic drainage (a common culprit for facial swelling) and can relax tight face muscles that cause wrinkles.
Other impactful holistic practices include hydrotherapy, thermotherapy and cryotherapy, all collaboratively exercising the circulatory system to defy aging. Hydrotherapy can involve anything with water, like aqua fitness or contrasting, which is the process of exposing the body to extreme changes in temperature. Thermotherapy, or heat therapy, is best exemplified as a sauna; cryotherapy is the opposite, such as an ice room for a complete body immersion. These contrasting natural therapeutic antiaging options are great for training the body.
Balance is sustainable, and that’s the rule when it comes to food and fueling the body. Any extremes, especially in terms of dieting, don’t last. It’s wise to stick to overall healthy choices because they will elevate energy and mood—critical factors for looking and feeling good. Intuitive eating is one type of holistic nutritional style. It requires practiced discipline, but it’s one of the best no-diet diets. It offers freedom in terms of the food choices, but stipulates that you eat only as much as needed to feel full. Of course, this is also assuming that the majority of these choices are nutritious to begin with.
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants and vitamins to protect the cells against oxidative stress. I like to think in colors. For example, dark green foods like kale and spinach are rich in vitamin K, and red foods like tomatoes and watermelon are high in lycopene. Avocados are a great source of vitamin B, and some of the highest sources of vitamin C are citrus, kiwi and strawberries.
Victoria Tabak is a two-time international award-winning licensed esthetician, published skin and wellness expert, and nationally recognized skin care educator. She has more than 20 years of experience in the beauty industry, along with a master’s degree in business and a minor in chemistry. Tabak has worked with other estheticians, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and cosmetologists to formulate and revolutionize a popular approach to beauty, alongside her father, a distinguished scientist.