By E. Gaylon McCollough, MD, FACS

This new discipline in the health and beauty industry takes a full-circle approach to healthy living.

Most people will agree that when you look your best, you feel more confident. But what if your appearance had an effect on your state of health? Researchers are discovering more evidence that supports the idea of a direct correlation between the appearance of an individual and his or her health, well-being, and even the level of prosperity that he or she achieves. It is this relationship that the new integrative discipline known as Rejuvenology addresses.

In today’s medical world, obesity, depression, and cardiovascular disease directly or indirectly account for the majority of prescriptions written, as well as for many inpatient admissions to health institutions. The health profession tends to focus on treating these diseases once they already exist. But what if the focus shifted to preventing such diseases-or at least detecting them in their earliest stages? Such an approach would address diseases from all perspectives: prevention, early detection, and treatment. Rejuvenology does just that.

In my own practice, through personally treating more than 20,000 patients, many of whom sought appearance-enhancing surgery, it became evident to me that those who did the things that were required to look their best generally found better health, even if finding better health was not the initial objective. Whether the prospective surgery patient was already aware of the benefits of eating a balanced diet, getting the right amount of exercise, obtaining the appropriate amounts of rest and relaxation, and maintaining a positive attitude about the challenges of life, or whether the person responded positively to the suggestions that a combination of life-enhancing measures be implemented, the end result was the same. As the bodies of these individuals took on more appealing shapes, the patients also became healthier, more confident individuals. And as each person began to receive positive feedback from others, he or she was encouraged to continue with the appearance and health-enhancing programs that drew compliments from family and friends.

The first steps in the clinical application of Rejuvenology involve encouraging patients to eat the proper foods (in the proper proportions), burn the excess calories they ingest, exercise and strengthen cardiac and skeletal muscles, stretch and strengthen tendons, maintain the proper blood flow through the body’s circulatory system, deal with stress in a healthy manner, and maintain a positive attitude. While this may seem like a lengthy list, it really involves sensible measures that anyone can incorporate into daily living. Once these measures are embraced, many debilitating and costly diseases can be prevented-or the onset at least delayed.

So if solving the problem is as simple as having people take responsibility for their own well-being while improving upon their confidence and appearance, why aren’t the masses doing what is necessary? One reason is that personal accountability has not been universally instilled in healthcare plans. With Rejuvenology, however, the “team” approach includes the individual as part of the “team,” along with the various health professionals. Such an approach gives the patient the responsibility of fulfilling his or her part of the program-taking care and control of one’s health, well-being, and appearance.

Inter-disciplinary collaboration and cross-referral are key components of Rejuvenology. Creating a network of like-minded professionals that provide a wide variety of procedures, products, and systems proven to slow the aging process and improve overall health makes the process of looking better, feeling better, performing better, and living a longer, more fulfilling life easier for the patient. Until now, however, this kind of cooperative effort has not existed. A new mainstream, multi-specialty organization known as The American College of Rejuvenology meets that need by providing health professionals a venue through which knowledge, experiences, and new technology can be shared. Rejuvenology is not “alternative” care. It is reliant on evidence-based principles and practices backed by credible health and appearance professionals.

While Rejuvenologists are concerned with maintaining optimal health and preventing diseases and disorders, they also emphasize the importance of “recapturing” and maintaining a state of youthfulness. This emphasis should not be confused with “anti-aging” practices. Rather, the approach is a positive, proactive one of aging well, while also prolonging the health, beauty, and vigor that accompany a sense of youthfulness. Such practices can take place with or without prescribed medications and surgery.

We all know that impressions do matter. A fit, lean body is appealing to a greater number of people. It is important to keep in mind, however, that it is not necessary to exhibit the kind of beauty portrayed in fashion magazines. It is the “total package” that counts. The way one sits, stands, or walks says something about that person. The way one dresses, styles one’s hair, or (in the case of women) applies makeup and accessories enhances the appearance of the individual. The presence of a smile sends out messages of attraction. And the individual perceived to be of high character or the one who holds positions of authority appeals to others. Clearly, how one looks on the outside says a lot about what’s inside-how one feels about one’s self and the attention to details in all aspects of life.

Until the discipline of Rejuvenology was created, nothing existed which focused on all aspects of looking one’s best, feeling one’s best, performing one’s best, and living one’s best. And it was not until the American College of Rejuvenology was founded that a network existed where physicians, cosmetic surgeons, dentists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, aestheticians, massage therapists, and theologians could provide a “united front” in helping the people they serve become the very best that they can be. It is crucial that the health- and appearance-oriented patient receive valid information and consistent recommendations regarding life-enhancement issues. And unless the professionals who offer such advice are in communication with each other and provide congruous recommendations, the recipient becomes confused. Uncertainty leads to a loss of trust and a breakdown in compliance.

Rejuvenology is the “big tent” under which professionals who are interested in improving upon the quality of life as well as the quantity of life can come together. It is the seal that consumers should look for when deciding whether “new” products and procedures stand the test of validity as well as the test of time. And it offers the “missing link” for ensuring total well-being of mind, body, and appearance. [Sb]

Introducing the Rejuvenology Advisory Board

dr-mcE. Gaylon McCollough, MD, FACS Advisory Board Chairman Plastic Surgery – Internationally recognized as an accomplished physician, surgeon, teacher, author, and pioneer in the fields of appearance and health enhancement, Dr. McCollough brings more than 30 years of clinical experience to the Rejuvenology Initiative. Dr. McCollough has served as president of seven professional organizations comprised of life- enhancing physicians and surgeons and holds board certification credentials from three certifying boards that deal with appearance enhancement, including the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

dr-smithEdith W. Smith, PhD Exercise & Physiology – With over 25years of experience teaching Health and Fitness at the college level, Dr. Smith serves as Director of the Exercise Performance Laboratory at Troy University and has been awarded for her commitment to excellence in promoting a life of being physically fit. Dr. Smith currently serves as the Vice President of Sport Science for the Alabama Association of Health, Physical Education and Dance.

dr-owenStanford A. Owen, MD Nutrition & Weight Management – For over 20 years, Dr. Owen has used Medical Nutrition therapy in his Internal Medicine practice and has regularly seen improvement or full remission of illness related to diet or obesity, while producing weight loss. Dr. Owen is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and The American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists.

dr-benderThomas W. Bender III, MD Dermatology & Skincare – A graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Bender is board certified by The American Board of Dermatology. He is a member of The American Academy of Dermatology and The American Society for Dermatologic Surgeons. Dr. Bender also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Air Force Academy.

dr-wilkieSusan B. Wilkie, PhD, LPC, LMFT Behavioral Sciences – Specializing in couples, marriage, and family therapy, Dr. Wilkie currently serves as an Associate Professor and Director of the new Marriage & Family Therapy Program at Pfeiffer University in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she focuses on healthy relationships, life transitions, effective parenting, aging, grief and loss, and stress management. Dr. Wilkie is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT).

sheryl-porterSheryl Porter Beauty and Fashion – With 11 years of experience in helping women look and feel their best, Ms. Porter focuses on proper skincare, makeup, and fashion to enhance a person’s features and to complement their lifestyle. In her current role in the Cosmetics Division for Dillard’s Department Stores, Ms. Porter shares her expertise with beauty advisors in 140 Dillard’s stores across 25 states.

lou-priesterLou O. Priester, III Advisory Board Director – Lou Priester is the Chief Operations Officer of McCollough Enterprises and McCollough Institute & Plastic Surgery Clinic. He has an entrepreneurial background with strengths in strategic marketing and team building. Mr. Priester credits his days as a member of Auburn University’s football team, which instilled high standards of commitment and discipline. He continues that philosophy through building strong alliances within the medical community with the mission of encouraging people to improve their quality of life.

Recently, Southern Beauty had the opportunity to sit down with author of Image in the Mirror and founder of the McCollough Institute, Dr. E. Gaylon McCollough. He answered our questions on Rejuvenology and went on to tell us, “Our collective experiences confirm that when people do the things necessary to improve their appearance, they tend to find better health . . . even if improving their health was not the initial objective.”

Southern Beauty: What is Rejuvenology?

Dr. Mccollough: “… the art and science of rejuvenating the human body, mind, and spirit.”

SB: How can Rejuvenology make an impact on a person’s life?

EGMc: Rejuvenology is about a lifestyle which includes looking one’s best, feeling one’s best, performing at one’s best, and living a longer, more fulfilling life, using mainstream medical and surgical principles. It is about balancing what’s inside the human being with what one presents on the outside.

SB: When did you see a need for the discipline of Rejuvenology to be discussed?

EGMc: As a young physician charged with the responsibility of caring for elderly patients, I recognized the physical, mental, social, and financial impact of aging on the individual and his or her family. I made a pledge to myself that as my career progressed, I would try to help people live not only longer . . . but enjoy the years they lived. I set out to learn how to assist people from all walks of life to age well-to maintain the physical, mental, and spiritual vitality that is identified with health and youth.

SB: Can anyone benefit from Rejuvenology, no matter where their starting point is?

EGMc: Absolutely! If one wishes to feel better, look better, and improve endurance, programs exist for all ages.­­

SB: Do you foresee a certain age when women become more receptive to the concept of Rejuvenology? Is there an age that would be too young?

EGMc: Prevention and early detection of disease and illness is a central focus of Rejuvenology. While one is never too young or too old for self-improvement, Rejuvenologists prefer to become involved in the management of one’s health and well-being during a patient’s mid- to late thirties, before menopause (for women) and andropause (for men). Establishing baseline laboratory values for hormones, nutritional components, etc. sets the goals for optimal replacement and appearance maintenance as the aging process progresses. While no treatment may be recommended during the early years, a Rejuvenologist can counsel patients in ways to have them become involved in maintaining a healthier, more appealing, and functioning body, mind, and spirit. Creating and/or maintaining a positive attitude toward health, nutrition, weight management, hormone modulation, physical activity, skin care, and beauty is basic to their existence.

SB: What are the key components to Rejuvenology?

EGMc: The specialty is generally divided into two major branches: 1). Medical Rejuvenology and 2). Surgical Rejuvenology. Under the heading of Medical Rejuvenology falls general health assessments and counseling, weight management, bio-compatible hormone balancing (for men and women), nutritional testing and scientific supplementation of identifiable deficiencies, scientific skin care, fitness testing and training, and mind/body medicine. Under Surgical Rejuvenology falls full-body and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, including liposuction. Many nonsurgical treatments such as laser therapy, injectible fillers and Botox (although not surgical procedures) are appearance enhancing therapies and fall under the Surgical Rejuvenology category.

SB: What are some tips on handling stress in a healthy manner?

EGMc: The data shows that one of the most assured ways of relieving stress is to engage in physical activity. During exercise, the body releases internal hormones called “endorphins” that create a sense of well-being and euphoria. Activities as simple as taking a 15-20 minute walk around the block will go a long way to relieve stress. Playing tennis, golf, swimming, or any aerobic physical activity will “clear the cobwebs”.

SB: If you had to sum up what Rejuvenology in just a few words, what would they be?

EGMc: Rejuvenology is a new medical and surgical specialty arising out of “mainstream” philosophies and practices, yet open to new, evidence-based methods of assisting patients look and feel their best throughout their lives. Because the specialty’s organizers saw the wisdom in sharing knowledge and experiences among professionals, participation in the parent organization (The American College of Rejuvenology) is open to health and appearance professionals representing a variety of specialties. For membership information, contact me at drmccollough@ [Sb]