Doctors Shim Ching and Jeffrey Maehara divulge a few tricks of the trade when it comes to looking and feeling younger.
Thanks to advances in modern medicine, life expectancy continues to climb. But that, of course, doesn’t mean people are immune to the certainties of aging. For men, that can mean things like weight gain and hair loss, as well as fluctuations in mood and energy.
To combat those shifts in both appearance and overall vitality, plastic surgeon Dr. Shim Ching and anti-aging specialist Dr. Jeffrey Maehara teamed up to offer complementary services that will help patients look and feel better. The collaboration combines Ching’s Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery and Maehara’s local office of national franchise BodyLogicMD, which provides hormone replacement therapy.
“When you age, things do change,” Ching says. “We want to address those changes in the best way possible … I can make men look better—and feel better as a result. But in addition to that … hormone replacement can really add that vitality and that youth that a lot of the men we have in our practice can’t achieve just through looking better alone.”
“The combination makes perfect sense,” Maehara adds. “The external beautification part leads into mental health and into the way people feel about themselves. And then the anti-aging part is really [about] their inner self and keeping them healthy for the long run.”
Maehara looks at the collaboration like going to the dentist: You go a couple times a year for the major cleaning, but in the interim period, you’re doing things like brushing and flossing.
For men, common cosmetic issues they want to address are weight gain, loss of muscle mass and hair loss—all things that increase with age. These areas can be addressed with cosmetic procedures at Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery (indeed, its most requested procedures include liposuction and hair restoration).
As men age, they also experience hormonal changes, including a loss of testosterone—a process that begins as early as age 30. While this results in other changes that are less physically apparent, they’re things that are perhaps even more insidious: fatigue, low libido, increased irritability and loss of motivation and energy. Some studies also have connected low testosterone with serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and depression.
That is where the BodyLogicMD component comes in, pairing lifestyle changes like nutrition and fitness with hormone therapy.
BodyLogic’s hormone therapy is designed to replace key hormones, including testosterone. BodyLogic utilizes what is known as bioidentical hormone pellet therapy, which Maehara describes as “the Bentley of hormone replacement therapy.” Unlike other hormone replacements that are comprised of synthetic materials, this form is designed as a replica of the body’s natural hormones.
“Higher testosterone level is associated with dramatic health benefits,” Maehara explains. “We know now that really to be healthy and to perform well, you need to have optimized testosterone.”
Benefits of pellet hormone replacement include healthier stamina and energy, increased libido, enhanced focus, better moods, leaner body mass and more.
But it doesn’t end there. BodyLogic takes a holistic approach, integrating fitness and nutrition into its treatment plans to help patients maintain a healthy lifestyle. (Plus, it’s all connected: For men, waist circumference is a predictor of testosterone levels.)
Maehara assists patients in formulating a customized nutrition plan and managing weight. In addition to these elements, Maehara says that there is another, often neglected area to consider: relaxation. Stress management, Maehara says, is imperative to overall health, and recommends that his patients take up a hobby like yoga, tai chi or meditation.
It’s the lifestyle changes that patients often have the most trouble with—but the doctors say it’s crucial. If patients can change their daily habits, their very lifestyle becomes a form of preventative medicine.
“A lot of the approach to medicine is too reactive,” Maehara says. “You come in with a problem and it’s already established, and then you’re working uphill.”
All of this is done in conjoined offices at 1401 S. Beretania St.
“We want to be able to offer pretty much everything anyone would need in terms of both looking better and feeling better,” Ching says.
“I really think this is such an exciting field of medicine,” he continues. “We’re living longer, and people are looking better in their older age—but they are not necessarily feeling better yet. If you bring all of this together, you can really help people feel better and look better as they get older, which I think everybody really wants.”