If you were to speak to the average person, they would probably define health by saying it is about our fitness, the medications we take, our weight and disease BUT is that correct? The World Health Organisation talk about health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Looking at this definition we could also create links between health and the need for health, by that I mean the need to be well in a physical, mental and social capacity.. leading me to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs..
Maslow's hierarchy is most often displayed as a pyramid. The lowest levels of the pyramid are made up of the most basic needs, while the most complex needs are at the top of the pyramid. Needs at the bottom of the pyramid are seen to be basic physical requirements including the need for food, water, sleep, and warmth. Once these lower-level needs have been met, people can move on to the next level of needs, which are for safety and security however more recent publications talk about the changing of the levels and that it is personal to some people, that for some people they may prioritise some needs over others.. For one individual their ‘NEED’ to fit in to socially fit in may actually be less significant than their individual desire to feel accomplished in their sense of self and so on.
My point is this, we talk about the role of Aesthetics as a beauty treatment- as a fragmented treatment that is not a necessity but it a perk! However if we are to consider the definition of Health then surely the steps necessary for a person to feel complete physically, mentally and socially are valid.
In the clinic we follow a medical model and by that I am referring to a process of treatment.. Let me explain what we mean by that, if a client attends and wants to have a dermal filler treatment, a botox treatment or a full facial dermal filler transformation.. it really all starts the same way- with a CONSULTATION.
A consultation is a mutual dance between injector and patient and each person has a role, its about understanding and agreeing to the same Aesthetic goal, ensuring there is complete communication and honesty from the start and to ensure that the treatment is for the overall purpose of HEALTH! Confused? Let me explain, all treatments hold risks so it wouldn’t be plausible to take unnecessary risks if there wasn’t a ‘need’ to do so… By this, I would want to know that in some way having the treatment would improve their life, their psychosocial function. If there was no gain, what would be the logic in taking risks and having unnecessary treatments..
The next stage is to understand if and how our interventions can meet this NEED, and whether it would have a direct psychosocial impact because if not.. there is not point.. But if there is need then the goal is to look at two things the Aesthetic intervention to reach this goal and then analysing anatomy to plan whether it is achievable.. For example, if a patient had had dental changes which left her with asymmetry in her mid-face then it would be plausible to say that she could be psychosocially impacted by this.. it would be logical to therefore suggest that by improving this asymmetry that her overall state of mind would be impacted, and the patient would likely feel more socially excepted… Therefore I would confidently design a treatment plan to address this asymmetry with the overall intention of improving ‘health’ and by doing so assessments would be made in terms of various factors: medical conditions, allergies, mental health etc.
Once I had created a treatment plan it is at that point I would ensure that my patient was very much involved within it, that there was a common goal and one mutually understood, that all risks were evaluated and that both parties felt that risks were minimised as well as they could be in pursuit for an improvement in their Aesthetic goal, and by in turn, an improvement in Health.
In fragments, one may deem aesthetics or beauty to be disjointed from health but I would argue they work in correlation and only when our human needs are met can we truly be capable of living, and living is after all what health allows us to do.
Thanks for reading,