By Taroue Brooks
Who is Tai Hall?
I’m an international massage therapist. My career has evolved from sports massage and oncology massage, to currently being an expert in plastic surgery post-operative care and body contouring.
What is a self love journey?
A self love journey is unapologetically embracing self love on YOUR terms. It’s more than making up one’s mind mentally to change their life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It encompasses creating and committing to a plan of action to achieve desired goals. For example: Eat, pray and love…is a self love journey. Going on a fast, is a self love journey. Declaring with your mouth and mind that you are going to change your life for the better FOR YOU, is a self love journey. People go on self love journeys all the time, but they occasionally allow the opinions of others to determine if those journeys are socially acceptable or not. When someone says they’re going to the gym or getting a personal trainer they are applauded. When someone cleans out their fridge, posts pictures of meal prepping or hiring a nutritionist they are congratulated. However, if someone’s journey towards inner and outer self love includes surgery, they are judged and frowned upon. Mainly because of the negative narrative that is pushed in the media. When designed properly, a cosmetic self love journey can be done just as safely as procuring a personal trainer.
Plastic surgery is taught and executed in phases correct? What are the the phases?
Phase 1: Picking a Doctor and Procedure
• How to narrow down the procedure(s) you want, the surgeon you want to go to, even the country you want to have it in
Phase 2: Budgeting and Paying For Your Procedure
• The total cost of your self love journey from start to finish
Phase 3: Pre Lab Clearances
• What and how to get cleared for surgery
Phase 4: Sx accommodations (there’s a glossary on the site taimeout.com to hip you to all the industry lingo; just like pX = pharmacy, rX= prescription, Sx= surgery)
• Housing accommodations from: a hotel, an airbnb, a recovery home + care accommodations from: spouse, family, friends, care providers, or private care nurses
Phase 5: Pack & Prep
• What to buy and pack, what additional services to schedule such as IV hydration and massages, flights, etc.
Phase 6: Lifestyle Shifts (before, during, after)
• What aspects of your old life you will have to let go to maintain results of your upcoming procedure?
Phase 7: Sx (the actual surgery and the first week after)
• What to expect, hacks to adjust, finding comfort immediately after surgery, how to navigate safely and effectively
Phase 8: Post-op Maintenance
• How to heal quickly with the best maintained results
Is there a difference in getting plastic surgery in America vs. other countries?
Absolutely! While each country has SOME rules, some rules outside of America are less stringent than those within the country. While results will vary depending on your location, this can also heighten risks associated with planning a cosmetic self love journey. There are more regulations stateside of how aggressive procedures can be. This isn’t to say clients shouldn’t chase their body goals outside of the country; this means that more falls back on them to protect themselves by doing lots of research, asking the right questions, communicating with their surgical staff and family back home.
Describe the contrast between a private practice and a surgery center?
Private practice allows a client to have a more intimate, personalized experience. The doctor is very hands on with their procedure from start to finish; from their initial consultation to each follow up post operative appointment. They usually only do one or two procedures a day, with a greater attention to detail during each procedure yielding longer surgery times. This also results in a higher price tag. The downside to this aside from the price is, wait for it…WAIT FOR ITTTTT, the results usually are only mediocre! Most private or active surgeons are very conservative in procedure approach. This isn’t a bad thing, but their opting to play it safe means more rounds to achieve more dramatic results [if that is the goal]. Doctors who don’t perform as much don’t have the same avenues to hone their skills as a surgeon that uses their skills more frequently.
On the flip side, surgeons at surgery centers are usually over worked, especially the popular ones. Due to the high supply and demand they cram a bunch of surgeries in one day. Surgery centers provide surgeons the ability to lower their overhead costs by sharing one front desk staff, shared surgical space, shared assisting surgical staff, one coordinating sales team, one marketing team, on social media platform— thus lowering the price tag clients pay. Surgery centers usually house anywhere from 3-15 surgeons. While prices are lower, some customer service quality and cosmetic bells and whistles go out of the window as well to maintain this fast paced cosmetic revolving door factory.
How important is it to maintain realistic expectations?
It’s paramount to not lose yourself during this process. While planning for a self love journey of any kind, you become conditioned to focus in on everything about yourself that you don’t like. Through Ivan Pavlov’s theory of conditioning, we aren’t ever unconditioned from the associated stimulus and response thus after the surgery, clients are still conditioned to notice everything they don’t like about themselves. Compound that with social media, daily subliminal reminders that we “aren’t enough”, and the ever present demands for instant gratifying improvement. Some ending results could be unrealistic expectations, that have you losing your sense of reality, who you are, what you ACTUALLY want for yourself and your life. Make sure the pictures you choose line up with YOUR body. I teach clients to set realistic expectations from start to finish with a clear mind before starting this journey. They use our companies “Positive Affirmation Journal”, written specifically for the surgery community.
Having unrealistic expectations, puts pressure on the post surgical staff to achieve the unachievable. Instructions of how to set realistic expectations include creating goals that don’t exceed your body limits… especially if you’re only planning on getting one round of surgery. Find photos that mimic the features of the body you have NOW to protect your mental health later. If you have a broad back and/or wide shoulders, look for a wish picture that does as well. If you have a higher BMI, don’t take pictures to your doctor of a girl that is a size 4. You can use apps like INSTASIZE (its free) to create side-by-side profiles to compare photos. Send photos to your coordinator and/or surgeon and ask for their feedback.
What is Post-Op?
Post-op is shorthand lingo for post-operative. It is more in-depth than the actual surgery itself. Similar to body goals achieved in the kitchen or in the gym, achieving body goals in the Operating Room can be done by anyone with money. Always keep in mind…it takes tenacity and sometimes lifestyle changes to keep desired results. It also requires healing efficiently and optimally. You must now combine all the hard work of a gym rat or nutrition geek. Post-Op usually starts the day clients fly back home OR if they get surgery done locally, it starts about 7 day after surgery. This continues for months and years to come depending on ones self love journey. Post-Op details include: what to eat, when you can start working out, what exercises to do, what post operative garments (they’re called Fajas) to wear (how long), how to self massage, professional massage routines, what equipment and machines, when you can start sitting, when you can have sex and what positions, creams and pills to heal better, how to spot complications, how to fly home after surgery properly, how to tighten skin, what accessories to place inside of your faja, itching+ burning + peeling + stretching + stitch and drain removal— I could go on for hours on how extensive Post-Op Life is.
What are 3 common mistakes people make when planning a cosmetic self love journey?
There are countless mistakes that people make usually from misinformation or not doing enough proper research. Here are the top 3:
1. Only saving enough for your actual procedure. Rule of thumb is: However much your procedure costs, you will need an additional 35% for extra expenditures.
2. Listening to your surgeon and or surgical staff. As the industry changes, most surgical personal do not stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry and their information becomes dated. While they KNOW plastic surgery and your procedure, that is about it. Do your own outside research for the best results.
3. Going back to work too soon. Listen to your body. It talks allllll the time; we just aren’t programmed to pay it any mind as we typically have our own agenda. No matter the procedure, budget and set aside 4 weeks to allow your body time to adjust. If you truly feel better before then, go back early.
The mainstream narrative of plastic surgery is “dangerous” and “risky”. What is the narrative your clients embrace?
The narrative that my clients embrace is “Unapologetic Self Love”. Yes a cosmetic self love journey can be dangerous. But so is flying, jet skiing, sky diving, and online dating. So is… waking up everyday staring in the mirror and hating what stares back at you. So is allowing others to place depictions of beauty upon you that you reject internally but never do anything about it for fear of being judged. So is living a life of lies as if you are ok when you aren’t. So many people are having plastic surgery. They just do it in the shadows for fear of public ridicule. It’s like the high schooler who becomes interested in sex. As a parent, you may not want them to have sex, but they are hell bent on doing so with or without your knowledge. So you armor them with knowledge and condoms? This is similar. No matter what you think, people are going to do this with or without societies approval. It is better to embrace this fact, and allow people to not only become equipped with better education and resources, but create an outlet for unapologetic self love expressions. I personally believe if more people were given room to be exactly who and how they CHOOSE to be, instead of others impressing choices on them, they would view themselves differently. An unapologetic cosmetic self love journey will not fix internal insecurities or low self esteem, but it does create a platform to start changing the narrative to encourage people to find out who they are, compare it to who they want to be, and make the necessary adjustments to shift these two answers closer to one another. Self love, on self terms.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TAI HALL AND TO PLAN YOUR OWN SELF LOVE JOURNEY VISIT:
Fb group: Taime Out PostOp Corner
Tai Hall is an International massage therapist who’s career has evolved from sports massage, to oncology massage, to leading the industry in postOperative care and body contouring, specifically pertaining to plastic surgery.
Dedicating her life to improving the quality of lives of others, Tai became an International Massage Therapist & multiple business owner of Perfect Taiming Enterprises, LLC. Well versed on healing the body, cleansing the psyche, & mending the spirit, Tai holds a Bachelors in Neuromolecular Biomechanics, a Bachelors in Abnormal Psychology, and a Masters in Healthcare. After returning to college, Tai started traveling the world perfecting her healing crafts in alternative medicine. Spending several years as the team therapist at University of Maryland in College Park, she has since moved on to open two successful in-office massage studios where her business team forges relationships with not only patrons, but creates opportunities to service large corporate contracts.