Celebrity Fit Club
How Hollywood stars keep their glow


Maybe you aren't a celebrity, but you still can treat your body like you are. Integrative medicine is the newest trend in the health field, and Tinseltown elites embrace its message of prevention.


Whether you run five miles on the downtown streets of Raleigh every day or you've never entered a fitness club, these life changes can make you feel and look like you belong on the red carpet.


Integrative medicine is a field that combines "conventional" treatment (based on reacting to a problem) and "complementary" or "alternative" medication (based on preventing disease).


Integrative medicine aims to treat a patient's problems while also providing a foundation to prevent future ailments. Its adherents say it promotes a balance between mind, body and soul, which ultimately makes for a happier, healthier person.


Many doctors who embrace integrative therapies also practice conventional medicine.


Here are some treatments that celebrities use to stay in condition:


Oscar-winning workout: yoga


Actresses Jennifer Aniston and Heather Graham use yoga to keep their tummies toned. Graham even visited a famous yoga retreat in Mexico to gain an extra boost from her poses.


Yoga's results are both physical and mental. The practice can help one deess and keep the mind sharp. Both Aniston and Graham credit yoga not just with getting their bodies into the best shape but with changing their lives.


If you want to try yoga, start with your local gym. Many fitness centers offer beginner classes. If you're an employee or affiliate of one of the Triangle's universities, you may be able to use its facilities for a small fee, or maybe even for free.


Worried that you can't keep up in a class? That's no reason to count yoga out! Watch a video on yoga, which can range from a 10-minute workout to an hour activity. You can go at your own pace and smartly utilize your precious free time.


Red-carpet promise: nutrition


Stimulating your body is a hard thing to do when you haven't given it the right fuel. Healthy eating is an important part of self and complementary care.


Think about it: You wouldn't fill your car's gas tank with bits of trash and debris, so why would you do that to your body?


Changing the way you interact with food can jump-start a spiritual cleanse or help you lose those leftover barbecue pounds. Now is the time to visit the Carrboro Farmer's Market or start your own garden.


Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman and singer Jessica Simpson have both said bye-bye to burgers and embraced vegetarianism. Singer Carrie Underwood and actress Michelle Pfeiffer are vegan, forgoing any animal by-product, including milk, eggs and cheese.


Embracing better nutrition doesn't mean that you have to have salad for every meal – smaller changes can lead to big results.


Cameron Diaz avoids white carbohydrates and refrains from eating bread, pasta and rice.
If you love bread too much to remove it from your diet entirely, go for whole grain carbs. Whole grains can even become a family favorite.


Eat more fruit and add seasonal variation to your rotation. For example, cranberries will be ripe this fall, so grab a carton or two.

Star secret: acupuncture


Many celebrities swear by the healing powers of this ancient Chinese remedy. Mariah Carey and Celine Dion raved that it allowed them to overcome infertility!


Acupuncture can help you cure or relieve the symptoms of chronic headaches, acid reflux, insomnia and low back pain. Treatments can cost up to $120 per session, with some top practitioners charging $300.


If you decide that acupuncture is for you, call your insurance company and ask if your policy covers the treatment. Don't stop there – make sure that your insurer specifies the limit on price, number of appointments and other considerations.


Does your insurance cover only "conventional" medical treatments? To keep more cash in your pocket, consider visiting a local acupuncture school and getting treatments from a supervised acupuncturist-in-training. Each of these sessions will come at a discount price of about $40.


You also can look for a community acupuncture session. This takes place in an open room, usually without any curtains. These visits may lack privacy – some have compared the experience to getting a massage in the mall – but can cost as little as $15 for one session.


Leading-lady treatment: massage


Getting healthy has never been so relaxing! Supermodel Christy Turlington relies on massage, in combination with yoga and meditation, to help keep her inner peace.


Massage uses a blend of techniques that depends on the practitioner and the client's physical complaints.


A muscle spasm could benefit from trigger point therapy, while chronic muscular and joint pain may be better suited for a myokinesthetic treatment. (This stimulates each muscle along a nerve pathway.)


Massage is a useful complementary treatment because it can reduce stress, strengthen your immune system, increase muscle tone and flexibility, break down scar tissue and release endorphins, your body's natural pain killers.

Behind the scenes: meditation


Between kids, a job and a spouse, who has time to meditate? You do!


Actresses Angelina Jolie, Eva Mendes and Gwenyth Paltrow use meditation to find clarity in their busy lives.


The practice may seem like it requires a lengthy time commitment, but meditation can take as little as 15 minutes.


Devotees say it can help cure headaches and migraines, aid in weight loss and decrease stress.
If that's not reason enough, you get to spend time away from all the demands of life and just check in with yourself.


By meditating, you may even find that the little things that usually drive you mad, like your long commute on I-40, are no sweat!