At Valley Cellulite Massage, we offer personalized services to help with crepe skin, wrinkles, fat reduction, weight loss and skin tightening. We can do this through many methods with our skin therapy or massage modalities, but today we want to highlight specifically achieving these goals with a Fasciablasting session. Now that we have multiple versions of the Fasciablaster we are seeing amazing results with weight loss, fat reduction and toning of the skin. In this article we will break down the basics of this amazing secret and provide you with real life results.
As we are a company that works with the body in several ways (i.e. therapeutic massage, cellulite massage and skin therapy), we will touch on the ways in which this device relates to our scope of practice. Keep in mind that this device does so much more than what we will touch on today. We highly recommend educating yourself on the other key factors that this science and technology do, as it is endless.
But what even is fascia? You can’t see yours, but everyone has it. Put in the simplest terms, fascia is your body’s connective tissue that surrounds muscles and organs. Experts use lots of creative imagery to try and explain it: “it’s like the white, fibrous layer of an orange peel”; “it’s plastic wrap around your muscles, like a sandwich”; “it’s like the compartments of a T.V. dinner.” If you’re still confused, that’s okay, because even researchers are mystified about the extent to which fascia exists in your body.
“We think of fascia like a tissue that supports muscles and tissues,” says Charles Kim, MD, assistant professor in the Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Anesthesiology, Perioperative Care, and Pain Medicine at NYU Langone’s Center for Musculoskeletal Care. “You can think of it as a bag of support around a substance.”
Every move you make, every step you take, your fascia reacts to you. “If you’re dehydrated, suffer an injury, or perform any kind of high impact activity, this can cause the fascia to clamp up and adhere to itself and other structures in the body, such as muscles, bones, and skin,” says Ashley Black, inventor of the FasciaBlaster (that thing you’re probably seeing all over Facebook) and author of The Cellulite Myth, It’s Not Fat It’s Fascia. This makes your fascia rigid and stiff, which causes pain, tightness, or just dull soreness. (To be clear, Black treats athletes and regular people using her FasciaBlaster, but she is not a physical therapist. All of the doctors we spoke to for this story said that the FasciaBlaster is one of a handful of effective treatment methods for fascia tension.)
“In modern medicine, we don’t have all the explanations or knowledge of exactly what fascia is, but we do know is that some people get adhesions to fascia and tissue, which cause irritation and pain,” Dr. Kim says. “Physical therapists use myofascial — which means muscle and fascia — release methods to break up the fascia.”
According to Black, foam-rolling, also known as self-myofascial release, might seem like the perfect fix, but this really just compresses your tissue and rolls over the fascia. It’s still a great way to make a tense muscle feel better (and you should definitely do it before and after a workout, if you’d like), but Black says you’ve got to go deeper to target the fascia. “Imagine your hair is messy and matted, and you’re just trying to smooth it over with your palms,” she says. “Now imagine you have a hairbrush that actually combs out the knots. Which will leave your hair smooth and knot-free?”
The “hairbrush” Black is referring to is, of course, the aforementioned FasciaBlaster, which is meant to rake through deep layers of fascia. She created it so her clients could treat themselves at home. Black has identified 29 different “zones” on the body that people can target with a FasciaBlaster to feel better — but it can be painful and even cause bruising. Before you jump to order one, definitely consult your primary care doctor or physical therapist to make sure it’s okay, on the off-chance your tightness actually comes from an injury.
Other hands-on techniques for relieving fascia tension exist, and they use friction and trigger points and are practiced by doctors and physical therapists, says Antonio Stecco, MD, PhD, president of the Fascial Manipulation Association and a faculty member at New York University. Like acupuncture or Chinese foot reflexology, the trigger points don’t match up to the body part you’re treating, but rather, they are vectors that connect to other muscles. “You never treat the area of pain; we treat the point that corresponds to it,” Dr. Stecco says. And it can hurt badly, like a super-charged deep tissue massage.
Stretching can and should also be part of your daily fascia-maintenance routine, because it helps loosen up your fascia, Dr. Stecco says. Not to mention, it’s a good thing to do to protect your muscles. You might also want to consider a deep tissue massage, because Dr. Kim says it’s the least-invasive way to treat it. (Plus, it feels good.)
If your aches and pains seem sudden or just out-of-the-ordinary, you should definitely consult with a doctor to make sure it’s not an actual injury that you’re missing. In some instances, athletes (like runners) can develop a condition called “compartment syndrome,” which happens when there’s “too much pressure on the fascial compartments,” according to Dr. Lee. In this case, you’d need surgery to remove them, but that’s pretty rare and on the extreme end.
Besides making you feel looser and less sore, Black says that fascial manipulation may also change the way your skin looks. Just as fascia in distress can clamp onto itself and cause soreness, fascia can also adhere to your skin and cause visible dimples. “Fascia adhesions can pull the skin down and force the fat up, causing dents and dimples commonly known as cellulite,” Black says. “If the fascia were to lay flat, so would the fat.” (There are tons of before and after photos from loyal users on Black’s Instagram.)
If you’re skeptical, that’s normal; any body-manipulation tool that promises instant, visible results is considered sketchy. (And hey, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with visible cellulite in the first place.) Dr. Stecco says that fascial manipulation for cellulite could actually be legit, but it’s important to note that this is just treating the superficial fascia, so it might not get to the root of your pain. “Any tool that has a large face can affect superficial fascia, because it becomes softer and changes the shape of your skin — if that’s what you’re after,” he says. Like we said, there’s no reason to stress about cellulite, but if you feel pain and want to make sure you’re taking care of your fascia, then it’s definitely not a bad idea to give these releasing techniques a try.
Like exercise and nutrition, whether or not you concern yourself with fascia is about finding the method that makes sense for you. “When you put all the different techniques together, they’re very similar,” Dr. Kim says. So whether you’re blasting or just stretching, it’s your fascia and your choice.
- Releases Adhesion and Scar Tissue
- Improves ROM, flexibility and mobility
- Activate Inhibited Muscles and Release Facilitated Muscles
- Decreases Muscle Pain and Soreness
- Releases Hormones Stored in Adipose Tissue (FAT)
- Improves the appearance of Cellulite thru healing the Fascia
- Decreased The Appearance of Crepe Skin
- Improves the appearance of stretch marks and scars
- Improves skin tightness
Read up more on fascia blasting, fascia, Ashley Black Guru and order your own personal Fascia Blaster.
Note: The is a new tool being used for the last 2 years and is still in the development and research phase. There are no guaranteed results. Every client is different, some get lots of bruising from the treatment and others get none. Some see results quickly and others it takes weeks to months. In order for it to work one must be consistent with it.