Fascia blasting explained can be a bit complicated, so we go through it methodically to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions. In recent years getting a fascia blasting treatment has gained popularity for both cellulite and pain reduction. You may have heard of Fascia Blaster, which is a tool intended to loosen the myofascial tissue (known as fascia). While there are mixed reviews with some reporting many benefits, there are others that are not so enthusiastic. So let’s take a look at what it is, its benefits, and its side effects to provide you with an informed understanding.
Fascia Blasting Explained
Before we even get into the plus and minus of it, even the definition is the subject of debate among scientists.
However, the continuous layer of connective tissue (covering muscles, organs, nerves, and bones) is widely accepted as the definition of what ‘fascia’’ is. The main component of fascia is collagen, and, in part, it helps provide your body with its form.
Separate muscles and organs are attached and/or enclosed by fascia, so in short, with its continuous nature, fascia allows these organs and muscles to slide, slip, and move inside the body.
Healthy fascia is flexible and can twist and bend, glide and slide. Inflammation and/or trauma, however, can cause a tightening of the fascia, which in turn can cause pain.
There are many various conditions that fascia pain can be associated with, including:
- myofascial pain syndrome
- plantar fasciitis
- lower back pain
Cellulite is affected by fascia it is believed. Appearing mostly on the thighs, hips, and buttocks, cellulite is an orange peel-like, dimpled skin texture, which women loathe. When fibrous connective bands — that attach the skin to the muscles — pull down parts of the skin, that skin becomes dimpled with fat cells collected between the bands, creating cellulite.
There was a study that suggested that cellulite in women is caused by a weakness in the dermis and connective tissue. But the study is from 2002. So more research is needed to determine if cellulite is linked to weakening fascia.
How Does Fascia-Blasting Work?
As mentioned previously, fascia blasting is a technique to manipulate the fascia. Ashley Black invested in a tool for this purpose called a FasicaBlaster. It is made of plastic and has claws protruding from the long stick.
Many companies make similar products, but the FasciaBlaster is the most popular, and the one used at Pure Laser Skincare, the spa in Great Neck, NY.
The device can is used on one part of the body at a time but can be massaged on all the body parts.
Here is the standard procedure:
- Using a hot shower or a heating pad, you want to warm up your body
- Next, oil is applied to the area to be worked on
- The device in a scrubbing motion is used for 2 to 5 minutes
- This scrubbing motion is used area by area as needed
The first time it is used, it can be tested for 1 minute to see how your body responds and feels afterward.
After the procedure, it is encouraged to drink plenty of fluids. A cold shower can also help reduce swelling.
Fascia Blasting Benefits
After a fascia blasting treatment, people report various benefits, including:
- reduced muscle pain
- Reduced cellulite
- firmer skin
- Better circulation, and,
- less pain in their joints
The is not a tremendous amount of research on fascia blasting, however. A small study by the inventor of the FasciaBlaster (Ashley Black) and from The Applied Science and Performance Institute in Tampa was conducted in 2019.
The study was conducted on women with cellulite on their thighs, using FalsciaBlaster on 33 women; five days a week over twelve consecutive weeks. The subcutaneous thigh fat (under the skin) was measured every four weeks.
This subcutaneous thigh fat had been found to have decreased at the end of the 12-week study period. Their authors thereby concluded that fascia manipulation could free the fat cells from the fibrous bands and reduce cellulite.
Side Effects of Fascia Blasting
Fascia blasting may not be safe for everyone. There is some anecdotal evidence of side effects. Some of these side effects from the technique. According to some individuals. They are:
- Bruising, sometimes severe
- Discoloration of the skin
- Cellulite increase
- An increase in varicose veins
- An increase in pain
- Tiredness and fatigue — can be extreme, and,
- Others reported weight gain
There have been reports filed by some with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Anyone can file a report for any reason, which doesn’t confirm anything in a report, so that must be noted.
Alternatives to Fascia Blaster
There are many alternatives to fascia blasters to treat fascia-related conditions, which we list here:
- Foam rolling is considered to be softer and gentler on the body than FasciaBlaster.
- Massages are ideal for relieving general fascia-related pain, including lower back pain. There are also massages offered as “anti-cellulite” massages. Results are mixed.
- Lipomassage is performed with a handheld machine to knead and smooth the skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the results are typically temporary
- Myofascial release therapy is a manual massage to relieve tightness in the fascia, providing pain relief. This therapy is typically administered by a massage therapist or chiropractor
- Ultrasound may reduce the appearance of cellulite by destroying fat cells using sound waves. An ultrasonic lipo-sculpting is said to increase blood circulation and could relieve myofascial pain
- Stretching can be helpful if done regularly for fascia-related conditions like plantar fasciitis, myofascial pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
Fascia Blasting Conclusions
With little scientific and unbiased research, it comes down to opposing views by advocates vs. naysayers. Some claim it reduces pain and cellulite, while others report side effects, such as severe bruising and increased pain.
The suggestion, therefore, is to first talk to your doctor, and then if you proceed with a FasciaBlaster treatment, begin with a small test to see how your body reacts to it.