Does FasciaBlaster Work? Doctors Review this ‘Miracle Cellulite Treatment’
- FasciaBlaster® is a handheld device that its manufacturers claim can effortlessly roll away cellulite while simultaneously easing muscle pain.
- Doctors have mixed opinions on the device, but most agree that it’s not an effective way to treat that frustrating, pebbled skin that won’t seem to go away.
- On the other hand, the FasciaBlaster may actually be a useful, affordable and simple way to treat muscle pain, joint pain and general aches.
- With that being said, there are various proven treatment methods that doctors recommend for improving the appearance of cellulite.
Anytime you see the word “miracle” and “weight loss” in the same sentence, there’s a good chance your skeptic receptors will go off. Good for you! As much as we can dream, there’s no effortless way to lose weight or smooth away cellulite. Nonetheless, miracle fat-melters pop onto the scene every single day. In this article, we’ll take a look at one: the FasciaBlaster®.
What Is FasciaBlaster?
Developed by self-proclaimed weight loss guru Ashley Black, the FasciaBlaster is a handheld device that’s rolled along the skin to lessen the appearance of cellulite. Black also claims that the FasciaBlaster can help improve blood flow, reduce pain and speed up muscle recovery through the process of myofascial release. How does it work, you ask?
The device targets the fascia — the connective tissue that surrounds the body’s muscles and organs — which can become rigid and stiff, leading to pain and tightness in the muscle. FasciaBlasting can work out the fascial adhesions that lead to irritation. Think of it like a next-level deep-tissue massage, but one you can perform at home without a massage therapist.
According to Marc S. Schneider, the director of the Schneider Center for Plastic Surgery, the FasciaBlaster is just one of many such tools on the market.
“There is a layer of tissue that covers the muscle called fascia, and there is a layer of tissue between the muscles that can sometimes get tight,” Dr. Schneider said.
“When it does, it can cause a variety of muscular pain syndromes. It is difficult to stretch out these layers on your own. Often, you have to go to a therapist for myofascial release. Athletes will use rollers to release these tissues and if you go into any professional hockey club locker room, you will see the athletes doing this as part of their normal warm-up.
The hyper-focused attention on the fascia is one reason why it’s often touted as a cellulite treatment. According to Black, who also penned a book called “The Cellulite Myth, It’s Not Fat It’s Fascia,” it’s these components that lead to the appearance of wrinkled skin. She claims that fascia adhesions cause those frustrating dents and wrinkles, and physically smoothing them out can help eradicate them for good.
Does It Work?
Whether or not FasciaBlasting actually works comes down to your unique goals. If you’re using it for myofascial release — to release tight tissues for pain relief — you’re in luck. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an easy-breezy way to improve muscle definition, roll away fat cells or smooth stubborn cellulite, there’s a good chance the FasciaBlaster won’t live up to your expectations.
“For the layperson, the FasciaBlaster gives them the mechanical advantage to perform myofascial release on their own,” said Dr. Schneider. “That said, as a plastic surgeon and as a sports nutrition advisor to professional athletes, using the FasciaBlaster for uses other than fascia release will leave the consumer disappointed.”
That’s because, according to Dr. Schneider, there’s no scientific basis for which the FasciaBlaster should work.
“Cellulite is caused by small vertical fascia ligaments within the fat that are tethered to the skin,” he said. “If one does a treatment to cellulite skin that causes swelling in the skin, it will temporarily make the skin cellulite look better. But as soon as the swelling goes away, the cellulite is back. The only successful techniques we have for eliminating cellulite is to cut these vertical fibers.”
Dr. Reza Tirgari of Avalon Laser in San Diego agrees that there’s promise, but little proof, that this device could roll away the dimpled skin.
“Most Fasciablaster gadgets depend on the customer applying enough pressure to have an effect and to treat the area regularly. These can be inconsistent and provide uncertain results,” Dr. Tirgari said.
Benefits for Treating Pain
So now that we know the FasciaBlaster probably won’t help erase cellulite and dimpled skin, should you go and throw it out altogether? Not so fast. There is some evidence to suggest that the device and other at-home myofascial release tools can encourage pain reduction. Its makers even suggest that the tool can help roll away migraines and tension headaches.
The myofascial release technique itself has been proven effective for treating tissue restrictions that can inhibit joint function and lead to pain. Foam rollers and other self-myofascial release tools are commonly found in gyms, physical therapy clinics, training facilities and more and are commonly employed before physical activity to warm up the muscles.
The gentle massage brought forth by these types of tools can indeed help treat pain. In fact, one study showed that myofascial therapy significantly reduced the amount of tension headaches in most patients.
Does It Hurt?
Any form of myofascial release — whether performed via self-treatment options such as the original FasciaBlaster or with the help of a massage therapist — can be painful. According to the full-body FasciaBlaster tutorial posted by Ashley Black on YouTube, the device should be rolled directly onto bare skin on the upper arms (bat wings), legs, thighs and tummy.
As you can imagine, if you already have joint pain — especially hip pain or muscle soreness — the device can cause some pain and bruising in the treatment area. Black recommends using Blaster Oil™ while working out the muscles in order to help the device glide smoothly over the skin, making it more comfortable.
Reports filed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show that many people have experienced undesirable side effects from using the FasciaBlaster on a regular basis, including major bruising, lethargy, depression and more.
Cellulite Treatments that Actually Work
If you’re committed to finding a cellulite treatment that actually yields some results, the best thing to do is talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon or laser specialists. There certainly are some proven cellulite treatments out there.
According to Dr. Schneider, there is a tried-and-true, surgical method to cellulite removal. “In my practice, cellulite is treated surgically by inserting a small needle through the skin and then using the tip of the needle to cut and release the offending ligament. If the indentation is deep, then I also may inject a small amount to the patient’s fat to fill out the divot,” said Dr. Schneider.
Dr. Tirgari recommends that his patients seek out a radiofrequency (RF) body contouring treatment alongside Fasciablaster for measurable results. “When it comes to cellulite, adding heat and RF energy plus a specific ‘roller’ action tends to give much better results for cellulite. This is because the connective tissue is more effectively targeted which tends to be the crucial factor when it comes to treating cellulite,” he said.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (ADA), a minimally invasive cellulite treatment called Cellulaze can treat cellulite via a laser that breaks up the tough bands beneath the skin that cause those frustrating dimples. Doctors say that Cellulaze isn’t a cure, but that most people will see improvement with the treatment.
Non-invasive cellulite procedure Cellfina severs the same tough, bands as lasers, but instead uses a precise blade. Sounds scary, right? Well, the blade is really just a needle, and the entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia. According to the manufacturer, this method smooths away dimples for at least three years.
The bottom line? Don’t waste your money on Fasciablaster unless your goal is to reduce pain. But this isn’t the worst news ever, since doctors have a whole lineup of cellulite treatments that actually work. The key is to find a treatment that actually addresses the problem at its core, by severing the fibrous bands that cause dimpling. Sadly, no amount of rolling will smooth away those spots with Fasciablaster alone.
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