Pros and cons of using a fascia blaster and when it has benefits for fitness related scenarios or cosmetic use such as reduction in the appearance of cellulite.
In a perfection obsessed culture of photoshopped models and smartphone apps that banish physical flaws with clever lighting and angles, a wellness product called the fascia blaster fits right in.
Promising to banish jiggly, dimpled cellulite among a host of other claims, these devices represent the modern version of the vibrating exercise belt from the Leave it to Beaver era. However, while helpful for certain fitness applications, the use of the fascia blaster for cosmetic purposes is another story entirely.
The problem is that no one seems to be telling fans about the potential for unsightly side effects. In fact, using such a device regularly can trigger far worse skin-related issues than the cellulite.
What is the Fascia?
In a nutshell, the “fascia” is the spiderweb of tissue that holds your body together. It is very densely woven, covering every muscle, bone, nerve, artery, and vein. The connection with the veins is especially important if you suffer from varicose or spider veins. I explain more about this below.
The internal organs are well protected by the fascia including the heart, lungs, brain, and spinal cord. Most interestingly, there are no breaks in the fascial spiderweb. It is one continuous structure from head to toe without a single interruption. (1)
I like to think of the fascia as a sort of biological yarn, knitted together much like a sweater as a living fabric for the entire body.
How Does a Fascia Blaster Work?
A fascia blaster is a self-utilized device that is specifically designed to work on this aspect of the musculoskeletal system. The manufacturer suggests that regular use can:
- Reduce cellulite
- Lessen pain
- Improve flexibility
- Promote circulation
- Increase joint function
- Enhance physical performance and nerve activity
Did someone say C-E-L-L-U-L-I-T-E?
With marketing claims like this, no wonder these types of devices are selling like crazy. But, like the rapid fat redistribution from lower to upper body that can occur from liposuction, be wary of claims of any cosmetic benefits. Before examining the harm these devices can cause, however, let’s look at scenarios where a fascia blaster can be helpful.
Fascia Blaster Benefits
I first became familiar with the fascia blaster when I saw a college athlete using one on his injured thigh before an athletic event, probably on the advice of a trainer.
The fascia blaster was vigorously rubbed back and forth across the area apparently to help improve circulation. The hard plastic prongs attached to a sturdy stick about two feet long dig into the tissue, breaking up any fascia adhesions, reducing pain and assisting with warm-up before competition.
Post-workout or athletic event, some trainers suggest using these types of devices to help heal the area much like a self-administered deep tissue massage or “scraping” used by some physical therapists. The process helps break up lactic acid, release toxins and bring in blood and oxygen to the area for more rapid healing.
I personally use one to help warm up my hamstrings, quads and IT band before weightlifting to reduce the chance of injury.
A less intense and mildly stimulating alternative to scraping is dry skin brushing.
But what if there is no injury and a person is not young and fit?
3 Reasons to Skip the Fascia Blaster
I was having a conversation with a practitioner friend recently about what she thought about the fascia blaster. One of her middle-aged clients was using one for cosmetic purposes. In order to provide an educated opinion, she purchased one to examine it for herself. She warns about 3 problems from using these devices which most people, unfortunately, find out after damage already occurs.
Cosmetic Improvements Minimal
While a fascia blaster does seem to be helpful for athletes who are fit as described above, for someone who is using it for purely cosmetic reasons, the results are doubtful. Worse, you can actually harm yourself in the process.
According to my practitioner, here are 3 things to watch out for.
Danger of Excessive Bruising
Warning: If you are prone to bruising, the fascia blaster can make you look like the victim of a beating. As a shocking example, I recently saw a woman at the store with extensive bruising all over both arms. Very concerned, I asked her if she was alright. She rolled her eyes and responded that the bruising was from using a fascia blaster to try and reduce the jiggle!
While easy bruising (and fatigue) can indicate a B12 deficiency, there’s no doubt that some people are more sensitive than others even with an excellent diet.
So watch out! If you bruise easily, the fascia blaster is probably best avoided!
Got Spider Veins? Fascia Blasting is NOT for You
Many develop red, purple or bluish spider veins as they get older. These tiny clusters of blood vessels near the surface of the skin usually appear on the face and/or legs. The dramatically increased blood flow and weight gain from childbirth, in particular, can cause them to develop on the upper thighs. Since cellulite most commonly develops in this area as well, women using the fascia blaster may discover that it makes spider veins far worse!
A good massage therapist knows to take great care with areas of the skin containing spider veins. The pressure if too firm can cause the blood vessel clusters to spread. A fascia blaster can do the same thing.
Consider yourself warned!
Making Varicose Veins Worse
While spider veins are an unsightly nuisance and don’t cause pain, varicose veins are another matter!
Varicose veins are blood vessels that have become painfully twisted and enlarged. Blood flow is sluggish in these veins as well. Pregnancy is the typical reason women develop them, but anyone with circulatory issues can be susceptible.
They are not just unsightly. They can be a blood clot risk as well. My grandmother almost died from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) from a varicose vein. Following her recovery, she used witch hazel extract as an astringent to keep the swelling in check.
Using a fascia blaster in areas where varicose veins are present to improve circulation or reduce their appearance can do much more harm than good. Like spider veins, my practitioner warns that such a product can worsen the severity of the condition!
In summary, if you’ve been thinking of getting a fascia blaster, it is best to consult with your practitioner first. Be sure to rule out any skin or health conditions that might be aggravated from its use. While beneficial for some physical therapy scenarios, cosmetic benefits are not as certain. In some cases as described above, unsightly or dangerous side effects are possible.
Then blast away at your own risk. As the saying goes you can lead a horse to water or you can look at the comments of those who have had negative side effects on the FB groups. But I suspect you are a troll for Ashley or are even Ashley.
“I was having a conversation with a practitioner friend recently about what she thought about the fascia blaster.” and “according to my practitioner” .. Does no one find it strange that the so called expert is never identified? I am fascia-blaster-curious and am researching pros and cons and although this article posts interesting things to think about, I can not take the warnings very seriously as this article is really just an opinion piece… from one opinion.
Sarah Pope MGA
I would encourage you to read through the comments of all the people seriously damaged by this device. Also, take a look at the FB pages devoted to victims.
I’ve been blasting for 3 years diligently and it has changed my life inside and out. How long did you do it for? 2 weeks? Do you know about worse before better? Did you include all of Ashley’s protocols? Are you eating clean? Blasting is a lifestyle and it takes work/patience. It took one year for changes to take effect and once they hit my body completely transformed. Your review is non factual and superficial.
Are used mine last couple days on my face around the neckline where it shows in the video and only in those places and I woke up with a broken blood vessel in my eye. I have not had one of those in many many years so I do not know if it is related.
Bruising isn’t a valid reason to not use the tools. Her tools if used properly are amazing because the results are amazing. Lawsuits will always be around and the only thing I can see would be if you used them as a weapon. Seriously people don’t hate on something that is changing millions of people’s lives for the better. Give credit where credit is due!
I used it only for 6 months and noticed things happening I wasn’t sure about, so I messaged Ashley and she always wrote back. She said when I started working out the muscles would grow and I would see a change. I lost fat, which I wan not using it for, I was using to open fascia as she stated it would and muscle would grow. At first I felt muscles in calves then it went mushy. I have slowly started getting some muscle back after not using for two and half years. Where I used it I have fat I never had and she stated fascia would distribute where it was needed instead in a clump, well it screwed everything up. You tend to trust an inventor of a product, I mean if we didnt trust an inventor of a product where would we be today. BUT this inventor does lie about what the fascia blaster will do. Yep you get rid of fat temporarily but then it comes back twice as bad ad your skin, nomatter how much oil used while fascia blasting, is never the same. Also, since using it I’ve had severe depression over what it’s done to my body. I also found out I have Duputyrens contracture and never had this before, which is a buildup of fascia in palm of hands and arches.Be careful if you use it you will regret it.
I’m so thankful for these tools, & the science behind them! They’ve been a game changer for me & my health, both cosmetically, & for ongoing health issues.
I’m sorry to hear all the stories of negativity – if everyone would take the time to research & learn the ins/outs, & proper way to utilize the tools, there wouldn’t be so many problems!
I’m a scientist too.
Johana, what are your credentials? AB as well? Where did this scientific theory come from? Oh wait, it’s all ideology and google. A scientist doesn’t self proclaim they’re a scientist. It’s called earning a degree and anecdotal evidence doesn’t count. I couldn’t get past the first chapter. It’s horrific. I wouldn’t share with too many people about this book.
They use celebrate deep black large purple bruises until all the lawsuits came about, and not protocols have changed once again and now they’re saying go very lightly. They’re wiping the internet clean for their lawsuit to avoid losing. Ab herself has said numerous times that it was FDA approved or No BPA (which there is) and multiple photoshopped pics. No one is allowed to speak negatively or they’re remove your comment and block you from their group. Because if that, the members from the adverse effects on FB is growing into the thousands in just one year. Too shady.
[per comment below] You recommend this tool to everyone you meet? You should probably stop before you get sued. This device is unregulated and its inventor is a pathological liar. If you do a search in a facebook group called Fasciablasting Adverse Effects, Reviews and Info. you can read hundreds (now becoming thousands) of stories from women who have been injured by this device. But even if you don’t care about that, join the group anyway and ask someone to post a recent photo of Ashley Black, She is MASSIVELY, HUGELY, OUTRAGEOUSLY overweight and just generally lumpy and undefined and gross. A product of her own device. You really have to see it to believe it. If after that you still want to promote the devil stick, it’s at your own peril.