Dimples: They’re endearing on kids, but not quite as cute on my thighs. Yes, like 99.9 percent of the female population, I’m the proud owner of a whole mess of cellulite. And while it doesn’t bother me all that much, I don’t necessarily love it. So when I heard about a weird wellness trick invented by Ashley Black to smooth my problem areas, I thought, Why not give it a whirl?
Enter fascia blasting: the completely unexpected, all-natural solution to cellulite that also reduces muscle soreness and improves circulation. After personally blasting for a year (infomercial alert), I can honestly say it works. Here are all the details.
What is fascia and why does it need blasting? Simply put, fascia is fiberous connective tissue that is comprised of collagen and protects your organs and muscles. (Come to think of it, it’s kind of like the inner layer of a banana peel.) Fascia supports our musculoskeletal system so we can perform activities like walking, running and sitting at a desk for eight-plus hours.
If your fascia isn’t functioning properly, it can weaken blood flow to muscles, impede flexibility (no matter how many yoga classes you endure), and cause cellulite. And you guessed it: Cellulite is actually the external result of distorted fascia.
How do you use a fascia blaster? Before you roll that spikey little wand anywhere, you’ll need to warm up your muscles with a hot shower, a bath, a heating pad, a sauna or some exercise. Next, apply lotion or oil to the targeted area, then gently run the fascia blaster (use Black’s version, $69, or a budget version, $20) over your skin in up-and-down or side-to-side motions for one to three minutes per area. You can work up to three to five minutes per zone, but overzealous blasters, beware. Applying too much pressure can result in some pretty funny-looking bruises. After you’re finished, drink lots of water and massage the areas you went over.
What does it feel like? The sensation is similar to foam rolling...if your roller had weird prongs. Fascia blasting can be slightly painful if your fascia isn’t in great shape, so be sure to start out light-handed. You can gradually apply more pressure as your fascia health improves.
How frequently should you use it? It really depends on your level of comfort, but if you want to see results, use it regularly. I try to fascia blast two to three times a week to allow for some recovery time between sessions. One major drawback: Bruises are common, and your skin can become inflamed and painful if you fascia blast too vigorously. If you experience this, allow your body time to heal and go easier next time. Consider rubbing on Arnica (an herbal gel that treats bruising), but discontinue use and see your doctor if the bruises remain or get worse.
Final verdict? After three sessions, I noticed that my skin was taut and my cellulite had noticeably lessened. On top of that, my muscles weren’t as sore and I felt more flexible.
After several months of regular use, though, I was surprised to see that my cellulite had disappeared completely. I could see my abs for the first time in my life, and that awkward bunch of skin between my bra strap and armpit was tighter. It was glorious, but after skimping on fascia blasting in the winter months, I realized my cellulite did come back.
Now, a year into my fascia blasting, I’m still surprised at how well it works. Cellulite is nothing to ever be ashamed of (#allbodiesarebeachbodies), but if flexibility and circulation also sound like a nice package deal, happy blasting, friends.