Fascia is one of those wellness buzzwords that's been kicking around for a while. What is it, and why do we need to know about it?
"The fascia is one of the most important systems of the body because it affects all of us," says Ashley Black, author of "The Cellulite Myth", co-author of the scientific paper "The Effects of Fascia manipulation with Fascia Devices on Myofascial Tissue, Subcutaneous Fat and Cellulite in Adult Women," and inventor of the FasciaBlaster®.
"From shin splints and growing pains as a kid, to tension headaches in our 20s, to cellulite in our 30s to tendonitis in our 40s to back pain in our 50s to wrinkles and turkey necks in our 60s and so on."
The topic of fascia might be fairly new to us, Black says she believes that "every human on this planet should dive head first into learning about fascia and treating their own fascia, because once they do, their life will forever change for the better. We can now be empowered to take health into our hands in a whole new way that enhances every other field of science, medicine, and fitness."
So let's dive into fascia, shall we?
What Is It?
Fascia is everywhere in the human body, according to Black, from inside the brain, on top and inside muscles, around our heart and spine, all through our guts, and from just below the skin to the deepest depths of our bodies.
Fascia is collectively four types of connective tissue made up of densely packed protein fibers, which weaves throughout the entire body, and it binds and supports your muscles, bones and even your organs.
"Although fascia is connective tissue that holds us together, it is also a fluid system like
blood and it’s a communication system like the nervous system," says Black. In fact, some researchers say that fascia acts as a second nervous system.
What Are the Biggest Myths About It?
"A common myth about fascia is that it’s just connective tissue, instead of the vital fluid and communication system that it is," says Black. "In surgeries, the fascia is cut through and cleared away instead of being repaired and restored. There’s a misconception that you should 'get rid of your fascia,' which is neither possible nor recommended."
Black recommends treating your fascia regularly by seeking physical therapy, heating, proper nutrition, postural alignment, and using foam rollers, and, of course, her FasciaBlaster, which scientific research has shown that regular use of it, along with heating and Black's Blaster Oil, smoothes and restores the fascia.
"Fascia is made of cells, and just like any other cell in the body it requires regular
maintenance," says Black. "Just like drinking water every day, exercising, and eating a healthy diet, fascia needs similar attention."
What is the Connection Between Cellulite and Fascia?
In a popular episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Khloe Kardashian famously used Black's FasciaBlaster on Kourtney Kardashian's butt to reduce cellulite.
"It gets rid of cellulite, you rub it on your body, it’s literally the most painful [thing]. You rub this on your body really hard, but you gotta be naked," Khloe had said.
So what's the connection between cellulite and fascia?
"Simply put: fascia is the root cause of cellulite," says Black. "Fix the fascia, fix the cellulite. Cellulite is the physical manifestation of unhealthy fascia. The more body fat you have, the more it will visually manifest. Think of your fat like a marshmallow and your fascia like a chain-link fence. Now picture the marshmallow being pushed hard against the fence. The marshmallow is not inherently dimply and lumpy, it’s the chain-link fence causing the marshmallow to be dimply and lumpy."
Black says if you smooth "the fence" -- the fascia -- then the fat would also be smooth.
"No amount of diet or exercise will smooth the fascia," she says. "This is why skinny women can have cellulite, curvy women have it and women of all races and ages can have it, because it’s the condition of the fascia."
According to Black, you can "get rid" of cellulite, but you will not be getting rid of fascia, as it is a vital part of the anatomy.
Fascia might be trendy, but you should definitely believe the hype. Our cells are not only surrounded by this fluid fascial network, but our organs, muscles, and bones depend upon it.
Though we might reach for a foam roller, or FasciaBlaster, to get rid of some lumps and muscle soreness, we are taking better of this unique system when we take time to include proper nutrition, hydration, and regular stretching in our daily routines.
If you're interested in purchasing Black's FasciaBlaster, you can do so here:
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