FasciaBlaster: What is it and does it work?

What doctors say about the device

HOUSTON – A plastic stick with prongs makes promises to reduce inflammation, massage joints and even blast cellulite, but some women say the FasciaBlaster is leaving them bruised.

Lindsey Hollaway at Lumiere Spa said dozens of clients each week are asking for the treatment.

“They see so many more benefits: pain reduction, migraines (and) some say they sleep better,” she said.

The process became famous online when Ashley Black began marketing the tool as a way to blast cellulite at home for under $100.

Bart Jameson, a "fasciologist," said what started as a sales tool escalated to something in which he really believes.

“Because it's curing all sorts of other ailments: joint pain, hypermobility, tissue disease, arthritis,” Jameson said.

Some women claim that the kneading movement of the device is causing bruises, and they're too ashamed to show their faces. I’ve received dozens of complaints that the device left them with marks

“I don't think it's a completely benign tool,” Dr. Neil Badlani of the Orthopedic Sports Clinic said.

Badlani regularly prescribes physical therapy to patients at his clinic, and he has a FasciaBlaster. However, he said patients should be cautious about using it without professional supervision.

“There is definitely the possibility of serious injury if you push too hard, too long in a certain area: injuries to the vascular system, blood clots, excessive bleeding if somebody's on blood thinners," he said. "So those are all dangers we have to be aware of with something like this. I think the chances of this happening are very, very small, but patients should be aware of those potential dangers.”

He said the dangers are not as likely as discomfort. We showed him photos of the alleged damage.

“I think for the most part these things will heal, just like if you get punched in the arm and you get a bad bruise,” Badlani said.

The company said the device is perfectly safe and bruising is part of the healing process.

“All it's showing is that blood flow is coming to the superficial area that wasn't getting blood flow,” Jameson said.

Hollaway said the key is to use it gently.

“I don't do it very hard, I go layer by layer,” she said.

Badlani said there are a lot of things that can be used for fascial treatments, which is similar to deep tissue massage, including techniques like using a foam roller.

For long-term treatment of pain and trying to get rid of cellulite, he recommends exercise and stretching.

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