FasciaBlaster
TypeSelf-massage device
InventorAshley Black
ManufacturerAshley Black/ADB Interest, LLC
WebsiteFasciaBlaster.com

The FasciaBlaster is a device invented by entrepreneur Ashley Black primarily for use as a self-massage method to help reduce cellulite. There is no evidence it is effective, and claims made by Black about fascia have been characterized as pseudoscience. The FasciaBlaster is marketed as expected to cause bruising, and some users have reported various injuries in addition to bruising following use.

Overview

The FasciaBlaster is a hand-held bar with plastic claw-like parts intended to be applied to the skin and then used to massage the fascia underneath the skin, with a goal of reducing cellulite and stiffness.[1][2][3]

The device was invented by entrepreneur Ashley Black.[1][2] As of 2017, Black was not a licensed physical therapist.[1] She initially marketed the tool as the Lumpbuster in 2012 for her work as a health and wellness trainer.[1]

Black has marketed bruises caused by the FasciaBlaster as an indication of treatment effectiveness,[1] and has described the bruising injuries from the device as similar to the pseudoscientific practice known as cupping.[2] A physiotherapist speaking with the Evening Standard in 2018 about the FasciaBlaster stated "anything that causes pain should only be used under the guidance of a doctor, physiotherapist or other trained medical professional."[2]

The FasciaBlaster was featured on Today in March 2017, where it was noted Black advises bruising can be expected,[4][5] and in 2018, the device was used on Kourtney Kardashian in an episode trailer for Keeping Up with the Kardashians.[2] Model Toni Garrn described "lots of bruising" in 2017 while also praising "immediate results" after working with Black.[6] A 2020 review in Essence magazine noted "immediate results" as well as "soreness and bruising" after Black used the tool on the reviewer.[7] A 2017 review of three months of self-use by a reviewer for the Santa Monica Observer described "many many jaw dropping bruises" and warned "they also might last twice as long as a "normal" bruise."[8]

Some users have reported various injuries after use of the FasciaBlaster, including severe bruising, and have submitted complaints to the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.[1][9] FDA complaints reviewed by Buzzfeed News in 2017 also included reports of inflammation and changes in menstruation.[10] On Facebook, user complaints in 2017 included "severe bruising, weight gain, sagging skin, increased cellulite, nausea, and menstruation changes."[1]

On May 22, 2017, the Terms of Use Agreement was updated on the fasciablaster.com website to include warnings that the device can cause "vomiting, hormone changes, increased sensitivity, headaches, acute inflammation, changes in cycle, reoccurrence of pre-existing condition, weight gain and other toxicity-associated symptoms," in addition to prior warnings that included "rashes, bumps, redness, irritation, itching" and "bruising."[11]: 4–5 

Lack of evidence for "fascia blasting"

According to The New York Times in 2023, "If you choose to use a self-massaging device, don’t overdo it: No evidence supports the recent trend of "fascia blasting," or aggressively manipulating fascia through the skin, which can lead to bruising."[12] In 2017, a chief of bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at Stanford Health Care told Buzzfeed News, "A bruise does not equal fascia being broken up," and an assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine said "Bruises are pathologic, or an indication of tissue injury, and shouldn’t be the goal of a treatment."[1]

Ashley Diana Black International Holdings, LLC contributed funding to a study published in Cogent Medicine in 2019 that was conducted by the Applied Science and Performance Institute (ASPI) of Tampa, Florida, which studied 33 women who used the FasciaBlaster five days a week over 12 weeks, and concluded the tool "may be a viable method in treating cellulite" while also noting some subjects reported "mild symptoms of irritability, nausea, headaches, and bruising."[13][14]

Before the ASPI study appeared in Cogent Medicine, it was posted on the Ashley Black Guru website, with pictures of subjects and claims of FasciaBlaster effectiveness.[1] Doctors who spoke with HuffPost after the study was published by Cogent Medicine in 2019 agreed the FasciaBlaster is not an effective cure for cellulite, and a plastic surgeon said, "It is clear that more research needs to be done in developing better treatments for cellulite."[14]

In 2017, a sports medicine doctor said "the research is still in its infancy" when speaking with Harper's BAZAAR about the FasciaBlaster and the relationship between cellulite and fascia.[6] According to medical experts who spoke with Buzzfeed News in 2017, various claims made by Black about bruises, fascia, and cellulite are lacking in scientific basis and evidence.[1] A doctor from the Massachusetts General Hospital Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Center said temporary swelling after use of the device may cause the perception of a reduction in cellulite.[1]

According to Buzzfeed News in 2017, "Black has developed an entire pseudoscience around a real type of tissue, fascia, which connects muscle to skin and contributes to the appearance of cellulite."[1] A 2018 consensus statement on fascial tissue research in sports medicine published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine noted a lack of validation for the efficacy of "manual therapies, such as massage" and stated, "While commercial and other interests often favour the promotion of premature positive conclusions about specific fascia-related treatments, strict application of scientific rigour is essential for the development of this promising field."[15]

Litigation

In 2017, two proposed class action lawsuits began against Ashley Black, Ashley Diana Black International Holdings, L.L.C., ADB Interests, L.L.C., Ashley Black Company, ADB Innovations, L.L.C., Ashley Black Guru, and Ashely Black Fasciology, L.L.C., for various torts.[16][17][18] The cases were consolidated into one case, Elson v. Black, in 2018.[19]: 2  In Elson v. Black, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on January 5, 2023 reversed the dismissal of two claims in the class action lawsuit and returned the case to the trial court.[19][20]

A lawsuit alleging defamation and other torts brought by ADB Interest, LLC and Ashley Black on May 25, 2017 against a FasciaBlaster user who complained of injury from the device on Facebook was dismissed, and damages and costs amounting to over $250,000 were awarded against ADB and Black[11]: 15  in an anti-SLAPP repudiation pursuant to the Texas Citizens Participation Act.[21][11]: 16–18  The 2018 decision was upheld by the Texas Courts of Appeals in 2020.[11]

In July 2017, ADB began lawsuits alleging business disparagement by two individuals who had participated in studies sponsored by ADB and then posted negative comments on Facebook about the FasciaBlaster after signing non-disclosure agreements, but ADB later dismissed the lawsuits.[11]: 57–8 [21]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Miranda, Leticia (July 25, 2017). "Women Say A Popular New Device To 'Get Rid Of Cellulite' Left Them Injured". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e "How to get rid of cellulite like the Kardashians, according to the inventor of the Fascia Blaster". Evening Standard. August 16, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Molvar, Kari (January 23, 2018). "The Beloved French Practice of Body-Contouring Spreads Stateside". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  4. ^ "FasciaBlaster: Could it be the key to living a pain-free life?". Today. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  5. ^ Guthrie, Savannah; Roker, Al (March 8, 2017). "We are back with personal trainer to the stars, Ben Bruno". Today. ProQuest 1875625330
  6. ^ a b "The New Body Sculptors". Harper's BAZAAR. June 1, 2017. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  7. ^ Spradley, Nykia (October 26, 2020). "Could This Be The Cellulite Fix We've Been Waiting For?". Essence. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  8. ^ Thomas, Kat (August 8, 2017). "The FasciaBlaster: the Cellulite Magic Wand (and All Your Other Aliments)". Santa Monica Observer. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  9. ^ "This Popular Product Promises to Eliminate Cellulite. But Women Say It's Injuring Them". Money. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  10. ^ Miller, Korin (July 27, 2017). "These Women Say They Were Injured By a Popular Cellulite-Removing Tool". Women's Health. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  11. ^ a b c d e "ADB Interest, LLC And Ashley Black, Individually v. Karen Wallace, Individually and d/b/a Journeyz Spa & Products Appeal from 334th District Court of Harris County (opinion)" (PDF). May 28, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  12. ^ Friedman, Danielle (September 11, 2023). "The Tissue That Connects Our Muscles May Be a Key to Better Health". The New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  13. ^ Jameson, T Bart; Black, Ashley D.; Sharp, Matthew H.; Wilson, Jacob M.; Stefan, Matthew W.; Chaudhari, Swetanshu (April 8, 2019). "The effects of fascia manipulation with fascia devices on myofascial tissue, subcutaneous fat and cellulite in adult women". Cogent Medicine. 6 (1). doi:10.1080/2331205X.2019.1606146.
  14. ^ a b Brucculieri, Julia (June 20, 2019). "New Study Suggests A Way To Get Rid Of Cellulite Without Surgery Or Creams". HuffPost. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  15. ^ Zügel, Martina; Maganaris, Constantinos N; Wilke, Jan; Jurkat-Rott, Karin; Klingler, Werner; Wearing, Scott C; Findley, Thomas; Barbe, Mary F; Steinacker, Jürgen Michael; Vleeming, Andry; Bloch, Wilhelm; Schleip, Robert; Hodges, Paul William (December 2018). "Fascial tissue research in sports medicine: from molecules to tissue adaptation, injury and diagnostics: consensus statement". British Journal of Sports Medicine. 52 (23): 1497. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-099308. ISSN 0306-3674. PMC 6241620. PMID 30072398.
  16. ^ Miranda, Leticia (November 21, 2017). "The Woman Behind The FasciaBlaster Cellulite-Busting Tool Faces A Lawsuit". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  17. ^ "FasciaBlaster Class Action Says Cellulite Tool Led to Health Problems". Top Class Actions. December 5, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "Second FasciaBlaster Class Action Alleges Bruising, Injuries". Top Class Actions. January 26, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Elson v. Black, No. 21-20349 (5th Cir. 2023)" (PDF). January 5, 2023. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  20. ^ Brown, Christopher (January 6, 2023). "FasciaBlaster Creator Mostly Escapes Consumer-Fraud Lawsuit". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  21. ^ a b "FasciaBlaster Inventor Sanctioned In Failed Defamation Suit - Law360". law360.com. Retrieved September 21, 2022.