Fascia, Fat Shaming and Cellulite – Are You Saying Yes to Self Abuse, or Self Love?
Would you feel concerned if your teenage daughter, or any young woman you know, started showing up with bruises covering her body?
What if she told you she was doing this to herself to get rid of her cellulite by breaking up her fascia?
I would sit that girl down immediately and have a heart to heart about body acceptance and self love! I’d share my own struggles and triumphs with self loathing and love, and I’d share my wisdom as a fascia expert.
It may not be my 13 year old niece showing up like this (yet), but my instincts are the same.
There is a hot new product on the market right now, and…
I have to speak out.
It’s gaining rapid popularity because it’s supposed to eliminate cellulite, which the maker claims doesn’t even exist and is nothing more than tight or adhesed fascia.
A lot of you have written me privately to ask my opinion, so I knew I had to look into it. I spent a lot of time doing so and I’ve been feeling angry, sad and concerned.
I feel protective of the human body, the female psyche, and fascia – and I want to take a stand for self love.
What I saw and read researching this product was concerning to me for reasons both professional (as a fascia and pain relief expert) and personal (as a woman who once had severe body image issues).
This is NOT a product review. I haven’t used it and have no intention of doing so. I’m not in any way suggesting you shouldn’t purchase something if it speaks to you. I always advocate doing your own research, thinking for yourself and doing what feels right for YOU and your body.
I am a fascia expert and I want to speak out!
I’ve been working with people in pain using compression and active based fascial release since 2008 (click here if you want to know what I do in my private practice).
I’ve worked on people ages 5 to 80; curvy people, thin people, active, inactive, happy, depressed, self-loving and self-loathing, male, female; my clients range from amateur to professional athletes, everyday desk jockies to orthopedic surgeons…and through all this work, and my own journey with healing from debilitating knee pain, I have developed a profound respect and appreciation for the human body, and fascia in particular.
As a fascia expert I feel it’s my duty to speak up and offer an alternative opinion about fascia and cellulite.
And as a woman I feel it’s my duty to speak up about body acceptance and self love.
I’m not naming this product on purpose. If you’ve seen the ads then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Do you love or loathe your body?
I was 5’3″, I had big muscles, I had belly fat and a big butt and I knew I would never look like I was “supposed” to look – tall, skinny, toned and devoid of fat (what all the magazines and media kept telling me I should look like).
I spent years being internally abusive to myself because I was ashamed of my body and spent a lot of energy every day wishing I looked different than I did.
Can you relate?
This photo of me was taken at the beginning of my worst years of body shame (I weigh the same now as I did then). I may have had a smile on my face but there was so much self loathing going on inside, all day every day. When I think about it now I feel so sad.
I want something better for young women!
How might the world be different if we ushered girls (and boys!) through those already challenging enough teenage years by helping them – as a CULTURE – learn to LOVE their bodies, appreciate them and find a million and ten ways to have FUN and ENJOY life…instead of becoming obsessed with diets and weight loss programs and comparing ourselves to photo-shopped celebrities and models?
It took me until my 30’s to learn to LOVE my body, exactly as it is.
Right now I can tell you I adore my body. I’m so grateful for it. I love how strong I am. I love my curves. I love my butt (and so does my man!) I love my soft belly and my dimpled thighs. I feel at home in this body now. I have a reverent appreciation for every aspect of this human form I get to call home – especially my fascia, knowing the part it plays in my overall health and ability to climb mountains and run pain free while feeling light and springy.
And I gotta tell you – I have ZERO interest in this product, even though it’s meant for fascia and I’m ALL about fascia – because I LOVE my body. I have no desire to change my cellulite and bruise myself in the process of trying.
Women – our bodies are MIRACULOUS!
I haven’t had children yet; but I’m alive because of a woman’s body. My mother’s body.
Evolution gave us women a precious gift, a biological blessing because we bring children into this world: we are given extra stores of FAT so just in case of famine we have fuel stores to be able to feed babies without anyone starving!
Shouldn’t we feel grateful for this evolutionary adaptation?! It’s really quite amazing when you think about it. In years and cultures past it was the curvy women who were revered. Today, we despise this biological intelligence and shame ourselves for it. And I think that is a shame.
As adult women we teach young girls how to treat their bodies by how we treat ours – and right now, almost everywhere I look we’re still teaching young girls to hate their curves and their fat. (Though I do think it’s changing and there ARE people out there creating movements for the change I want to see, like Amy Schumer, Girls Gone Strong and my amazing friend Jade Beall.
Can we please start worshiping HEALTHY and SELF LOVING, no matter what kind of packaging those come in?
I believe we can be healthy whether we’re thin/curvy/tall/short/have cellulite/don’t have it…
I want to see us adult women teaching young girls how to LOVE their bodies.
We do this by loving OUR bodies – EXACTLY AS THEY ARE.
We do this by choosing to do things FOR ourselves and our bodies out of self love rather than TO ourselves out of self loathing.
Is cellulite nothing more than tight fascia?
There is a correlation between connective tissue (fascia) and cellulite. From what I understand cellulite appears when fat deposits poke through the outermost fascial webbing, becoming visible as dimples through the skin.
If tight fascia was the cause of cellulite then ALL of my male clients would be riddled with cellulite! They have some of the tightest fascia around, with golf ball and grapefruit sized adhesions in their thighs!
From what I understand it’s actually WEAK or COLLAPSED connective tissue (rather than TIGHT fascia) that might aid in the dimpled appearance of our fat by allowing it to poke through – but it’s still FAT right, or am I totally off my rocker here?
I know my body. I know what my fat feels like. I know what my tight fascia feels like. I know – intimately – what supple fascia feels like. I’ve gotten my fascia to 100% healthy/supple/released and I can tell you from personal experience that this did NOT eliminate my cellulite.
Maybe this tool actually does work for some women to reduce the appearance of cellulite. I’ve also read plenty of online reviews stating it did not work after months of use.
What if, for those who get results…
…the cellulite “disappears” because the skin, fascia, fat and muscles are inflamed and swollen from being scrubbed and bruised for weeks or months?! Is this why it “works?”
What if it’s a build up of scar tissue from the fascia adapting to daily/weekly ‘scrubbing?’
I am not suggesting either of the above is factual, but I can’t help wondering…
Have you ever noticed how smooth and soft an area of skin and fat gets when it’s swollen from injury?
This is what truly concerns me though: the promotion of bruising and inflammation as positive signs of healing fascial dysfunction.
This is one of the main reasons I want to speak up as a fascia expert.
Is there such a thing as “good” bruising?
I’ve never heard that until now. The medical definition of “bruise” hasn’t been revised (that I’m aware of), so if it’s called a bruise then it’s still a bruise right?
A bruise is a soft tissue injury.
Small capillaries have broken open, spilling blood into the surrounding tissue.
Swelling and inflammation occur because the body isolates that area to STOP the bleeding and heal the damage by sending repair hormones to that spot.
I’ve worked on thousands of people since 2008 and only 2-3 have ever bruised. I felt profoundly apologetic. I often use my entire body weight stepping on people and coaching them through movement while I compress their fascia – and my clients do not bruise!
I proudly and happily make the claim, as a fascia release expert, that there is absolutely NO need to bruise yourself to get healthy fascia.
Fascia will resist change from an outside force!
The healthier our fascia, the less likely we are to become injured or bruised. It has been my experience that in order to get fascialy truly released and healthy we have to ask it to change itself – through compression and active movement, which creates new neural pathways through proprioception and the fascia electing to release itself.
I can’t help wondering about the possible long term effects of using this product: on your skin, fascia, nerves (nervous system) and muscle fibers.
One blogger reviewing the product mentioned “creepy looking skin” after 3 months of use, continual bruising and no change in her cellulite.
Could this product potentially help fascia? Absolutely. My sense is it probably works really well on scar tissue and small areas that are difficult to get to.
There are plenty of comments on the Facebook ads that are positive, and I’m happy for all the people who feel they have received benefits from using it.
Personally, I just can’t get over the marketing jargon, the many claims that I can’t support or get behind and the focus on eliminating cellulite – especially after reading a lot of comments about women using it for months, bruising and seeing no results.
If you hate your body fat, I have a proposition for you:
Try loving your body – cellulite and all.
Consider loving your body exactly as it is. Consider appreciating everything it does for you on a daily basis. Consider taking a stand for self love and positive body image.
Self love is sexy.
Self love is HEALING.
Self love is a revolutionary act in a world that insists on teaching us to hate our bodies because (let’s get real) women’s body image issues are some of the best money makers on the planet.
There’s one thing I know for sure: when we love and accept ourselves, it shows on the outside as BEAUTY – no matter our shape or size. Self loathing shows too, and in my experience looking perfect has nothing to do with either.
Do you want to spend your life and energy fighting the way you look or spend that time and energy going on adventures, connecting with people you love and having as much fun as possible?
Your body, your choice.
I choose self love.