Fascia, Fat Shaming and Cellulite – Are You Saying Yes to Self Abuse, or Self Love?

mm-blog-disclaimer

pf-ad-1

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?

By the time I turned 13 I hated my 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?

The product that inspired this post claims that cellulite is a myth – nothing more than tight fascia and fascial adhesions that need to be broken up. (Smh).

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?”

Or…

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.

There is no one on this planet that can convince me that having bruises for weeks or months is a good thing and a sign of healing my fascia.

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.

Besides…

Fascia will resist change from an outside force!

One of fascia’s JOBS is to protect everything it encapsulates (which are our precious nerves, muscle fibers, organs and bones) from outside force because it could cause damage. 

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:

This won’t cost a thing, you won’t bruise, and if you succeed I can pretty much guarantee you’ll feel a FREEDOM unlike any other!

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.

 

If you liked this post please “like” and share it!

Subscribe on YouTube for new episodes every Monday.

For personalized help with head to toe pain issues, click here to schedule a private Skype consultation with Elisha Celeste. SIGN UP for exclusive email updates and get $15 off your first session.

You may also like

13 comments

  • Judy October 6, 2016   Reply →

    You are awesome – I love your videos each week but this one is a wonderful call to power for women and courageous. Thank you Elisha.

    • Elisha Celeste October 7, 2016   Reply →

      Thank you Judy! I appreciate hearing your thoughts 🙂

  • K.B December 3, 2016   Reply →

    Your article resonated with me on some things, such as, doing anything for ‘our bodies” from any place other than a place of love and acceptance, may not give us the “result” we seek and to approach life and even blasting from a place of acceptance and love is a better way to approach all things in life (easier said than done right? especially when that prime parking spot gets stolen right out from under our nose).

    I understand your skepticism, but it did make me wonder have you used the blaster? tried the techniques suggested? not just for “cellulite” but for pain relief, or scar reduction? I and many others have seen tremendous pain relief while using it and for myself that includes from nerve damage sustained from being paralyzed when I was a child, not everyone can afford to go to someone for myofascial release on a regular basis and this allows that.

    On another note something you said in your writing and I have begun to suspect is, stressing already “bad or strained fasica may not give the result one intends, or even be good for it without other corrective behaviors, the idea that some people begin using the blaster and see their cellulite get worse makes me wonder if they may be laying down bad fascia on top of bad fascia causing more scaring and adhesions of the connective fascia which could make bad into worse and without corrective exercises, stretching, realignment, etc could continue to remain that way or as stated on the fascia blaster blog cause it to “rebound”.

    Self love is also listening to your body and doing what feels right for it, which may include using the fasciablaster and making the choice that I want to spend my life and energy doing what makes me love and feel good about myself,as well as having some pain relief ……and yes that may mean being a life long “fascia blaster”.

    • Elisha Celeste January 1, 2017   Reply →

      Thanks for your comments, I absolutely agree that each of us must figure out what is right for us and for anyone who feels this product is right for them and yields the results they wanted, I can fully support their decision. I felt inspired to write this post after dozens of women kept writing me asking for my opinion on this tool and its claims, and specifically around their fears of bruising. After looking into the product and its claims and then seeing reviews and experiences of many women bruising horribly and not getting any results, and reading that some women experienced getting weird “hanging skin” issues after months of use – I felt I had a professional responsibility to say something. As someone who has worked with people in pain specifically via fascial release since 2008 I have some ground to stand on here, I’m not just trying to dis someone else’s work, and I spent a month or more debating whether or not to write and record this. But women kept writing me and I decided to make my personal and professional opinions public. And no, I haven’t tried it. I don’t have any need to because I get regular fascial release and very healthy fascia. A student of mine has tried it and reported to me that she felt it was useful to break up scar tissue but did nothing to release her fascia compared to the work we do. A client of mine tried it before finding me. She said she bruised horribly, got very little if any results for pain relief and what I do with her is far more effective. So I do have firsthand accounts from people I trust. I have no desire to try this product because, in my experience and opinion, there are faster, more effective and far less damaging ways of releasing fascia and getting out of pain. I’ve seen the many comments from people who have gotten results for pain relief, so I in no am suggesting it can’t work for some people. And, I maintain that I believe there are healthier ways to do it that don’t cause damage.

  • chanel February 2, 2017   Reply →

    I agree with everything you say. I love my body but I realized that I had gotten celliutes on my upper thighs which does kill my confidence because it’s not the most attractive thing. I did purchase the fascia blaster because of desperation of wanting to get rid of it fast and i did it for one month and my legs are still the same. I got so many brusies and swollen but no results. I have now signed up for the gym and that is my last hope because I can only do so much to get rid of it. It bothers me alot because of love wearing dresses sooooo much and I can’t do that anymore. I have to hide my legs so it’s very discouraging and next year I have a trip to go too and I am under so much pressure to get rid of it because I want to be able to wear two piece, dresses and really nice outfits. I do appreciate all that you said and I feel you are absolutely right about self love. I do love myself but at the same time if you love yourself you will also maintain what you love as well. I’m only 30 dealing with this and this is very new to me because I never had issues with my body before. It’s very stressful but when there is a will there is way. Thank you for your article and God bless

    • Elisha Celeste February 3, 2017   Reply →

      Hi Chanel – thank you for your brave comments here. What if you could be happy as you are right now? I totally understand the self-hate cycle, the promises to work out and eat better and finally fit into those clothes that *have* to mean I love myself enough to be THAT healthy…I can tell you from personal experience that it wasn’t until I accepted my big thighs, my soft belly and the cellulite on my butt that I found true self-acceptance and self love. Only when I accepted myself as I was (as I AM) could I fiercely stand up and for my own health and happiness. Doing anything from a place of self loathing – even something “healthy” like exercise – it can’t produce self love. I’m reminded of this quote from Anne Lamott (who, if you haven’t read, I would highly recommend seeking out):

      “Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you
      never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in
      warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly
      and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out
      on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big
      juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring
      off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart.
      Don’t let this happen.”

      I know I advertise mostly physical pain relief and mobility videos, and – what most people probably don’t see as obviously is that ALL of this is about self-love. Health and healing (whether physical or psychological) cannot happen from any other source. Let me know if I can help in any other way! I want to see us women taking back our power from the many people, companies and corporations that would happily take our money because we hate our bodies so…true health requires very little money to create and sustain because it comes from within.
      XO
      Elisha

  • Stephanie Werry March 24, 2017   Reply →

    I have Fibromyalgia and to my horror some women in a support group I’m in are thinking about using it because she has promoted it to help with chonic pain. I highly question her ethics and credentials which I haven’t seen any proof of what they may be other than she is a “expert”. It’s all highly sketchy to me and thank you for mentioning the bruising, I was horrified when I read she promotes it. I get Astym fasica treatment for a muscle injury and I’m concerned about the potential danger of her product and her false facts that aren’t backed by legitimate science. I wonder what my physical therapists would think of her product. Forgot to add with Fibromyalgia our bodies are so sensitive to injury and pain I can’t imagine this helping at all and making thing so much worse. Sighs.

    • Elisha Celeste March 28, 2017   Reply →

      Hi Stephanie – thank you for sharing your concerns and experience as someone with Fibromyalgia. I appreciate your thoughts!

    • Stephanie March 31, 2017   Reply →

      I use it for Fibro and to treat pain caused by my Lupus. I do so with mu Rheumatologists blessings. I took it to her , showed her videos and etc and she was fine with it. I have had less pain and been more active from using it and she said that if it was working that well it was fine for me ton continue on so I have. It has been well over a year now and I still blast. I no longer wake up with stiff joints and in pain. I personally see it as a God send. It may work for you, it may not, but my own Dr’s had no issue with it.

      • Elisha Celeste April 1, 2017   Reply →

        Hey Stephanie – I’m happy to hear you’re finding a lot of benefit 🙂

  • H Millard March 30, 2017   Reply →

    Thank you for this article! I too have been skeptical of it. I’m part of an FB group for it and now there are women on there who were using it, had to take a break for whatever reason (moving, surgery, etc) and claiming that their bodies look worse (their words, not mine) than before they started and they have cellulite in places it never was before. It’s being said now that you have to continue to use it for the rest of your life in order to maintain the results. Some even saying their skin has a crepey look now. People are starting to use it on their faces now too, yikes! There’s also been recent posts from women stating all kinds of viruses that have been dormant for years (20 years or more) are resurfacing, For some, multiple ones are resurfacing at the same time! Even read of people having flu like symptoms. They are miserable and everyones responding, claiming it’s a good thing, part of the detox and that the viruses are being purged from the body. What’s your perspective on that? I’ve always thought that the only time something resurfaces is because of a weakened, compromised immune system. That raises a whole new set of questions about this product.

    • Elisha Celeste March 30, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, concerns and observations of stories/reports. I’ve read them too in various places (I’m not part of the FB group but I researched reviews on blogs and her Facebook page before writing this post). The most common alarming reports I’ve read involve the creepy skin after months of use, the bruising, and how this tool is being promoted for use on the back/spine for people with back pain etc. To answer your question, it’s not uncommon to flush toxins out of the body with “deep tissue” work, but it does sound concerning the degree to which some people are experiencing this. And I agree with you that to a large extent the severity of this may have to do with a compromised or weak immune system, which as you stated raises a whole new set of questions.

      To be fair, I’m not 100% anti this product if used with intelligence and for certain things, like scar tissue. However, I would NEVER promote bruising as a good thing and I firmly stand by that opinion. The claim that cellulite is simply tight fascia is in many ways laughable to me. Maybe fascia plays a role in how our fat shows or “pokes” through the fascial webbing, but if that’s actually the cause then it would be my professional opinion as a fascia expert that it would be due to LOOSE or damaged fascia, NOT tight fascia (which would provide a solid webbing and no fat would poke through, such as with my male clients who have much tighter fascia and no cellulite). I’ve read many comments on Facebook from women who bruised themselves for a whole month and never saw their cellulite diminish, and as you’ve shared others stop using the product and their cellulite comes back. I’m ALL for each of us doing what feels best for our bodies when done out of love and self care. And perhaps some women are using this tool that way. I see far more doing it out of self hatred, and that’s what really bothers me. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!
      Elisha

  • Lara April 10, 2017   Reply →

    Not everyone bruises. I believe it’s only if you’re going too hard. I’ve been using it for over 6 months and never had a bruise

Leave a comment