Women Say A Popular New Device To Get Rid Of Cellulite Left Them Injured

Ashley Black Guru / Via youtube.com

A twist on an old cellulite-busting product based on flimsy science has found new life through Facebook ads targeting women. The FasciaBlaster, a plastic stick with four octopus-like massage claws, is a viral hit. It’s received attention from the likes of the Today show and Extra, and gained more than 290,000 followers on Facebook. Its inventor, Ashley Black, says it can get rid of cellulite and break up fat cells.

However, doctors told BuzzFeed News that those claims are not backed up by any credible research, and one doctor claimed it appears to be based on loose science. Meanwhile a group of former customers are claiming that the device caused them serious harm, including severe bruising. When they complained to the FasciaBlaster Facebook group, the women were blocked from posting or reviewing the tool, they told BuzzFeed News.

I was desperate, said Julia Lefebvre, a 49-year-old former FasciaBlaster user who told BuzzFeed News she stopped using the tool and still has bruises six months later. Women are so self-conscious of their bodies it’s almost instant gratification you get when you drag that claw across your skin and you get bruises. It’s almost like feedback, but in our heads it’s like why would women – extremely intelligent women – buy into this? I don’t know how I bought into it.

A company spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the company has not thus far received any verified cases of serious injury, nor have we ever had a personal injury suit or claim. But BuzzFeed News reviewed 62 complaints submitted to the Food and Drug Administration which reported severe bruising, inflammation, and changes in menstruation. Ashley Black sent BuzzFeed News copies of Facebook messages she received from one customer who mentioned an illness and another from a customer who had posted concerns and allegations online. Six other complaints sent to the company were forwarded to BuzzFeed News by the users who made them. In addition the company’s one-star reviews on Facebook include reports of severe bruising, weight gain, sagging skin, increased cellulite, nausea, and menstruation changes.

We take the safety and welfare of our users very seriously, the company said in a statement. Our practice is to have an independent third party physician investigate, but none of our users have provided any medical documentation of serious injury.

The company said this small fringe group of social media haters represents only .017% of Black’s total audience. It suspects that at least 500 of the hater profiles are fake.

Between May and June, the company said it sent “2,000 emails and approximately 2,000 messages to anyone who posted a concern or complaint about the FasciaBlaster anywhere online, including in the hate groups. It got few responses, but after investigating their claims, the company said the users were making baseless and unsubstantiated attacks on our company.

BuzzFeed News received emails from satisfied users who said the tool helped them gain back their range of motion and relieve lower back pain, and who said they were touched by encouraging discussions in the Facebook group.

Ashley Black Guru / Via youtube.com

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. Facebook posts and ads for the FasciaBlaster claim that people can get rid of cellulite, carve out muscle, and erase pesky fat pockets by following Black’s instructional videos – of which there are 170 on YouTube.

The $89 FasciaBlaster wand is meant to be used up to four times a week, intentionally bruising the skin in order to supposedly break up cellulite. To “FasciaBlast,” women are instructed to heat up in a sauna, slather themselves in oil, and then rigorously massage their bodies with the blaster to break up fascia. Bruising is a sign of restoring unhealthy fascia, Black claims.

Ashley Black Guru / Via youtube.com

She tells customers to press the claws into their skin – which she said can hurt because it means you’re breaking up the fascia. As layers of fascia get broken down, she instructs users to press even harder into their skin, up to a pain level of seven, to smooth out deeper layers of fascia. (A seven is considered low-level severe pain in the Universal Pain Assessment Tool.)

On her website, Black wrote that one technique calls for people to rake through and loosen tight fascial adhesions that cause those unsightly dimples. These adhesions, she said, are signs of unhealthy fascia that collect into small knots that can be released by rigorously massaging the body. After raking, the places that hurt the worst [and] are most sensitive are generally where you have severe fascia distortions – This is totally normal, she wrote on Facebook.

Through another more painful technique, Black claims users can break up fat cells with the wand so they are excreted with urine.

Contract the muscle as hard as you can and then you go ballistic on the area, Black instructs users in a video posted to YouTube in June 2015. Users should expect bruising when breaking up fat, she says.

The promise, ultimately, is that by enduring the pain you’ll have less visible cellulite.

Ashley Black Guru / Via youtube.com

Ashley Black isn’t a doctor, licensed physical therapist, or scientist – nor does she hold a college degree. Prior to starting her FasciaBlaster business, she spent more than a decade as a health and wellness trainer and entrepreneur. She designed a tool to relieve her own pain from hip-replacement surgery. By 2012, she was distributing the device, originally called the Lumpbuster, to her bodywork clients for use in between sessions.

Everything changed when a client’s girlfriend texted that the tool got rid of her cellulite, Black says in a YouTube marketing video. It literally was one of those moments in time where you go like, whoa, how have I studied this my entire career and didn’t make the connection?

Black has since promoted herself as a pioneer in fasciology – a term she coined – in her book The Cellulite Myth: It’s Not Fat, It’s Fascia, which includes Wikipedia entries and WebMD articles among the dozen references cited in the bibliography. During an interview with BuzzFeed News, she declined to cite the names of specific instructors she learned from and institutes or training certifications she had earned, out of concern those institutions would be targeted by trolling.

A photo of the bibliography page in The Cellulite Myth: It’s Not Fat, It’s Fascia.

“The Cellulite Myth: It’s Not Fat, It’s Fascia” by Ashley Black

She added that asking for credentials in fasciology is like asking Thomas Edison where his electrical engineering degree is. There is no basis or background.

A spokesperson for Black said Black has spent thousands of hours reading books on Anatomy & Physiology, Biochemistry of fascia, including paying to have papers translated from Mandarin and other languages, as traditional western medicine dedicates very little time to the study of Fascia.

The company began investing heavily in social media marketing in March 2015, according to Black. Most of the 20 women BuzzFeed News spoke to for this story said they learned about the tool through Facebook ads or Black’s private Facebook group of more than 290,000 women. Several said they were drawn to the tool because of the ads and the positive discussion in the tool’s main Facebook group.

Ladies, you can use the FasciaBlaster to ERASE cellulite!!!!! Check AWESOME results! reads one Facebook post.

A / Via Facebook.com

Meanwhile, in YouTube videos posted as long ago as 2015, Black claims that the tool not only gets rid of cellulite, but also alleviates symptoms of scoliosis, fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s disease.

The company’s spokesperson said it has hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers, but declined to disclose sales information to BuzzFeed News.

Yet multiple women BuzzFeed News spoke to also reported that when they tried to report their injuries in the Facebook group, a major forum for marketing the device and building a following, they were blocked for violating a ban on posting about negative, rude, catty, or inappropriate remarks.

Ashley Black Guru / Via Facebook: AshleyBlackGuru

Black said she doesn’t allow “drama in my group” from people who ask “foul” questions such as “does this cause miscarriages” because “we keep it positive.”

For me this is a support group for people who are trying to restore your fascia, she said. You wouldn’t let an alcoholic with a bottle of champagne walk in to an AA meeting and say ‘Don’t listen to this – drink some wine.’ I don’t let people come in my group and say things that are false and starting trouble.

The company said it has a three strike policy when it comes to violating the rules, and that all members are warned before they are blocked. It told BuzzFeed News that it has blocked people from the main group 788 times.

Ashley Black Guru / Via youtube.com

Doctors told BuzzFeed News that it’s true that cellulite is caused by fat squeezing through fascia, but challenged many of Black’s claims that the FasciaBlaster can get rid of cellulite and pop fat cells, and that bruising is a result of breaking up a fascial adhesion. One doctor told BuzzFeed News these claims are based on loose science.

It is possible to squeeze fat into small particles, Robin Travers, a doctor with Skincare Physicians based in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, told BuzzFeed News. But it’s only from very intense trauma, to the point where it would be dangerous.

Clinical studies have shown that massage may be a short-term treatment to smooth out cellulite, but there is little evidence that it has any permanent impact. A 1999 clinical study in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed there was no statistical difference between the control group and the group that was treated with massage to reduce cellulite. Of 35 people who had their legs treated by massage, 10 said they thought their cellulite appearance improved.

Another clinical study from 2009 published in the International Journal of Dermatology showed massages were mildly effective in reducing cellulite, while other studies have shown that the results aren’t permanent.

Ashley Black / Via Facebook: FasciaBlasters

While Black emphasizes bruising, describing it as a sign that the treatment is working, Kathleen Cook Suozzi, an assistant professor in the dermatology department at Yale School of Medicine, told BuzzFeed News, Bruises are pathologic, or an indication of tissue injury, and shouldn’t be the goal of a treatment.” Although trauma can destroy fat cells, it’s not something you can control with this kind of crude device.

John Morton, chief of bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at Stanford Health Care, told BuzzFeed News that a bruise is essentially a collection of blood beneath the skin.

A bruise does not equal fascia being broken up, he said. And although Black claims the FasciaBlaster doesn’t bruise healthy tissue when properly used, any skin can get bruised. It doesn’t matter if it’s healthy or not.

Ashley Black Guru / Via youtube.com

There also isn’t any scientific evidence for Black’s claims that cellulite can be massaged out of the body, Mathew Avram, a doctor with Massachusetts General Hospital’s Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Center, told BuzzFeed News.

It’s hard to say something definitely works or doesn’t work without having a clinical study that goes under scrutiny of scientists that are not involved with the product, he said. As for perceived improvement, he said any reduced appearance of cellulite from using the FasciaBlaster may be a result of temporary swelling that conceals the cellulite.

Although there haven’t been any published clinical studies on the device, the company has performed its own 90-day study. The results, posted on the company’s website, show the subjects’ before-and-after pictures, and claim the device decreased fat thickness and the appearance of cellulite. The study was led by Jacob Wilson, CEO of the Applied Science and Performance Institute, who also gives nutrition and training advice under the name The Muscle PhD.

Black declined to share the raw data from the study with BuzzFeed News because no one at BuzzFeed is trained to look at the raw data.

Wilson told BuzzFeed News in a statement that while the reason fascia blasting works has yet to be fully understood, it is likely that the fascia blasting frees fat cells from fascia. The results, he said, are consistent with three clinical studies that show massage does have an effect on cellulite appearance, although one of the studies he cites found the effect is not permanent.

Kendall Jenner Swears By This 11-Minute Core Workout Have You Tried It?

kendal-jenner-abs

How does Kendall Jenner keep her body looking toned AF when she is constantly on the go? She busts out an 11-minute core workout at home! Kendall Jenner, model extraordinaire, is known across social media for her adorable style and killer bod. Her go-to fashion statement? Midriff tanks and belly shirts.

So how does she keep her slim waistline and toned obliques? A challenging abdominal strengthening sequence designed to shred the core. This short workout video hits all the key exercises to strengthen, tone, and sculpt the entire core.

And hey if Kendall Jenner can find 11 minutes, that motivates the rest of us to carve a few minutes out of our day to get those abs of steel.

Enjoy!

Try Kendall Jenner’s 11-minute core strengthening sequence:

  • Forearm plank: 30 seconds
  • High plank: 30 seconds
  • Side plank: 15 seconds
  • Side plank with crunch: 5 reps each side
  • Single arm/leg plank: 15 seconds
  • Rocking plank: 15 seconds
  • Knee-to-elbow plank: 5 reps on each side
  • Standard crunch: 20 reps
  • Bicycle crunch: 30 seconds
  • Knee-to-elbow plank: 5 reps on each side
  • Standard crunch: 20 reps
  • Bicycle crunch: 30 seconds

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Spoon of Consciousness Podcast Interview with YogiApproved Founder Ashton August (Video)

interview-with-yogiapproved-founder-ashton

As a life coach and spiritual mentor, I believe in spreading consciousness to help others awaken into their full potential. Spoon of Consciousness began as a blog and an outlet for me to share my journey of spiritual awakening. The blog is focused on personal development and living a conscious lifestyle to help others bring their dreams into reality.

Throughout my work, I’ve continued to seek new ways of sharing information and resources with others. So, I took the Spoon of Consciousness blog to the next level by developing a podcast of the same name.

Podcasts are an engaging, potent platform for sharing information and spreading the conscious movement around the globe.

The Spoon of Consciousness podcast started as a way to engage with others in the conscious community about their experiences and pass on their wisdom and teachings. This has led to incredibly valuable conversations with people who are spreading inspirational messages all over the world.

Watch this interview with YogiApproved.com founder Ashton August

Meet Ashton August

One of those people is Ashton August yoga teacher, writer and the founder of YogiApproved.com. In this podcast interview, we discuss a wide range of topics all centered around positivity, empowerment, creating the reality you seek, and of course . . . yoga!

Hear All About Yoga From an Industry Leader

We discuss all aspects of yoga from the perspective of a beginner the health benefits of yoga, the best way for beginners to get into the yogi lifestyle, and how the practice of yoga can help us on and off the mat.

Ashton goes in-depth on how a steady yoga practice has the power to transform you and your life in extraordinary ways. She shares a bit about how yoga helped her in her personal life, and her journey since first discovering her yoga practice.

Learn more about how to approach your own yoga practice, important tips to get started and stay motivated, and much more.

The Ins and Outs of Entrepreneurship

We also speak about entrepreneurship an important topic for many people, and we get into the spiritual aspect of entrepreneurship how to manifest your success, and how to activate the Law of Attraction. Ashton highlights important reminders throughout your journey of building your career. She reminds us to have patience and be compassionate towards ourselves during the process.

You have the potential and the power to create the life you want. Step into your power and make it happen!

Being an entrepreneur or trying to manifest anything into your life is difficult, but so worth the challenge. Ashton also shares how to view and deal with our failures emphasizing the importance of celebrating our successes along the way so that we continue to feel empowered and motivated.

Spirituality and the Final Takeaway

It’s truly empowering to accept that we create the reality we experience. We continue our podcast conversation by exploring this important concept of actively creating the reality we seek. Learn how to approach manifestation and visualization, and use these tools to reach your goals no matter where you currently are in life.

After speaking with Ashton, I came away with a different view of yoga seeing it more as a therapeutic practice that builds both mental and physical strength and also helps us reclaim our power. This act of reclaiming our power is something that is so important to talk about because there are so many things in life that threaten to diminish or take away this power.

Stand firmly in your vision of what you want to create in your life. Find your purpose and maintain an unwavering commitment to pursuing it and empowering yourself to be the best you can possibly be in all that you do. You have the potential and the power to create the life you want. Step into your power and make it happen!

For more interviews like this one, subscribe to the Spoon of Consciousness podcast. You can follow Ashton on Facebook and Instagram.

The post Spoon of Consciousness Podcast Interview with YogiApproved Founder Ashton August (Video) appeared first on YogiApproved.

What Do You Want To Know About Nutrition And Weight Loss?

Like, how do you eat healthily if you’re literally always hungry? Or can you drink alcohol if you’re trying to lose weight?

Weight loss and dieting can be tough – especially because everyone’s body is different, which means there is NO hard-and-fast set of rules for how to do it ~right~.

Weight loss and dieting can be tough - especially because everyone's body is different, which means there is NO hard-and-fast set of rules for how to do it ~right~.

What works for someone else may not always be right for you. So it’s normal to have some questions.

Universal Pictures / Via thisisdieting.tumblr.com

We want to provide you with fact-based info straight from legit experts, and hold the rigid or judgmental opinions and prescriptive advice that can be common when it comes to weight loss.

How do I stick to my diet if I’m literally always hungry?

How do I stick to my diet if I'm literally always hungry?

And: Is there a way to not feel like I’m starving myself?

Cartoon Network / Via gifclip.info


View Entire List

What is Diastasis Recti + How to Tell If You Have It (For Moms)

what-diastasis-recti-new-moms-featured

A woman’s body is full of beauty and magic. The ability to grow, nourish, and deliver another human being into this world is truly amazing. But as beautiful and miraculous pregnancy and childbirth are, they also bring drastic changes to our body.

As women, it is important to find gratitude for what our bodies can create and to even embrace the changes our bodies experience.

But some changes in our body may not be for the best and can actually cause post-natal pain and/or discomfort. One common change after childbirth is diastasis recti (or ab separation). Most moms will experience some degree of ab separation, so it is important to be aware of this condition.

What is Diastasis Recti?

One common and unpleasant change in our body after pregnancy is diastasis recti or the separation of the abdominals. Diastasis recti occurs when the growing uterus in our belly actually separates the parallel muscles of our abdominals. And if you’re an active mom-to-be, diastasis recti is even more likely to occur. So it is important to be aware of diastasis recti in order to avoid it and learn more about it to help improve any current ab separation.

Can You Avoid Diastasis Recti When You Are Pregnant?

Picture your growing baby in your belly and how much your belly needs to expand to make room for baby. Now picture your abdominals as part of this same expanding belly and how easily they could separate during pregnancy (which they slightly do in every pregnancy) as your belly grows.

The best thing you can do to avoid diastasis recti is to keep clear of any movement that puts added pressure on the abdominal wall.

diastasis-recti-diagram

Many active moms are advised to avoid crunches and intense core work during their pregnancy. This advice is not just to keep to your baby safe, but to help avoid diastasis recti as well. Any movement that invites your stomach to blow out or expand (such as sit ups) will add to the pressure on your abdominals and growing belly.

Another movement that can cause ab separation is the intense contraction of your abdominals. If your yoga practice or workout requires extreme core activation (standing or sitting), then you are adding to the pressure on your abdominal wall. So becoming aware of these movements- and learning how to modify or skip them during your pregnancy is key to avoiding diastasis recti.

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How to Tell If You Have Diastasis Recti

As mentioned above, every mom will experience some degree of abdominal separation with her pregnancy, but some more than others. One of the first signs of diastasis recti is the visual separation of the connective tissue (linea alba) between the abdominals. Many refer to it as the mom pooch or belly pooch which can be extremely difficult to lessen, no matter how strict the diet or exercise routine.

How to check for diastasis recti:

  • Begin reclined on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the mat
  • Place your fingers just below your sternum and slowly walk your fingers down the midline to feel your linea alba (see diagram above)
  • Notice if the connective tissue is extremely stretched. Can you really press down in certain areas?
  • Once you reach your belly button completely relax your abdominals
  • Press your fingertips down and lift your head and shoulders off the mat to engage your core
  • While your core is engaged, feel for muscles on each side of your fingers. Is there any space between your core muscles? If so, note how many fingers can fit in between the abdominals as well as how deep the fingers can press into the abdomen
  • When complete, gently release your head and shoulders to the mat
  • Then continue the same test above the navel and closer to your pubic bone
  • If you find a 2 to 3 finger separation in any area, then this may be considered diastasis recti

Note: This article and all included information is not intended as medical advice and does not treat or diagnose. Please consult your doctor for any health-related questions or concerns.

My Abs Are Separated, So Now What?

If you find that you have any degree of abdominal separation, don’t freak out. Your life is not ruined and neither is your core. Some research says diastasis recti can only be healed by surgery, but that is false. Surgery is not the only answer to help your body heal.

There are steps we can take toward improving our abdominal separation without surgery we just need to make some changes in the way we work our core.

With a new baby in your life, change is all around you. So changing how you work your core is really no big deal in the grand scheme of things. Plus, you get to say peace out to crunches . . . which I think is something we can all fully support.

The first step toward helping your body heal is knowing what movements will continue to cause damage and then avoiding those movements. Again, your abdominals are no longer like they were before baby, so continuing your pre-pregnancy workout may do more harm than good to your ab separation.

What to Avoid If You Have Diastasis Recti

1. Increased Abdominal Pressure

  • Deep or intense forward folds
  • Boat Pose
  • Plank Pose (until you begin to strengthen the separation)
  • Low Plank (until you begin to strengthen the separation)
  • Spinal Balance (core work in Table Top Pose)

2. Lengthening the Abdomen

  • Wheel Pose
  • Camel Pose
  • Upward Facing Dog
  • Intense twists

Changing your mentality and approach to working your core may be difficult for many moms who are super active, enjoy intense strength training, and/or practice power vinyasa yoga. Practicing self-love and patience is extremely important to avoid causing more damage to your diastasis recti and to help heal your body.

So What Can I Do To Help My Diastasis Recti?

Once you make the changes and modifications in your yoga practice and fitness routine to halt any further damage with your diastasis recti, it is time to turn to the offensive and help your body recover. Stay tuned for an upcoming article featuring a few simple, yet effective exercises you can do to help regain the strength in your ab separation.

Remember, your core work has now changed and may be much less intense than your pre-pregnancy core work. You are now slowly and safely strengthening your core no matter the intensity. So take the time to get to know your new body just as you are taking the time to know your new baby.

The more you are aware of and connected to your new body, the more you can treat it with the love and patience it needs.

The post What is Diastasis Recti + How to Tell If You Have It (For Moms) appeared first on YogiApproved.

This Chicken Meal Prep Plan Will Solve All Your Dinner Problems

Save time, money, and mess.

Andrew Miller/BuzzFeed

Chicken breasts: the go-to dinner for families, meal-preppers, and everyone in between.

Chicken breasts: the go-to dinner for families, meal-preppers, and everyone in between.

They’re easy to make, fast-cooking, and the perfect dinner for parents and kids alike.

Warner Bros. Pictures

They’re also pretty inexpensive especially when you catch them on sale, or stock up on family packs.

They're also pretty inexpensive  especially when you catch them on sale, or stock up on family packs.

Lionsgate Television


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Joe Jonas’ Core Workout Includes Getting Punched in the Abs, but Does It Really Work?

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Crossfit may have justbeenone-upped as the most intenseworkoutof all time. The new pain-inducingfitness trend? Taking hits straight to the abdomen.

Earlier this week, Joe Jonas shared an Instagram video of the workout he’s doingwhile on tourin Tokyo. In the clip, Jonas does a series ofleg lifts beside apersonal trainer wearing boxing gloves.At the end of each rep, she clocks him rightin the gut. (Ouch, right?)

The DNCE frontman isn’t the only celeb getting punchedas part of a training tactic. Mia Kang, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model and pro Muy Thai fighter, also posteda video of herself beingsocked in the stomach: every time she extends her legs while doing squats, fighters on each side of her kick her in the belly.

What’s the point ofvoluntarilytaking a beating? Here’s one payoff:Boxers,MMA fighters, and other martial arts athletes doit duringtrainingbecause getting walloped ispart of their job,and they need to practice absorbing the blow, says exercise physiologist and personal trainer Tom Holland.

That explains why Kang was enduring those kicks. As for Jonas, he might simply be trying tostrengthenhis abs. While an external hit to muscle won’t make it tighteror stronger (“if this worked, we’d punch our bicepsand our leg muscles,”Holland says), contracting your abs just before a punch or kick hits the stomach can create stronger muscle fibers.

RELATED: Firm Your Belly Ab Routine

“When Iused to teach, I would cue clientsby telling them toimagine that theirchild is getting ready to hit themin the stomach,” says Holland.”It teaches people to better engage in ab exercises and use the core muscles throughout.” The internal muscle contraction, not the outer trauma of a punch, is what helps createan enviable six-pack.

Of course,a blow to this sensitive area can be seriously harmfulfor average Joes (that includes you, Joe Jonas). Since this area of the body contains manyvital organs, a punch or kickcanresult in bruising and internal damage, adds Holland.

RELATED:4 Muscles You Should Never Ignore

Regulargym-goers can takeadvantage of this (while avoiding a trip to the ER)by havinga partner perform the punch or kickmotion and stop short; you’ll reflexivelytightenyour core as you see it coming. Or during crunches,starteach crunch by visualizingsomeone about to punch your midsectionor drop a medicine ball on your abs, recommends Holland. Your natural reaction will be to pull in your ab muscles as youcomplete a rep.

Holland also suggests breathingthrough your ab exercises for the best results. “It’s a real challenge, but breathing while doing pretty much any abexerciseengages the core even further,” he says.