The News on the Bruise
by Ashley Black | November 22, 2016
The FasciaBlaster® can cause bruising, plain and simple. If you’re a consistent user, you’ve experienced this and probably wondered why using the FasciaBlaster® leaves bruising. Your family and friends are probably worried that you’re hurting yourself, it’s harmful, and that you’re crazy! While you’ve heard from me and other users that these bruises are restorative and not the same as bruises caused by blunt impact, up until now you’ve kind of had to “take it by faith” and trust the process. Well, now I’m here to give you the hard science behind what you have been experiencing.
I’ll walk you through some of the most commonly asked questions and explain a bit about what you’re experiencing, what is going on in your body, and what you can do to aid the process. So firstly, the most frequently asked question:
Why does the FasciaBlaster® cause bruises?
Using the FasciaBlaster® on oiled, preheated skin stimulates the body’s natural inflammation and healing process. You’re also enhancing blood flow that brings the nutrients required for healing and soft tissue repair. White blood cells and fibroblasts that build up fascia and collagen rush to the area being FasciaBlasted and stimulate healing along with stretching, proper exercising, and activating your muscles to improve the tissue. This occurs when the fascia is very tight and the area is not getting enough blood flow or nutrients. Using the FasciaBlaster® causes microtrauma to the area in order to signal to the brain that healing needs to occur.
The appearance of bruising is like a sneak-peek to show us what is happening inside the body! Blood flow and all the nutrients are rushing to repair and regenerate the area; that’s why I call them “healing” bruises.
I mentioned “microtrauma” earlier and you may be thinking “What is microtrauma? Do I really want to be causing trauma to my body?” I know trauma sounds like a super bad word, but it’s not; it’s just the word the medical community uses to describe the inflammation process. I’ll explain a bit more to answer the next “FAQ”.
What is the difference between bruising due to injury and the bruising the FasciaBlaster® causes?
There are 2 different types of bruising that occur in the body:
Macrotraumatic bruising occurs when there is a harsh impact on the skin from a punch, or banging your leg on the coffee table, falling off a bicycle, etc.
Microtrauma occurs more over time. Injuries like a hamstring strain or Achilles tendonitis would be considered microtraumatic.
When we FasciaBlast, we’re stimulating microtraumatic processes to the body to signal to the brain that these microtraumas need more nutrients and blood supply so that the tissue can perform its required duties. For example, when you’re lifting weights at the gym, small tears are being created in the muscle fibers, so the body knows to go back and repair the area. A similar signal is sent to the brain when we use the FasciaBlaster®; we’re stimulating the body to bring more blood flow, have proper nerve activity, and improve overall efficiency.
Here is a visual of different types of FasciaBlaster bruises:
How long will the bruising last? Will I bruise forever?
There is no exact time frame and everyone’s fascia is in a different stage. There are so many factors that contribute, but I can make a generalization here to give you an idea. Bruising, as explained above, happens when you’re breaking up fascial adhesions and restoring the fascia, and is part of the inflammation process, so it will always be possible as long as you’re alive.
There is generally a 2-3 month restoration phase where you’ll initially bruise after using the FasciaBlaster. Once the surface layers of fascia are fully restored, you won’t bruise as much unless the fascia adheres or becomes distorted again. However, over time as you reach new layers that hadn’t been previously restored, you can continue to see bruising! Does that make sense?
How can I reduce bruising?
That’s a big one! Although these bruises are healing and restorative, no one likes the “black and blue” cheetah look! I’m going to give you all a few tips on how to minimize bruising and speed up the recovery process!
- After Blaster
In case you didn’t know this, I love all my users! I always have your needs in mind and I’m always trying to innovate and help you all get the best results from your FasciaBlaster®. I created the perfect recovery blend in the “After Blaster” lotion to help your body quickly recover and minimize the look of bruising! It contains high-quality arnica and natural ingredients to help relieve the soreness and inflammation after FasciaBlasting as well as skin tightening agents. If you haven’t tried it yet, when paired with the “Blaster Oil“, it is definitely a game changer!
I also recommend light flushing of the area to stimulate blood flow and lymphatic drainage. If you get the blood circulating, your bruising won’t be concentrated to one area and your bruise won’t be so noticeable.
This video explains the importance of flushing and demonstrates the techniques:
- Cold Therapy
Cold therapy – such as ice baths or packs, cryotherapy, cold-to-hot therapy etc – may not sound like a walk in the park, but believe me, it is so worth it! Cold treatments can reduce swelling and provide an excellent environment for healing! I’m a total die-hard and will literally fill my tub up with 3 bags of ice and just lay in there! Soooo amazing for the healing and restoration and you feel awesome afterwards!
I don’t recommend excess heat after an intense FasciaBlasting session – wait until the bruising and soreness have subsided. Since the inflammation process is already under way, more blood flow to the area might make you feel more swollen.
There are certain vitamins and minerals that are needed during the inflammation and healing process. If you’re bruising too badly, you may be lacking some of these:
– Vitamin K: helps with clotting
– Vitamin C: helps with collagen formation
– Vitamin D: helps the body absorb calcium, which enhances the transmission of nerve impulses and strengthens bones
– Calcium promotes healing and is released through stimulating the inflammatory process
– Magnesium is great for bone growth and stimulating soft tissue repair
Can I FasciaBlast over bruises?
Do NOT FasciaBlast over bruises or any areas that’s sore, swollen, or inflamed! The bruises are a sign of restoration, and you need to give the body time to properly recover and regenerate. The Rule of Thumb is: if you’ve had a bruise for 2 weeks or longer and you can press down on it without pain, then you can lightly FasciaBlast over and all around the bruise. See below about lingering bruises.
Why can’t I FasciaBlast if I’m on blood thinners or have a history of blood clots?
If a blood clot is released due to using the FasciaBlaster®, it can become a pulmonary embolism, get lodged somewhere else, or cause a stroke. This is why we always recommend you consult your doctor prior to using the FasciaBlaster® to ensure it is safe for you!
Most people who are on blood thinners are usually recently post-op, or they have a history of heart issues. Since your blood is much thinner, there are not as many platelets and therefore the body cannot repair and limit the initial inflammation as efficiently. We recommend you consult your doctor if you are taking aspirins daily, but this applies mostly to those on anticoagulants.
Does the FasciaBlaster® cause blood clots, internal bleeding, or damage?
No, the FasciaBlaster® does not cause any of those issues! As I mentioned earlier, the FasciaBlaster® is creating microtraumas, which signal the body to start the inflammatory process. You cannot consciously make your body send more nutrients to a certain area; it has to be stimulated through the receptors in the nerves or muscles.
I have a bruise that isn’t going away! What is happening?
If you notice a bruise that’s sticking around for longer than usual, you may have been going too hard or FasciaBlasting the area too often and not allowing time for recovery.
If you experience a lingering bruise:
- Apply After Blaster and ice the area – continue reapplying for the duration of the swelling.
- Stretching and cardio will help to flush out toxins.
- Use the FasciaBlaster® lightly and briskly at the surface layer to flush the area and facilitate Venous return.
- Use the flushing and activation techniques shown above.
Recovery is so important because the inflammation process happens over the course of three different phases with varying time frames, depending on what is going on in the body. The inflammation process is very complex, but I will try to break it down for you here and explain the process in relation to FasciaBlasting.
The phases that your body goes through in order to fully recover are:
- Inflammation phase: This phase typically lasts from 0-72 hours. In this phase, blood flow is coming to the area and is cleaning up the site and preparing for tissue repair.
- Proliferation phase: This is when the tissue repair and regeneration starts. Newly formed but weak collagen (fascia tissue) arrives at the site. More capillaries are made in order to keep up with the increase in blood flow (known as angiogenesis).
- Maturation phase: In this phase, your newly generated collagen tissue increases in strength and quality.
These phases can occur simultaneously and need time to play out. If the body is stuck in the inflammation phase, the proliferation and maturation phase won’t be able to effectively heal and repair. That’s why it’s so important that you allow recovery time for your body to catch up and heal itself. Once all these phases occur, you can resume your FasciaBlasting routine and continue the natural healing process. If you’re experiencing lingering bruises, it’s a good idea to keep active!
Why do bruises sometimes appear in a different area than the one I FasciaBlasted?
When you blast a certain zone, a bruise may appear in a different area. This is mostly experienced in the lower extremities. For example, you may blast your quad and find that your knee swells — this is simply due to gravity. We’re constantly fighting against gravity and when you’re blasting an area, blood rushes to it. Gravity can prevent efficient blood flow, which may cause swelling to be restricted to an area. Flushing, elevating, and staying active are all important in this process, because movement serves like a natural pump to increase circulation and lymphatic drainage. Swelling can move in the body and sometimes that fluid will move up. We wrap swollen ankles or other joints for this exact reason! If your bruising is moving up, it’s the swelling working it’s way through the circulatory system, so it’s actually a good thing!
What if I’m not bruising?
While bruising is a sign of restoration, it’s also not required to get results from FasciaBlasting. Everyone’s body will react a little differently, and some people will bruise much more than others. Bruising can also be a choice – depending on the amount of depth and pressure you use. For beginners, easing into treatment is a process, so blast lightly until you’ve been consistently blasting for 2-3 months, then apply more pressure. The ideal way to get consistent results is to start lightly at a 2-3 on the pain scale to see where your body is at, and slowly ease into deeper treatments, staying at a 2-3 on the pain scale.
During warmer months when more skin will be exposed, you may want to stick to lighter treatments. Or maybe your significant other isn’t comfortable with the bruising, or you have a big event coming up. Whether you crawl, walk, or run, you’ll still complete the marathon, so listen to your body, give yourself plenty of time for recovery and be sure to use the recovery regimen I recommended above!
Sometimes you won’t bruise for the first few treatments because the fascia is so recoiled and tight and has clamped down, restricting blood flow to the area. Once you loosen the fascia, blood flow will be allowed to reach the area, and you will eventually see some bruising! If you don’t bruise but you feel a bit sore the day after FasciaBlasting, you’re doing it right!
Why do some areas of the body bruise and not others?
Bruises appear where the body is showing repair. The body will send the blood flow, inflammation, and nutrients where they’re most needed. If you blast 2 areas and only get bruising in one, that is where the body decided you needed the nutrients most.
Why do some bruises show up a few days later?
This is because the inflammation phase can spread out over the course of 0-72 hrs. At any point during that period, a bruise can appear and it’s not something to worry or be concerned about. The 3 phases of the inflammation process can carry on throughout almost a week. Don’t be alarmed; this is perfectly normal!
I hope this blog was helpful and that you now understand what is going on in your body and feel more comfortable with the bruising, as it is natural and healing. Also remember, recovery is so important, and is essential for the body to complete the healing process. Cold therapy, keeping active, incorporating the right vitamins in your diet, and flushing are all great ways to accelerate your recovery. So stay calm and blast on!