by Ashley Black
Article at a Glance:
∙ Scientific researchers conducted a FasciaBlaster study with 43 women over a 90-day period.
∙ The at-home FasciaBlaster protocol was to warm up for approximately 20 minutes in a sauna, apply the Blaster Oil®, FasciaBlast each leg for 20 minutes and the abdominals for 5 minutes, then perform isometric contractions. The protocol was followed 5 days a week, with a rest day every 2 days.
∙ Research findings showed:
– The fascia tissue was safely and effectively smoothed out – even down to the deeper layers
– A reduction in subcutaneous fat (SAT)
– An increase in the resting metabolic rate (RMR)
– A decrease in systemic inflammation (CRP)
– An increase in collagen production (PICP)
– An increase in Irisin
– Safety markers showed no stress on the internal organs or systems, showing the FasciaBlaster device and protocols to be safe for healthy individuals.
In late 2016, Ashley Black designed protocols for the first formal FasciaBlaster device study in Tampa, Florida. Third-party scientists at the Applied Science and Performance Institute (ASPI) conducted the research under the direction of Jacob Wilson, Ph.D, who was awarded the NSCA’s Terry J. Housh Outstanding Young Investigator of the Year award in 2013 and boasts over 500 peer-reviewed published studies.
A total of 43 women volunteered to participate in the 90-day study, with 33 women in the FasciaBlaster protocol group and 10 serving as a control group. All subjects were between 25-60 years old, had a Body Mass Index of 20-30 kg/m², were non-habitual caffeine users, did not use weight loss supplements, and had visible cellulite on the thighs. All subjects were baseline tested with blood analysis, ultrasounds, DEXA scans, and metabolic testing. Testing was done at Baseline (Day 0), and weeks 4, 8, and 12, and visual photography was assessed in the protocol group.
After baseline testing was established, all FasciaBlaster protocol subjects were instructed to complete a 90-day, at home protocol using the FasciaBlaster devices. The devices used were the FasciaBlaster®, Mini2™, and FaceBlaster™. The protocol consisted of warming up for approximately 20 minutes in a personal sauna that was provided to each subject. Following the warming of the tissue, each subject used Ashley Black’s Blaster Oil on their skin and used the FasciaBlaster devices of their choice for 20 minutes on each leg and 5 minutes on the abdominals for a total of 45 minutes. Subjects then isometrically contracted the targeted area following device use.
Subjects were instructed to perform the protocol 5 days per week, but no more than 2 consecutive days. They were also instructed not to change their diet or exercise regimens and to go about their daily lives as usual. The control group was instructed to only use the Blaster Oil on the skin 5x/week throughout the duration of the study.
Instructional videos, personalized coaching, and opportunities to ask questions were available to all subjects for the duration of the study.
Ultrasound imaging – which is commonly used to measure the effectiveness of non-invasive cellulite treatments – was used in this study to evaluate the subcutaneous fascial architecture and measure the Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue (SAT). Ultrasound evidence indicated a significant reduction of subcutaneous fat as well as a visible smoothing of the fascial tissue.
Here are the ultrasound image results from two women from the study. These results are mind-blowing and possibly unprecedented for any therapy – especially a self-treatment.
In the baseline ultrasound images, the layers of fascia tissue are shown in white, and the dark areas are the muscle and fat tissue. The yellow line measures the SAT in each image and shows the measurement in the bottom left corner. What is seen here is an improvement in the organization of the fascia tissue, collagen, and muscle fibers from Baseline to Day 90.
Healthy fascia is parallel and organized, as is shown in the ultrasound images on Day 90. Even an untrained eye can see that the fascia went from distorted to smooth from the skin layer all the way to the femur bone. This evidence supports the theory of tissue remodeling, and it’s significant that the tissue was remodeled even in the deeper layers where the FasciaBlaster can’t reach.
The reduction in SAT is also shown in these photos, with Subject 1 decreasing by 0.51cm (27%) by Day 90. Subject 2 saw a decrease of 0.35cm (25%).
Additionally, no significant changes were seen in Total mass (kg), Fat-free mass (kg), Fat mass (kg), and Body Fat (%). This data indicates that fat reduction was occurring locally at the targeted areas(thighs) without having a dramatic impact on overall body composition measures.
The takeaway on the subcutaneous fat reduction is that although the subject’s overall BMI didn’t change, fat was lessened in the areas that were FasciaBlasted. We can call this result “spot reducing fat,” which is a concept not previously believed possible without medical interventions such as liposuction.
The reason testing the blood is so significant is because blood results show what is happening systemically and affecting the entire body. So, for example, even though the subjects only FasciaBlasted their thighs and abdomen, these results were seen all throughout their body. We were even shocked at these findings, as they were better than theorized.
Here is what the blood analysis showed:
1. A decrease in C-Reactive Protein
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is a hematological marker for inflammation that is synthesized by the liver in response to cytokines release by damage tissue. CRP levels decreased throughout the study, which means there was a systemic reduction in inflammation.
2. An increase in Irisin production
Irisin is known as the “exercise hormone” and is released in the blood after moderate to high intensity training to help convert calorie-storing white adipose tissue (WAT) to brown adipose tissue (BAT), which burn energy, produce heat, and are packed with mitochondria. This results in more calories burned and an improvement in fat loss. Irisin levels increased and remained elevated throughout the study. This is particularly profound, because our participants didn’t change their exercise programs if they even exercised at all.
3. Increase in PICP production
PICP (type 1 procollagen C-terminal propeptide) levels peaked at 72 hours and 30 days and remained elevated throughout the study. These levels coincided with the body’s natural healing cycle changes, indicating that using the FasciaBlaster devices assists with increasing collagen production and the body’s natural tissue remodeling processes. PICP is the building block of all collagen and fascia fibers, and increased collagen production is basically the definition of reverse-aging.
4. Safety measurements showed no stress on internal organs or systems.
Measurements of AST, ALT, and BUN enzymes showed no changes, indicating there was no over-stress on the body. This is important, because although the FasciaBlaster promotes tissue remodeling and detoxification, the temporary detox symptoms remained within safe parameters. We also had concerns about the release of estrogen from releasing trapped fat, but all hormone levels remained within normal limits, and there were no abnormal spikes. In short, the FasciaBlaster devices are safe for healthy individuals, even with vigorous use of the tools.
Methods of Measurement:
Venous blood was extracted by venipuncture of the antecubital vein using a 21-gauge syringe and collected into a 10mL EDTA tube by a certified phlebotomist. Afterward, blood samples were centrifuged at 2500 rpm for 10 minutes at 4°C. Resulting serum and plasma samples were then aliquoted and stored at -80°C until analysis. Hematological analysis included the following markers: comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP); C-reactive protein (CRP); thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH); dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA); triglycerides; free fatty acids (FFA); irisin; Carboxyterminal Propeptide of Type I Procollagen (PICP); and Serotonin.
Metabolic Results: Metabolism Increased
The Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is how much energy the body needs for basic homeostasis and functioning. Depending on age, a typical RMR is around 1200-2200 kcals/day. Your metabolic health and function is vital for energy production, weight loss and management, the body’s healing and remodeling processes, and your daily function.
Study results showed the RMR increased throughout the study, and by Day 90, showed an average increase of 168 kcal/day, indicating that more calories were needed and used in order to maintain body weight and other functions. This explains the decrease in the subcutaneous adipose tissue that was seen in the ultrasound images, since the body used the excess adipose tissue for energy.
Methods of Measurement:
Metabolic testing was conducted on an indirect calorimeter for approximately 15 minutes in a quiet, lit room, while subjects breathed normally into a mouthpiece with a nose clip in place. Calibration took place prior to each individual test (this process is automated as the device contains barometric, temperature, and humidity sensors in addition to the oxygen and flowmeter sensors). All test subjects were instructed to avoid consuming anything – including any caffeine or stimulants that could alter REE and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) – 12 hours prior to testing.
Photography results of each subject’s thigh cellulite were assessed in order to see if visual improvements were made. In order to provide an objective measurement to a subjective result, a scale was created called the “Black Cellulite Severity Scale” (BCSS) that consisted of two separate technicians – one male and one female – both blinded to the source of the photographs. They were asked to assess the degree of cellulite in the photos of all test subjects and rate the degree of cellulite on a five-point analog scale in order to objectively measure changes in the appearance of cellulite. Both blinded testers noted a visual improvement in the appearance of cellulite (measurable results are shown below in Table 2).
Here are the before and after images of three subjects from the study.
Click here to view the full gallery.
Table 1. Objective Cellulite Appearance (Black Cellulite Severity Scale)
The scoring was as follows:
0 – no cellulite
1 – minimal dimpling or appearance of cellulite
2 – slight dimpling or appearance of cellulite
3 – moderate dimpling or appearance of cellulite
4 – significant dimpling or appearance of cellulite
5 – severe dimpling or appearance of cellulite.*
* = significantly higher than BL (p < 0.001). Data expressed as mean ± SEM.
These research results show that the FasciaBlaster devices and protocols are safe and effective for healthy individuals at reducing cellulite, and may provide potential for other exciting health benefits. This study is currently in the peer-review process with an international organization, and Ashley Black will be presenting the research findings in September 2018 at the National Strength Coaches Association International Conference in Madrid, Spain. The research was already published in May 2018 at the International Conference on Aesthetic Medicine and Cosmetology in Singapore and at the 7th International Cosmetology, Trichology, and Aesthetic Practices Conference in Osaka, Japan.
If you are a student, researcher, University representative, or other practitioner that is interested in conducting research with the FasciaBlaster devices, please email Research@AshleyBlackGuru.com. We are happy to provide the devices, the protocols and coaching on best practices so that the research will be as accurate as possible and we can continue to advance the science of Fasciology™.
For More Information on the Findings from our Research Please See: