Types of Cellulite – How to Identify Types of Fascial Recoil
by Ashley Black
If you’re reading this blog, hopefully that means you already know a bit about me, the FasciaBlaster®, and that fascial recoil causes the look of “cellulite”. If you’d like to learn more about fascia, how it interplays with each system of our body, and its overall importance to your health, fitness, and beauty goals, check out the “What is Fascia” page.
To sum it up, fascia is the connective tissue that runs all throughout the body connecting and penetrating organs, muscles, blood supply, nerves, and fat.
When fascia is unhealthy it can harden and adhere to itself as well as to the bones, muscles, fat, and skin. Unhealthy fascia that is not smooth, malleable, and hydrated can recoil and affect virtually every system of the body, including the appearance of your skin.
Believe it or not, the look of cellulite is just another symptom of unhealthy fascia! Fascia runs in lines and layers throughout the body, and if you have restriction or recoil in any of those layers it can pull down on the skin and present as a divot or dimple. It’s important to restore each layer in order to have healthy fascia and fix any imbalances.
This blog will explain HOW fascial recoil can cause the appearance of cellulite, identify four ways fascial recoil can display itself, explain how to repair each one, and what steps to follow to maintain your results.
Now that we’ve opened the floor, I want you to look at yourself and examine the appearance of your fascial adhesions. Do you have light dimpling? Do you have what looks like a huge dent or crease? Do your legs look mostly smooth, but feel squishy? Or are you mostly “cellulite-free”, but have poor muscle definition and feel tight and achy all the time?
I’ve gone as far as to name the “four types of cellulite” for easy reference! If you have one or more of these “types” in different areas of your body, that’s completely normal – and this blog will guide you through how to identify, address and maintain healthy fascia.
Healthy Fascia = smooth, healthy skin
4 Types of Cellulite:
Hail Damage: surface level light dimples
Gummy: “squishy”, “flabby”, no muscle definition
Beyond Bound: tight, solid “chunks” that you can’t pinch
Car Wreck: deep dents and craters
1. Hail Damage Cellulite
How to Identify Hail Damage Cellulite
“Hail Damage” is probably the most common presentation of “cellulite”, but it’s also the fastest and easiest to correct. Hail damage cellulite happens in the most peripheral layer of the structural fascia, about a quarter inch below the skin’s surface (read about the types of fascia here).
How to Address Hail Damage Cellulite
Before using the FasciaBlaster®, I always recommend a 10-15 minute cardio session! Heating the fascia internally will make the tissue more malleable and allow you to open and access it faster! Since these are surface adhesions, we’re just going to FasciaBlast lightly and stay at about a 2-3 on a pain scale of 1-10! This blog gives step-by-step instructions.
Note:If you are thin and have loose skin, it will exacerbate the look of Hail Damage. Working out and building muscle will “fill out” the skin and reduce the appearance of Hail Damage.
What to Expect
Be forewarned: if you have this type of cellulite, you’re going to bruise a lot at first, as the fascia is restored and each layer opens up. Don’t freak out, it typically doesn’t hurt as badly as it looks. Also, remember that the FasciaBlaster® is in your hands, so you can go at your own pace. Start light and brisk and work your way up to harder pressure ONLY as your body allows.
Most users see initial results in the first 30-60 days!
How to Identify Gummy Cellulite
Usually you won’t notice as many dimples when you’re ‘Gummy’, but believe me, the fascia is in serious need of attention! The tissue just feels mushy and without definition. Blood supply, muscle fibers, and nerve signals are being choked out by tight, mangled fascia. This essentially renders your muscles inaccessible as the nerve signal is choked out, prohibiting the muscle from firing. You might be nearing a phase 4 or 5 on the 7 Phases of Fascia “Freak Out” chart.
How to Address Gummy Cellulite
Always start FasciaBlasting light and brisk for the first 3-4 weeks; stay at a 2-3 on a pain scale of 1-10!
In order to work your way to healthy fascia and muscles, you need to release the fascia and condition the muscles. The secret is to activate and condition the inactive muscle – preferably within about 24 hours of FasciaBlasting. You can start with these isometric activation exercises, then progress into weightlifting to build muscle. Only progress into deeper FasciaBlaster treatments once you’ve conditioned the muscles and can feel them fire.
A trick for FasciaBlasting a gummy stomach is to brace the excess skin by pulling the skin taut to help you access the deeper layers more easily!
What to Expect
This process may take a bit longer, as you have to release the fascia that was suffocating the nerves and blood and activate the muscle. Hang in there, it will get better!
You might experience some soreness (like post-workout soreness) for a few days after FasciaBlasting as new muscle fibers are exposed that were trapped by fascial recoil.
An itchy or tingly feeling is common when your nerve signal, muscle activity, and blood flow are “waking up”.
Over time, you may experience more muscle access, better definition, tighter and smoother skin. A new you is on the horizon!
How to Identify Beyond Bound Cellulite
If you can’t pinch less than 1 inch of skin, or if you can’t pinch it at all, that is what I call “Beyond Bound”. You probably don’t have much visible “dimpling”, but your skin is in tight, solid chunks and you don’t have much muscle definition, regardless of how regularly you work out. You might have leg or muscle cramps, poor circulation, and limited muscle access, and you may frequently feel achy and tired. While your skin may look smooth on the surface, the damage is hiding underneath.
Over time, your fascia has tightened, torqued, overcompensated, and clamped down on your nerves, muscles, joints, blood supply, and other tissues! This is very common with athletes; you might be faithfully working out and dieting but are not able to get the results or definition you want. Beyond Bound means you’re heading towards a phase 7 on the Phases of Fascia “Freak Out” chart.
How to Address Beyond Bound Cellulite
Always use heat before and during FasciaBlasting, and start light and brisk for the first few weeks – or until the post-FasciaBlasting bruising and inflammation lessens. Start at a 2-3 on the pain scale and slowly add more pressure as you feel needed.
Focus on regular FasciaBlasting sessions, and be sure to FasciaBlast your full body to open the first layers of fascia and stimulate blood flow. You may not be able to fit in a full session all the time, but you can hit a few fascia zones per day!
After 4-6 weeks of consistent FasciaBlasting, you can progress into deeper treatment as the fascia opens up and becomes more malleable. Remember, this is a process of breaking up fascial adhesions layer by layer, so you’ll want to take a moderate, consistent approach to restoring your fascia.
When you start using the FasciaBlaster and breaking up those tightly bound areas, they will break up into smaller “chunks” that might temporarily give you a more textured or “dimpled” look. But keep going at your own pace – this is part of the restoration process! You may go through this process: 1 big chunk, then “gravely” smaller chunks, pebble size chunks, then smooth! Some of our more experienced blasters actually get excited when they start to see more dimples because they know they’re breaking through another layer and are closer to restoring their fascia!
Some people even feel some tingly or itchy sensations (“pins and needles”), which is the increased blood flow and muscle and nerve activity “waking up” after the FasciaBlaster loosens and restores the fascia. #BlessedItch
Beyond Bound fascia does take more time to improve, but remember, you didn’t get this way overnight and it will take some time to undo years of fascial recoil. While it may take longer to see results, most users report feeling less restriction, more range of motion and muscle access, better circulation, and a host of other immediate benefits within the first few sessions! The real results will usually take at least 3-4 months to achieve depending on the extent of the fascial recoil.
Car Wreck Cellulite
How to Identify Car Wreck Cellulite
Car Wreck can be a mixture of all 3: you might have some Beyond Bound areas in the deeper layers and some light dimpling at the surface with a few deep dents or crevices. The fascial adhesions are pulling the skin down like tufted furniture into deep divots.
How to Address Car Wreck Cellulite
To break up these deeper adhesions, you’ll want to start by releasing and restoring each layer of fascia individually. As with “Hail Damage” cellulite, you want to start off light and brisk, using the FasciaBlaster for 1-3 minutes per fascia zone at a 2-3 on the pain scale. After a few weeks of consistent use, you can begin to use more pressure and go for longer sessions (up to 10 minutes per fascia zone) to release the restrictions formed in the deeper layers. Another GREAT tool for digging out dents and breaking up chunky areas is the Nugget!
What to Expect
Some swelling and inflammation is normal for the first 24-72 hours followed by more obvious bruising. You may go through a phase where the appearance of cellulite becomes more pronounced as the deep dents and surrounding areas are being “freed.” This is a temporary stage in the restorative process and is an indicator that you’re releasing the deeper fascial adhesions.
While you may not see results immediately, you’ll soon start to feel some of the amazing benefits after your first few sessions! The initial results can be visible in the first 30-90 days of consistent FasciaBlasting.
* Please note – you may have 1 or more of these “types of cellulite” in various fascia zones.
You may have different “types” of fascial distortions in various layers of fascia – i.e. you may have a Beyond Bound saddle bag area with Car Wreck on the back of your thighs and Hail Damage on the front. Or you may be “Gummy” in the deeper layers (muscles are dormant) with Beyond Bound fascia on top. I don’t want you to feel intimidated with all this information.
Everyone is different and has different schedules and lifestyles, and there’s no particular “how-to” rule for FasciaBlasting that stands for everyone, but here are a few suggestions and tips for how to get the most out of using the FasciaBlaster®:
• Even though full body FasciaBlasting is so important, you don’t have to do a full body session every day! Give your body time to heal by blasting just 2-3 zones per day and rotate daily to avoid blasting over bruised or sore areas!
• Start out FasciaBlasting for just 1-3 minutes per zone for the first few weeks, then you can work up to 3-5 minutes per zone if your body can tolerate it, then a few weeks later you can work up to spending up to 10 minutes on your problem areas and zones. You can use this disarming technique for sensitive or painful areas. Always go at your own pace and ease into treatment, and remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.
• It’s hard not to get overexcited as we’re zealously working on improving our bodies, but just as you wouldn’t walk into the gym and try to lift the heaviest weights, I don’t want you to apply too much pressure, especially at the beginning! Start out lightly and work your way up to more pressure!
• You’d be surprised how much of a game changer adding a pre-heating session to your routine is! Heat helps put the fascia in a jelly-like state and makes it more malleable. Use a sauna suit, heating pads, a space heater, or FasciaBlast after a cardio session, then get in a sauna, hot tub, bath or shower – WHATEVER you can do to get hot and sweaty! Even a few minutes of heating is fine if you’re in a hurry. You’ll be amazed at the difference in your results!
• We want the FasciaBlaster® to glide smoothly over the skin, so apply plenty of oil! You can use the oil of your choice, but I personally prefer my Blaster Oil, as it was specifically designed to enhance the effects of the FasciaBlaster® and has thermogenic qualities.
Now that I’ve walked you through each type of “cellulite” (aka fascial distortion) and how to address each one, I want to give you a brief summary of some of the other factors that affect your fascia, and therefore your cellulite. While it’s vital to restore your fascia, what’s almost as important is making sure it doesn’t get jacked up again!
Posture and Biomechanics: Proper biomechanics (the way you move your body) is the first key to keeping your fascia healthy. If your body is riddled with fascial restrictions, adhesions, and distortions, it can result in poor posture and alignment which will negatively affect your fascia.
Dehydration: There’s a fluid in the fascia that flows around the cells, delivering nutrients and washing over the cells, removing waste and toxins. When you’re sufficiently hydrated and this fluid flows freely and abundantly, your body can function correctly. Proper hydration keeps the fascia functioning properly and is crucial to help you move and operate without pain.
Blood Flow: The FasciaBlaster can help the blood to circulate through the body more effectively by loosening up tight fascia that doesn’t allow for proper circulation. Blood carries important nutrients like collagen and elastin – which is the secret to tight, beautiful skin – so we’re improving the skin from the outside in, and the inside out!! Also, physical activity is a great way to get your blood flowing and heart pumping, so get moving!
Nutrition, stress, and sleep also affect the quality of the fascia and the body’s ability to condition and function. One of my favorite radio shows was with my friend Dr. Rakowski who is amazing at explaining these concepts! Listen to the show to learn what you can do NOW to impact your health and your fascia.
If you want to restore your fascia to its optimal state and keep it that way, I suggest drinking lots of water, focusing on proper posture and correcting any imbalances in the body, staying active to increase your overall wellness and keep your muscles conditioned, and using your FasciaBlaster to keep the fascia in tip-top shape!
This 6-week customizable program details these concepts and gives you the steps to follow to incoporate fasica-friendly habits in your daily life!
If you’ve found all this information helpful, but you’re still dying for more, don’t worry; it doesn’t end here! I wrote a #1 National bestselling book called “The Cellulite Myth: it’s not fat, it’s FASCIA,” and there is so much amazing information packed in there that I know you’ll love! You’ll learn more about fascia, how it affects our everyday life, and of course, more about cellulite and the real cause!