HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- For years, women have tried everything to get rid of cellulite. From strict diets to extreme exercise routines, everybody claims to have their own cellulite treatment routine. But could a simple tool be all we really need to improve the appearance of our thighs?
Enter the FasciaBlaster. Designed by health and wellness guru Ashley Black, the simple tool is essentially a plastic stick with claws originally designed to assist massage therapists and chiropractors as they fight pain and tightness caused by distorted fascia, connective tissue found in the body.
Fascia is our body's connective tissue that helps support our muscles and organs, and when it's distorted, Black says it can cause pain and tightness. She invented the Fascia Blaster to help with those issues.
But then she heard from an athlete's wife.
"She sent me a text message and said that stick you gave my husband got rid of the cellulite underneath my butt, and I knew it was one of those magical moments," recalled Black.
Black got to work having women test the product for cellulite by rubbing it up and down on their bodies. Then, women started posting their before and afters on Facebook.
Christine Prohl, of Therapy Works Professional Massage in The Woodlands, found out about the FasciaBlaster on Facebook.
"When I saw that Ashley was calling herself a Fasciologist, I said, 'That's a made up word. What is that?' Because I've been studying fascia for a really long time," she said.
She bought the blaster shortly after the product hit the market in 2015, and after seeing her own results, she introduced it to her clients not only for pain but also the cosmetic results.
Ruby Aguilar is one of those clients. She has been diagnosed with lupus and experienced pain relief and cosmetic improvements.
"My skin is tightening up," she said.
Connie LaRue also started using it to help with her back injury and also saw the appearance of her legs improve.
"I did notice improvement in cellulite and skin tone," said LaRue.
Plenty of users do report bruising -- much like after a deep tissue massage.
Black said there are also some who shouldn't use it, such as pregnant women and those with a history of blood clots or people with varicose veins.
What about for medical use?
"I think it will be a good tool to manage pain, but you're going to need other tools to abolish pain," said Donnita Burrell. She is a physical therapist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine and Rehab - Greater Heights.
Almost by accident, the FasciaBlaster took on a new life as a popular cellulite treatment, and the photos in the video above show the success stories from Black's test group.
As for cellulite, Burrell said, "I think the ability to change the texture to minimize the look of cellulite is possible but to get rid of it with this tool or even a foam roller is not likely."
"Photographic and ultrasound imaging doesn't lie. We knew it did something, but now we have the proof," Black added.
There are plenty of social media groups that both praise and question the results of the FasciaBlaster. In any case, always consult a doctor before trying a new device.