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Is Your Microbiome Cycle Affecting Your Weight?
Fungi, Hormones, and Fascia… OH MY!

MY Personal Journey From Hell and Back

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The short answer is YES! Your microbiome and connective tissue, FASCIA, have everything to do with your weight. And let me just say before we even get started that this is Pandora’s box of new science, and I have much to say on the microbiome and fascia, but for this blog, I want to focus on:

1. The microbiome and how it can signal for us to become fat

2. The missing link in the absorption process - the FASCIA

Why am I so personally passionate about the MicroBiome and Fascia?

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Because I had a severely damaged microbiome and digestive tract, that made me very sick. I am sharing my story because it is my duty to educate my users! I’ve had over a 20-year career in health, fitness, and fascia care, but nothing prepared me for my microbiome to make me gain weight and make me severely unhealthy with nowhere to turn. I had already had several years of using the FasciaBlaster, and I was in the best shape of my life AFTER three children and in my early 40s. In the pic on the left, I was 43.

Then, in my mid-forties, all hell broke loose. Having extensive knowledge of diet and exercise was not enough to reverse the damage to my microbiome. I had spent my entire life enjoying beating childhood arthritis and manipulating my body in any way I wanted. I was always fascinated with fitness. The picture on the right is a newspaper article featuring me teaching aerobics in college. (cute outfit, eh? lol)

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NFL-Player

Here I am at age 42, right after FasciaBlaster entered the market, with an NFL player that I helped with HIS body. Health, fitness, and longevity have been a lifelong obsession of mine.

But, after seeing my “before pics” for 2018 for the New Year New You challenge (see below) and feeling sluggish when I am normally the energizer bunny, I knew something was wrong. Not only was I gaining weight at the rate of about a pound a month, but I was swollen, exhausted, and looked sick. You can imagine how difficult it was to be a public figure and not have ANY control over my body. It all started in 2016 with some swelling triggered by an insanely high-stress situation. I noticed my abs weren’t flat. I noticed I was losing definition. I noticed I needed a nap every day… a storm was brewing.

After trying my tried and true diet and exercise programs and even working with a high-level nutritionist, nothing was happening. No changes in my body. After a lot of frustration, I sought medical help. Later, in 2018, I met an amazing doctor in San Jose, Costa Rica, who tested me for bacterial overgrowth, as seen in the blow test. The test results were shocking, but I am so happy that I began learning about the microbiome firsthand because I know this must happen to many of my users! I am grateful for this step on the bumpy road that led me here to write this blog. This was my first exposure to the knowledge of the microbiome.

Ashley
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Believe it or not, in the before pics - January 2018, I was eating clean and working out for an hour or more 5x a week. My microbiome was completely out of whack; I was not absorbing nutrients, and my hormones were signaling to the rest of my systems. Highly frustrating for someone who has always been an expert in weight, fitness, and fascia.

Ashley-Before

The after pics were from June 2020. I did gut repair supplements, ate a diet that aimed to balance my microbiome and FasciaBlasted for an hour 3-4x a week full body.

Ashley-After

But that’s not where the story ends. This result was temporary.

Ashley-Bloated

I was only halfway there, and I was training so hard and FORCING my way to this look. The strict diet and the amount of exercise I was doing wasn’t sustainable. The hormones and supplements had temporarily stabilized me, but I didn’t want to take a toolbox of supplements and inject hormones forever, so I stopped….

This picture was taken in 2021, I sent this to my doctor after a flare-up. I remember crying that day and just breaking down in frustration. For the third time in my life, I was seriously ill and out of answers.

I am miserable and have fewer solutions. I began the second quest for answers. I tried the $10,000 microbiome program. The supplements triggered inflammation that made me look pregnant, and I could barely breathe. I went and had $15,000 of stem cells. I even took a spiritual approach, doing a ceremony to search for answers. I used H3  in a reverse enema of sorts. I did bio-resonance testing for parasites and other issues. I could eat one piece of lettuce, drink a glass of water, and swell to the point of absolute misery. I did a candida diet for 12 weeks, I did Keto for 12 weeks, and I gave up and ate whatever I wanted; nothing made a difference. My systems were shutting down one by one while everyone was telling me, “You’re just hard on yourself, you’re in menopause, your metabolism is slowing, blah blah blah.”

The reality is that my microbiome and my intestinal lining were so damaged that I had lost my ability to absorb food… And I had trapped toxins seeping through a leaky gut.

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Keep in mind that all my blood markers and hormones were “normal,” and much to the surprise of the genetic testers, I didn’t have any zombie cells; in fact, at age 49, my biological age was 37. I think my cell health and “youthfulness” are due to having healthy fascia, which I discuss in my Longevity blog. But how could I have been so “healthy” and “young” yet so unhealthy, fat, and feel like I was dying? And how was I going to find a break?

The break came in 2022 when my “protocol” for parasites called for enemas and colonics. To me, this was just gross, but I was desperate. I live in the jungles of Costa Rica, so I had no idea where I would find a place to do colonics. What I did find was divine intervention. A few minutes from my house is a place called Hacienda Del Sol, or House of the Sun. They specialize in detox: detox from sugar or alcohol, detox from stress, detox of your liver, detox of your intestines, detox of your freaking LIFE… and the cumulative damage a modern lifestyle causes.

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They only provide colemas (a massive 5-gallon jug of liquid for an enema in a little cabin) for their guests doing the juice fast and liver cleanse. So I signed up. This was the breakthrough I needed. I had biofilms laced with parasites and toxins lining my intestines. How did I know this? They came out in the colemas. This is not some pseudoscience; this is something you deeply experience and witness firsthand in a tangible way. I also lost 10 pounds in 7 days, when the needle on weight had been going up- up- up until this breakthrough. The day after the liver cleanse, I woke up for the first time I can ever remember “not stiff.” It was the genesis of my deep recovery. I have since done 5 cleanses and just completed one with a group of FasciaBlaster Sisters as part of once-a-year maintenance. Two of the cleanses were 14 days- and yes- biofilms were still coming out. I also want to mention that you cannot do colemas while eating solid food; to strip the plaque, you must be food fasting. I had a childhood filled with arthritis drugs, all banned now for the damage to the digestive system, and powerful antibiotics as part of my NDE in my early 30s, so I had more damage than most people. It’s a slow process to recover truly.

Ashley Black Guru

It’s June 2024, and I feel amazing, youthful, and energetic; I am on the road to optimal health, and I will share my whole routine later in the blog. But, I am so passionate about their work at Hacienda Del Sol that I personally host 2 cleanses a year there and incorporate all types of healing modalities, including FasciaBlasting. To learn more or enroll, click here. Let me just say this right now: I do not take one penny of compensation for hosting these retreats. This is my gift to help my followers learn and experience things that have helped me, blended with the science of FasciaBlasting and other health strategies.

So…. What is the MicroBiome

The microbiome is a community of microorganisms, including fungi and bacteria, that line the skin and every organ system connected to the outside world. This includes the digestive tract, the respiratory tract, and the urogenital tract. Most people are simply referring to all this GUT HEALTH. A 100-pound person carries about 3 pounds of the microbiome at any given time, yikes. The microbiome is now called the SUPER ORGANISM, as is the fascia, and we are starting to understand its importance. I say this so dramatically because the microbiome is soooooo important for overall health and weight management. You could be doing everything right, but if the microbiome and the fascia are wrong… you’re basically screwed! Sadly, I know from personal experience. And eating “clean” and taking probiotics doesn’t work for everyone. The microbiome is a VERY complex ecosystem, and balancing it is impossible if your intestines are laced with biofilms, as I described before, again from personal experience.

Microbiome-GIF

OK, how does the microbiome derail us, even if we eat well and exercise? We wrongfully believe that stomach acid breaks down food when we eat. Then it sends it to the intestines to use digestive enzymes to break It down further. Then, the nutrients are sent to the blood to deliver the nutrients to the cells, right? WRONG. .

The microbiome does many other things, but a big part of its role as gut bacteria is performing the final digestion stage. This final stage in the digestive process is what breaks down our food into the tiniest bits, to be distributed through the intestine walls into the fascia, where it is absorbed (hopefully) and sifted into nutrition for the cells and waste for our detoxing systems! So, if any part of this digestive system is disrupted, it can affect our health and our weight in a big way.

So, How Does the Microbiome Contribute To Weight Gain?

In the last digestion phase, the microbiome cells' health exchanges information with the rest of our cells through the fascia. The information the gut secretes sends signals that can influence our genetics, affect our mood, and compromise our immune system. But regarding weight, the microbiome can MAKE and signal hormones that can affect our entire physiology, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, And wait for it….  CORTISOL 😱

Cortisol

The microbiome is also a sneaky little 3-pound organism that can secrete 2 hormones that affect our appetite.

1. Leptin - which tells us we’ve had enough food

2. Ghrelin - which says we need more food.

If the microbiome is out of balance, the Leptin and Gherlin signals can get crossed, which is not good for our appetite. 

So you feel starving and full at the same time. I would barely eat, swell, feel full, not eat enough, not process correctly, and feel awful. I was stuck in a cycle of malnutrition, weight gain, and stress hormones.

What do I do NOW?

Ashley Black Guru

To say the microbiome is important is an understatement. How our microbiome gets out of whack and how to fix it is another blog for another day. But for the purpose of this blog, just take away that my personal solution was a long road to healing, which I am still on and get better everyday. I’m not “shredded” like I used to be, but this weight and the way I feel is perfect for me at age 52. Now that my body is actually working- it will be fun to see where it ends up. I will keep y’all posted. Here are some things I did and do, and you can do them too with my free program, The Great Reset.

  1. The 5 fasting cleanses at Hacienda Del Sol were paramount. I know people think they are doing good when they get colonics, but the reality is, to strip biofilms, you have to not eat food so the colema can get to the level of the biofilm. If I knew another way to accomplish this, I would recommend it, but I don’t. Sign up for the FasciaBlaster retreat and cleanse combo here.

  2. I now eat for my digestive health. With as little toxins in as possible. I eat whole foods from farms or grow my own, and I don't pair carbs and proteins. I eat my fruits separately. You will learn everything I do in a book that I highly recommend called Never Be Sick Again. I do my best to keep the rest of what I “digest” clean. This means I have all-natural cleaning products, organic toothpaste, and Kagan water; I learned a lot about this portion of “toxins in” from the book Never Be Sick again. These are easy changes to make.

    Book
  3. I have natural movement and an hour of light exercise throughout the day. I move after meals for at least 30 minutes. This can be browsing around in the garden, a slow stroll, stretching a little in the hot tub, cleaning up, or dancing around. I used to work like a mad woman and train in the gym like an animal, but now it’s all about movement. My “exercise” portion is a gentle swim most days and surfing when the waves are good. Wearing my Apple watch, which I programmed for movement, exercise, and mindfulness, has been helpful.

    Watch
  4. I sauna for at least 45 minutes several times a week and wash right after with all-natural soap. A slow detoxifying sweat has made an incredible difference. I also FasciaBlast in the sauna. I usually pick one or two areas and do it for 10 minutes or so. I also stretch while the fascia is warm and receptive.

  5. I bounce. On a little trampoline. 5-10 minutes a day. This pumps the lymphatic system, and the fascia loves it.

  6. I manage stress. This is a whole nother blog also, but in short, I meditate and listen to guided visualizations by people like Joe Dispenza, take my yacht out, I cold plunge multiple times a day, I am in nature, I am with animals. I don’t watch violent films; I don’t do social media for personal reasons, I don’t do news, etc. Stress hormones will kill you slowly, so this is a big big area of my life, making sure that in a highly stressful “job,” I don’t get caught up in the bullshit. Reducing stress is a very personal thing… I wish you luck with your journey to peace.

    Ashley-Spa
  7. I get professional FasciaBlasted twice a week. I focus on areas of tightness and get a light full-body fascia system. Cindy, my Fasciologist, goes very deep. I believe that having healthy fascia kept me from totally shutting down during this medical debacle, and it is a daily part of my life. And it should be a daily part of yours! Not for beautiful skin- for cellular health.*

What’s Fascia Got To Do With It?

Microbiome-GIF

Everything! Our microbiome and our fascia basically determine what nutrition our cells get or don’t get and what toxins actually get eliminated. This is basically what determines what makes us healthy AND fuel our metabolism. Let me explain. If you don’t grasp fascia, now is a good time to divert and read What is Fascia Parts 1, 2, and 3. If you don’t have time right now, just understand that the age-old belief that blood delivers nutrients to the cells is - ummm not true. The blood delivers the nutrients to the FASCIA, which acts like a giant sponge, drinks the nutrition, and delivers it to the cells. If the fascia is whack, your “sponge” will dry out, and at a micro level, cells will starve.2

Once food enters the intestines and, ultimately, the microbiome, it’s time for the blood to take the “nutrition” to the rest of the body. Blood is made of red and white cells that we are pretty familiar with. The blood distributes hormones, oxygen, and proteins and moves around waste. Is the blood the carrier of all good things? Or are there other substances that help build cells for active metabolisms, vitality, and weight management? Ah, enter the part of blood you may not be familiar with, where blood cells are dissolved, the PLASMA!

Blood-Plasma-GIF

Plasma has been in the news lately for its richness in growth hormones and other “fountain of youth” qualities like ions, water, proteins, etc. Athletes are injecting it into their injured areas, people are donating it for good money, and the vampire facial, which pokes holes in the face and pours platelet-rich plasma over it, has become popular with celebrities. But if plasma is so great, why don’t we just focus on absorbing it and getting it into all our cells?

So, if all this good stuff is contained in the vessels, how does it reach the cells? Part one is the microbiome that allows the plasma to absorb the building blocks it contains from the food we digest (properly) into the vessels. As the pressure on the vessels builds (aka blood pressure), plasma leaks out through little spaces in the vessels called the endothelio spaces. What about the red and white blood cells? So, they get to the body’s cells? Nope. They’re too big, so the only thing that escapes the vessels into the capillaries and OUT- is the plasma.

Blood

This is where fascia HAS to enter the conversation. If capillaries leak plasma, where do they leak? They leak into the connective tissue, FASCIA. 2 The fascia absorbs the blood plasma and distributes it directly to trillions of our cells, giving them CELL VITALITY. Healthy cells mean healthy you and healthy cells are supported by healthy fascia. Drop the mic 🎤

But why does this affect our weight? Because, cells need nutrition to become fat-burning powerhouses. So, what happens if the fascia is not healthy? What if it’s dehydrated? Tangled? Tight?. The plasma AND the toxins get stopped in their tracks and NOT delivered to the cells!

What the Heck Can We Do About Our Fascia?

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The good news is that restoring your fascia or preventing your fascia from becoming “crappy” is easy and scientifically proven1.  In a 33-subject peer-reviewed and published medical study, subjects were asked to use the FasciaBlaster tools and scrub their bodies like they would with a loofah. This Ultrasound shows the fascia before and after 90 days of FasciaBlasting.* Undoubtedly, the fascia is smoother, more hydrated, and better organized. And it’s a good thing because our cells want their plasma!  You can read all about FasciaBlasting in my book “The FasciaBlaster Myth- Everything you need to Know about FasciaBlasting”. Simple enough. Brush your teeth, brush your hair, and now… brush your fascia! Regularly.

Fascia-GIF

I recommend a kit of FasciaBlasters, which has all the tips you need for all layers of fascia. You can shop the collections here.  

In Conclusion,

Gut and fascia health are not the ONLY factors in controlling weight or being healthy, but they are the least talked about. Until NOW! Making improvements to your microbiome and fascia will change your life- and help you manage weight. Knowledge is power. And you can use this knowledge to choose health.

So, if you feel like you’re already “doing things right” or just want to up your game, jumping on the microbiome and fascia train certainly makes sense. Both are small differences you can make that might make a huge impact.  Remember what the Buddha says: “A bucket fills one drop at a time.”

Buddha

Ashley Black, Inventor Of The Fasciablaster

Ashley Black - About Author

Ashley Black is a decorated inventor, thought leader, and entrepreneur. She is best known for her work in the field of Fasciology. Fasciology is the study of the system of the body called fascia. Fascia is publicly known as the connective tissue, or web, that holds our body together, but fascia is also the viscous system that surrounds and feeds every cell in our bodies. Her work is directly related to the regeneration of this system of the body and the astounding effects this process can have on beauty, sports performance, and medical conditions.

She is best known for inventing instrument-assisted fascia techniques and tools, commercially known as FasciaBlasters. The tools entered the marketplace in 2014 and have become a household product. Black was the first person to write a #1 National Best Selling book about fascia, and she was the first person to do a TED Talk on fascia. By 2017-2018, her innovations and perseverance were rewarded with the American Business Association Stevie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year. IAOPT also awarded her with the Inventor of the Year. She also hit Inc's Fastest Growing Companies in America for the first time. This era was wrapped up with Ashley's self-reported highest accomplishment to date: the peer-reviewed Medical Publication of Research proving that FasciaBlasters can regenerate fascia tissue.

Since then, Ashley has received several awards, beginning with a second #1 National Best Selling Book about the struggles of females in business and authenticity in branding. She also received two global Stevie Awards from the International Business Association: Woman of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement Award for Consumer Goods.

In 2022, Ashley founded The Fascia Advancement Academy and the Fascia Advancement Charity to teach bodyworkers Fasciology. She has hit Inc's Fastest Growing Companies list for a second time, with over $150MM in revenue, profitable and growing. She boasts over 9 million social media followers and over 1 trillion unique media impressions for her work. She plans to expand into the beauty, sports, and medical professional markets and create a billion-dollar business in the next two years.

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