Writers are not experts on all things, so before I sat down to type this tale about Hawaii’s Anthony Chrisco, I googled “fascia” to get a refresher on what that particular human body organ actually is.
Here’s what I found: “Fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin.”
So, yes, as Chrisco — a founding member of the Fascia Research Society — will certainly tell you at one of his classes, the fascia is IMPORTANT.
Those classes promise attendees the relief of pain pretty much anywhere in the body by implementing Chrisco’s self-myofascial release method. He teaches students to use a specific type of body roller that he invented known as the Fascianator.
Anthony Chrisco. (Image credit: Think Tech Hawaii).
In 2017, Chrisco went to Germany to be part of the first Fascial Net Plastination Project.
“We were tasked with dissecting only the fascial structures out of a cadaver, where they can try to be preserved and highlighted at the next Fascia Research Congress,” Chrisco said on a video you can watch on his website, TheFascianator.com. “The whole idea is about education for the masses to understand about this largest organ of the body.”
In that same video, another fascia expert, Dr. Robert Schleip, talked about what he sees as a big hole in the medical profession when it comes to treating the fascia as a way to relieve pain.
“The fascia has been largely ignored, and now we want to focus on it, and that can serve as an educational tool to teach medical doctors, to teach Pilates instructors, to teach many other professions that they should not only look for a local solution, but for a connected networking (solution).”
But the fascia has not been completely ignored. According to Chrisco, yoga, Pilates and acupuncture are methods that take the fascia into account.
“Fascia and yoga, they go hand in hand,” he said. “Pilates … Jospeh Pilates is one of the first fascia guys. Acupuncture is a 4,000-year-old practice. They put the needle where the fascial sheathes intersect, and they twist the needle and that fascia wraps around the needle, causing it to stretch and it glides underneath the muscle. What you can say is Eastern medicine has been right for thousands of years.”
And while, as a writer, I’d love to get super technical on what Chrisco specifically does with his Fascianator roller, I won’t. It’s the results that matter anyway, right? And you can find out for yourself by taking his class.
When Bedrock Sports Hawaii asked Chrisco for his own description of what he instructs, he said, “What I do is help people understand why they are hurting and how to eliminate their pain. I change lives for the better by teaching people how they can learn how the fascia affects their lives and how, when properly cared for, fascial self-care can be the answer to their prayers of living a life free of pain.”
Also, in a nutshell, according to his website, the Fascianator roller improves circulation, restores tensional balance and strengthens the body’s natural healing.
And Chrisco is constantly getting feedback about the success stories he’s had in helping relieve pain.
One of those people he has helped is my wife Vince Abramo, who has been to his Fascianator classes. Recently, after she had hip surgery and was in a ton of pain, Chrisco took time out of his day to come over to our house to show her some Fascia-nating things and they helped.
Here’s another example of how he has helped others:
“A perfect example on the joy of doing what I do … ” he said. “Just today, as a matter of fact, I was in the Safeway parking lot in Manoa when a gentleman started waving at me and got out of his car. His name is Gil and he used to take my class at the Honolulu Club before it was closed forever due to the pandemic. Gil said, ‘Anthony, I just had to let you know how your Fascianator roller saved my life during this pandemic. After the club closed, I realized I had no outlet to take care of my body. I use your Fascianator every day. Sometimes for five minutes, sometimes for 50 minutes. The results for me are that it allows me to continue doing the things I love without pain.’ ”
For more information or to find out how to join one of Chrisco’s classes, go to TheFascianator.com.
Below are two videos from Chrisco’s TheFascianator.com website.