Do you have a scar, or multiple scars? If so, or you know someone with scars, this blog post is for you.
Scars, whether from surgery or other trauma, can wreak havoc on nearby tissues, create stiffness, limit range of motion, inhibit function, and make some people self-conscious if the scar is easily visible.
I recently spent four days in advanced training for working with scars and scar tissue. This includes scars caused from:
- ankle and foot surgery
- knee and hip replacements
- laparoscopic and other abdominal surgery
- arthroscopic surgery
- dog and cat bites or scratches
- knife cuts
- and more.
There seems to be a common belief that scar tissue has be broken up in a really aggressive way. I’m here to tell you that’s not true. In my four days of advanced training and practice since, I learned that extremely gentle, pain-free work with your scar can restore function, comfort and make your scar look and feel better. Treating scar tissue in this kind, gentle way actually yields much better results, and is much more comfortable to receive.
What is scar tissue?
Scar tissue forms as part of the healing process after trauma like surgery, a cut, or other injury that causes inflammation. It forms to heal the injury, but doesn’t always do so in an efficient, nice-looking or functional way. Scar tissue is thick, strong and fibrous. It will grow and adhere to just about anything it can, leading to stiffness and decreased range of motion. When scar tissue develops in the abdomen following abdominal or laparoscopic surgery, for example, it can adhere to internal organs and even strangle parts of the digestive tract over time. This can cause pain, and lead to other problems if not addressed.
Read more about how the scarring you don’t see often causes the most misery here.
When you see scars from the inside, it’s a very interesting scene. Check out this clip from Dr. Jean-Claude Guimberteau’s Skin, Scars and Stiffness to see what a scar looks like on the inside of a living person. This video will help you appreciate the complexity of scars and scar tissue.
Hope and Success for Better Healing
When cut by surgery or injury, the nerves and blood vessels within different layers of tissue get damaged and severed, often causing a loss of sensation (numbness), function and/or decreased circulation to the area. This gentle ScarWork, as my teacher calls it, can potentially restore function, range of motion, and even sensation.
Clients have been really impressed with the efficacy of this work. I recently worked with a client who had both knees replaced, with near 6″ scars on each knee. After working with one of the two replaced knees, my client’s “bad” knee, the one I addressed, felt better and had greater range of motion than the other. The scar on the treated knee was significantly straighter and smoother, and looked noticeably better than the other knee.
Another client recently came in for work with her C-section scar. She had both of her children via C-section years ago and has had problems ever since, including mild abdominal pain and difficultly standing up straight. With just one session of gentle ScarWork, she could stand up straighter, her “shelf” of tissue at the location of the scar was reduced, and she texted me later that day to say her hips felt totally different (in a good way). We even addressed the epidural injection site in her back, reducing the amount of compensating rotation in her spine (also a good thing).
If your scar is from a surgery, this work supports your surgeon and you, both, so that you get the benefits of any surgical procedure you’ve had, but without the potential negative side-effects of scar tissue afterwards. Your surgeon will be happy, and more importantly, so will you.
Injuries, traumas, surgeries and scars all contribute to dysfunctional movement and alignment patterns; both of which lead to pain over time. ScarWork combined with and into Structural Integration bodywork sessions gives you the most effective solutions for resolving compensation patterns, alleviating chronic pain and restoring balance to your body and life.
Healing Old Wounds
For some people, scars come with an emotionally painful story behind them. There can be unresolved anger, hurt, embarrassment or other emotions with scars. By addressing scars and scar tissue in a gentle way that helps you feel better and makes the scars potentially less visible or even disappear, this work can help you release any negative emotions associated with your scar and restore a sense of wholeness.
If you’re ready to move forward with your healing process, even if it’s been decades since you got your scar, then I’d love to work with you. Contact me to schedule your session.
Jennifer Soames, BCSI, Certified Yoga Instructor, nutraMetrix Nutritional Consultant, LMT