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Scar Tissue Release: Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Do you have a scar? What comes to mind when you connect with having a scar? Perhaps it’s a physical scar from a surgical procedure or injury, or an emotional scar from an event or interaction in your life?

We may think of a scar being alike to something that is two dimensional; something that just sits on the surface of our skin or life, but this is far from the reality. John Barnes states “ A scar is the tip of a fascial iceberg”. The visible aspect of a scar is the site of an incision, but it is what lies beneath that ‘speaks’ volumes. It is the out of sight aspect that is where the most significant impact of a scar occurs. As the site heals, (here we are specifically referring to the fourth phase of wound healing), collagen fibers and the ground substance or cellular matrix gradually rearrange and become thicker. These adhesions impose restriction of movement because the fibers are unable to glide over one another. Such restrictions greatly influence the biomechanics of the body, namely the movement of organs and structures of the body. These adhesions positioned below the surface torque, compress, and tug on structures around the site of an incision and in turn create impact and change on the body’s internal landscape.

It has been found “Surgery in the lower abdomen and pelvis, including bowel and gynaecological operations, carries an even greater chance of abdominal adhesions. Abdominal adhesions can become larger and tighter as time passes, sometimes causing problems years after surgery.” www.niddk.nih.go As a myofascial therapist, when I see a client for the first time I ask if they have had any surgical procedures or have any scars. Myofascial Release therapists will often see pain and dysfunction correlated to surgery or injury scars. Problems with scars can have a pulling effect on surrounding joints and tissue. This can reflect physically in a loss of flexibility, pain, tingling, numbness, hypersensitivity, an issue with postural alignment, feeling of coldness or a burning sensation. Problems may also appear further ‘up and/or down stream’, away from the scar itself. For example abdominal scars can create ankle and knee pain, or neck or jaw issues. Back surgery can create pelvic problems.

Scar tissue release uses gentle techniques to facilitate change in the connective tissue both superficially on the surface of the skin and also deep within the body, to reduce pain and restore function and movement. After a scar tissue release treatment surgical scars may appear smoother, less puckered and have a more integrated look, however the emphasis is on the underlying tissue changes within the fascial system.

For some people scars hold memories of something that they have overcome, or they might be a physical reminder of a trauma or accident or injury that we have come to or would rather forget. I am humbled to have learnt hands-on skills that enable me to provide assistance in the physical recovery of scars as well as emotional healing that goes hand-in-hand. Join me for my next article on the impact of emotional scars on the body where we will be looking at the work of MFR and emotional healing and the work of Pete Levine.

If you would like to arrange a chat about how MFR scar tissue release could help you, please get in touch:

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