Scar Tissue Work

Scar Tissue Work is a profoundly healing modality, gentle techniques facilitate change in the connective tissue, reducing pain and restoring function.

The Scar Work techniques are effective for adhesions and scar tissue caused surgical procedures, as well as for adhesions caused by inflammatory conditions including Endometriosis, Crones disease, colitis, IBS, as well as for scar tissue from radiation therapy.

“Of patients who undergo abdominal surgery, 93 percent develop abdominal adhesions.” Ward BC, Panitch A. Abdominal adhesions: current and novel therapies. Journal of Surgical Research.

“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

These fascial techniques are also applicable for women with abdominal adhesions which may be reducing their chance of conception.

“Studies from the US  show around 40% of all cases of female infertility are caused by; hormonal disorders …. metabolic and autoimmune disorders and other medical conditions. But just as many (around 40%) have mechanical causes for their infertility; …….. scar tissue in the abdomen and uterus etc. These women often have a very good and healthy egg supply, but experience complications when trying to conceive.” Anne Marie Jensen. Physiotherapist specialising in infertility. Author Fertility and Physical Therapy.

As healing takes place due to disease, injury or surgical procedures; different tissue layers adhere to one another as the body rushes to heal the injury or wound. Scar tissue release helps free up these adhesions both superficially and deep within the body. Facilitating better function of tissues and organs as well as movement in the scar and surrounding tissues.

The aim of scar tissue release is to:

  • Reduce pain and restriction.
  • Create better internal function.
  • Enhance chances of fertility if adhesion are preventing it.
  • Restore nerve function including numbness, pain and sensitivity.
  • Enhance movement of the surrounding tissues, to reduce pulling and sticking.
  • Reverse uterine and vaginal prolapse as well sensations of prolapse.

After Scar Work 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.

The techniques used are light and gentle with the aim of improving function, condition and integration of scar tissue. As healing takes place after a surgical procedure, accident or inflammatory disease (endometriosis, Crones, colitis, IBS) different tissue layers adhere to one another as the body rushes to heal the wound; scar treatment helps to gently release these adhesions to facilitate better function and movement in the surrounding tissues.

Far reaching effects: A scar is formed on many layers, wherever the surgeon’s knife has been and wherever organs and tissues have been even temporarily displaced during surgery there may be adhesions and scar tissue (both in the superficial and deep layers of skin, tissues and organs). Scar tissue is mainly formed from the collagenous component fascia, these tough inelastic fibres are continuous in nature and can therefore pull on underlying structures. Collagenous fibres can also cause adjacent structures to adhere to each other, thus reducing function – remember our digestive system, urinary system, reproductive system as well as heart and lungs are all packed into a relatively compact space and the effects of what appears to be a superficial scar may reach deep into your body.

Multiple operations may also have an effect on your posture, as scar tissue forms in tightly packed collagen bundles, this may shorten you along the line of the scarring.

It’s never too late: Very old scars still respond well to scar work, new scars can be treated if they are fully healed, dry and infection free. All scars can be treated using these effective fascial tissue releases.

An illustration of abdominal hysterectomy, illustrating the disturbance of underlying tissues and structures.

Scar Tissue. Hysterectomy
Abdominal Surgery.

Double Cesarean section: All surgeries affect the tissues and surrounding organs.

After two C-sections, one emergency and one scheduled I was left with numbness and disassociation in the whole of my abdominal region, as well as the sensation that my pelvic organs were about to prolapse (this was above and beyond what could be done with pelvic floor exercises), I also experienced pain during sexual intercourse. The treatment, has made a huge difference, I no longer have the sensation of prolapse, sex is now painless, I now feel more upright and more confident. I am beginning to feel my abdomen as an integrated part of me. LM-J

Episiotomy: An episiotomy scar for example can have implications for the bladder and other internal organs, without actually touching the episiotomy scar itself huge improvement scan be made to the underlying structures, fibres of which may be adhered or pulled out of alignment during surgery or the healing process. You can also be trained to self-treat, bringing huge relief.

I had a large episiotomy scar, and after about 6 years this led to an almost constant feeling of pulling in my bladder as well as pain during and after urination. I felt unable to empty my bladder fully, leaving me with an uncomfortable sensation. The techniques applied were pain free and incredibly effecting, I also learned how to self-treat, which was incredibly empowering. I am now completely pain free and my bladder function is restored, I am so grateful for the skill and application. DV

Total Knee Replacement: Two Scar tissue treatments:

Both my legs have benefited from the treatment as well as the surrounding tissues.

Left Leg, 6 months post total knee replacement plus DVT 1 week post op.

For the first time since surgery/DVT, I achieved a 90 degree bend, which has been maintained.  In addition the stubborn inflammation and swelling has reduced.  This was visible next day, since there was less tension, the stitch line puckered again, which also aided flexibility.  Also next day, I went swimming and for the first time post op could manage partial breaststroke, instead of a feeble crawl and had better balance in the water. Interestingly my toes became less cramped! My mobility and comfort were increased and I slept better.

Yesterday, I had to be re-measured for compression socks and stockings, because those previously ordered were the wrong size.  This time both legs fitted the guideline measurements for the same size, which is a size smaller than I measured previously – so all good!

Right Leg, venous ulcer scar 18 months old.  Following the treatment this feels and looks better.  It is less tender and a better colour.  The skin around is less dry, circulation has been improved.

I am amazed that so much improvement can emanate from just two treatment sessions. The greater flexibility enabled me to achieve more in Physiotherapy sessions and reduce analgesia. Thank you.”

H. McC (retired nurse).

Smear Test Scar:

Emma settled me on the couch and made gentle flat hand contact just above my pubic symphysis.  I could feel myself contracting against her hand but I couldn’t work out why. Emma mentioned the tissues felt very dense here and settled me more, but there was still some resistance.

Emma suggested I roll onto my stomach, face down I felt more in control and less threatened, even though her hand was in the same position. I tuned into what I was feeling and remembered I’d had a traumatic smear about 6 weeks previously. I have a high and side-tilted uterus which meant the smear was incredibly painful. I bled afterwards and I cried afterwards too. Even during my period which was around 3 weeks later, I continued to have flashbacks of this pain when using applicator tampons.

During the release work, I did feel a similar sensation to the smear itself, but on a much reduced scale. Once I engaged with the sensations, and talked about the memory of the smear I was able to allow Emma’s hand to sink deeper until the point where I no longer felt her hand. She advised me that I could continue to use this technique on myself at home, which I have done a couple of times. During my most recent period, I’ve not had any flashbacks or pain anticipation.

I have to say I really wasn’t expecting any of this to come up but I was open to exploring what it could be in a curious and observational way. I do believe once I was able to verbalise what the memory was, this was a key factor in helping me to move forward from unconsciously minimising  the lasting effects it had on me. Even though working externally, this treatment had a huge effect on my internal tissues. L.H.

Double C section:

After two C-Sections, one emergency, one planned, I was left with years of internal discomfort and pain including a constant feeling of prolapse. I had intermittent sensations of stuckness and dragging, alongside pressure which I now understand to be scar tissue affecting movement of the surrounding tissues. It has also become clear that other physical symptoms such as lung efficiency and back pain had also been directly effected by the surgery’s.

Following a period of fascial scar tissue release work, I have both a significant reduction of pain and dragging and also an increased awareness of my entire body, areas which I hadn’t realised had become completely numb and disassociated since the operations. A surprise to me has been the emotional, trauma release that has also happened in conjunction with the physical healing. The positive impact on my quality of life, both physically and emotionally, is profound.” K.B.

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