ScarWork

ScarWork

This scar treatment is a method that integrates scar tissue into the underlying fascial web which improves the condition of the scar and surrounding tissues.

Demonstrating how to assess scars at the ScarWork Workshop during the SMA conference, September 2017

In plain terms, ScarWork will help to reconnect and promote healing on the scar surface and reduce adhesions in the underlying tissues.

You might have a scar that feels hard or lumpy, or has reduced sensation. You might feel as though the area is no longer part of you. The scar might be causing restriction in your movement and you may or may not be aware the restriction or tightness is related directly to your scar.

What happens when a scar forms?

Scar formation is a natural process of wound healing – whether it is from a surgical incision or injury. Scar tissue contains more fibrous tissue and collagen than normal skin making it structurally and functionally different. Scar tissue is much stronger but less functional than normal skin. In addition, there may have been nerve damage from the injury or surgery causing numbness or sensitivity in the area.

How will ScarWork affect a scar?

ScarWork is done primarily to improve feeling and functionality in the scar and surrounding tissues, creating better movement between the layers of the skin, fascia (connective tissue) and muscle. Treatments stimulate the circulation, lymphatic and nervous system to encourage renewed healing and promote tissue health.

Visually, cosmetic changes can occur: scars often appear smaller, lighter and less prominent but the emphasis is on the underlying tissue changes (which helps to reduce hardness and/or lumpy scars). The work starts with the surface layers and moves deeper into fascial tissue under the scar. ScarWork can help resolve nerve impairment or symptoms such as numbness, pain or sensitivity.

Changes that occur to the scar and nerve function should be permanent, even after one session. Tightness in the surrounding tissues is reduced and muscle function in the area can be improved. Knots and tight ropey scars are softened and loosened, ridges and holes can be minimized. Multiple treatments may be needed to gain the most benefit and response and treatment will vary between each individual. All sessions are tailored specifically for you.

Will it hurt?

ScarWork is not like traditional scar massage. It is rarely painful, even for new scars. A variety of specially developed movements are used on and around the scar. It seems effortless (I have had, on occasion, clients unaware that I am in fact working the scar, this is due to a combination of the lighter touch with reduced sensitivity of the scar), treatments can instigate whole body shifts where patterns of dysfunction caused by old or new injuries are released.

Which scars can be treated?

All kinds of scars can be treated from very old (I have worked on scars over 50 years old) to newly healed (once you have been discharged by your doctor). They could be the result of an accident, operation or cosmetic surgery, such as:

Knee/hip replacement (or other orthopaedic surgery)

Skin grafts

Fascial scarring

Foot surgery

Abdominal surgery

Caesarian section

Hysterectomy

Breast surgery

Spinal surgery

Achilles tendon surgery

Burns

And many more…

Some feedback after ScarWork treatment from some of my clients:

Post rhinoplasty 15 years previously with no external scarring, 10 minute treatment:

“After scar treatment to my nose, it felt less tight towards the top of the nose and I was able to breathe better.”

Double caesarian section 13 and 8 years previously:

“When I press my fingers across the caesarian lines I can feel significant difference in the sense that the nerves have more awareness than previously.”

Small scar on left hip from a fractured femur 10 years ago. This client is very active and competes in numerous physical challenges. He had a lot of hip restriction and tightness in the leg to his knee. Feedback after the first session:

“For running I haven’t felt much difference, however for cycling it doesn’t feel as tight over the ball of the femur. It’s not as stiff when I get up out of my chair and walking is fine. Something has definitely been loosened and with more work I definitely think it would probably get better. I have lost the dull ache at the end down my ITB [iliotibial band] which could be linked.”

Breast reduction, 18 months previously, restriction felt around the side and under the arm, there was a ‘gathering’ of tissue where the scar ended:

“Not only did the feel of restriction ease, but the scar looked different (better) too.”

Knee surgery 5 years previously, resulting in such pain that going downstairs in the morning had be delayed until the tissue warmed up.

“The techniques around the knee created strange sensations where incisions for surgery had been made 5 years previously, and the next day getting down the stairs was a lot more comfortable!”

 

ScarWork was developed by Sharon Wheeler of Seattle, United States. Sharon works together with Jan Trewartha, the only accredited ScarWork trainer covering the UK and Europe. Jan’s website (www.bodyinharmony.org.uk) includes a database of ScarWork practitioners.

I trained in October 2015 and took a refresher course (learning 12 new techniques as well!) in March 2017 in the UK under both Sharon and Jan.

Useful websites:

www.wheelerfascialwork.com – Sharon Wheeler

www.bodyinharmony.org.uk – Jan Trewartha

http://www.scarworktreatments.com/what_is_scarwork.html – Emma Holly, included as she has some video testimonials from clients, just follow the link.

For more information or just a general about how I might be able to help you please call or drop me an email on 07781 166978 or lynne@naturalflowtherapy.co.uk