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Scar Tissue - there's more beneath the surface.

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

The visible scarring is just the "tip of the iceberg" - the deep adhesive base may cause ongoing pain and dysfunction in surrounding tissues as well as elsewhere in the body

Operations can be essential, offering life saving treatment for many conditions - cardiac surgery, transplants, repairing "broken and bleeding bodies" following major accidents or trauma as well as emergencies in childbirth, removal of tumours and much more. However, we are left with visible scarring as well as many other less pleasant post operative side effects and until now there have been limited opportunities for improvement of these symptoms.

Each scar we have tells a story of a time in our life where we encountered some type of trauma. Regardless of the reason for the surgery, scars remain our constant visible reminder of our past.

Scars are the body's response to trauma - our body lays down ad hoc layers of collagen which can create a bumpy, thickened, raised or puckered area of scar tissue. The old analogy of the "tip of the iceberg" was never so true as when we look at scar tissue - the visible surface is tiny compared to the potential mass of adhesions and layers of thick collagen scarring underneath. The effects of this scarring can be far-reaching - restricting movement in surrounding joints and muscles.

Although it's not the sort of thing we like to imagine, the amount of manipulation that goes on under our skin throughout any operation is huge - including the keyhole surgery that we generally think of as low intervention - a simple arthroscopy or laparoscopy involves a large amount of movement of medical equipment around your joint or in your abdomen and all of this creates trauma in the surrounding tissue. In my early nursing days, it always surprised me how many otherwise well patients were lining up to have surgery to divide or remove their previous surgical adhesions! These adhesions were causing them any number of problems from pain, cramping, digestive and bowel issues, wind and bloating and restricted movement. It is more common than you would imagine for me to see an appendix scar from many years ago create restriction in the underlying hip muscles, creating a cascade of stiffness and restriction throughout the body.

All surgeries even if they are considered minimally invasive or open have the potential to create surgical scarring and internal adhesions in the fascia and connective tissue

Scars and their underlying adhesions affect blood flow to surrounding body tissue, lymphatic clearance (creating puffiness or swelling in the scar), nerve impulses (causing altered sensations including pain), as well as blocked Chi (energy) flow. Scar tissue can "anchor" itself to surrounding tissue causing restriction to surrounding muscles and joints.

In my clinic, it is common for clients to describe their scars in a variety of ways - numb, tingling, painful, thick or ugly. Many clients, have difficulty looking at or even touching their scars and can understandably have emotional attachment to their scars - particularly those from Casarian Section, Hysterectomy, Mastectomy or massive traumas such as road accidents or wartime conflict - there can be feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy associated with the event that caused the scarring. Releasing the scar manually can be liberating both physically and emotionally for many clients.

Now knowing the far reaching effects that scars have on the body, it is easy to see how much benefit there is to have release work done on the affected area.

As a Bowen Therapist and McLoughlin Scar Release Practitioner, I have seen remarkable improvements in so many scars. The appearance of the scar, the way it feels to the client and the improvement in structural tension in the body can be dramatic. Old white scars often "pink up" with new blood reaching old stuck areas, the scars often soften and may flatten out. Pain and improved sensation usually follow quickly. The work is a hands on technique , it is not painful and usually requires just 1 or 2 sessions to achieve long lasting if not permanent results. The earliest after surgery that I work directly on scars is 8 weeks, and there is no limit to the age of the scar. No scar is too large or small to be worked on - some of the smallest scars can provide the greatest results!

For more information on Scar Tissue release and if it would benefit you, call Noosa Bowen Centre on 0421 471012.

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