Scar Release Technique

Scar Release Technique

“Every scar on the body is the result of some kind of trauma”.

What is a scar?

A scar is an area of fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after an injury. Scar tissue forms as the natural biological healing response to trauma when the skin is punctured or lacerated, either by accident or on purpose. This can include accidental injury, surgery and self harm scars.

Scar tissue is composed of the same collagen fibres as the tissue it replaces, but the composition of these fibres is different. Collagen is quickly laid down in the repair process which results in a thickened, fibrous mass which impedes the proper circulation of blood and congests lymph flow. Additionally, the severing of delicate nerve tissue often results in dysaesthesia of the scar and surrounding area (an abnormal unpleasant sensation felt when touched, caused by damage to peripheral nerves).

Any kind of scar can cause symptoms such as pain or numbness in the scar area; referred pain or lack of sensitivity; and movement restrictions. These symptoms can persist for decades, and can interfere with daily life.

As the scar is fibrous and non-elastic it will have a dragging and pulling effect on the surrounding tissues, including joints. This can be experienced as a restricted range of motion, where greater than usual force needs to be applied in order to move the affected joint or joints. For example, with abdominal surgery the resulting scar tissue has a ‘dragging’ and a pulling feeling deep in the abdomen that can have an inhibitory effect upon flexion, extension and rotation of the spine. Therefore, abdominal scarring can have a major impact on lower back pain.

What is Scar Release?

Scar Release work can affect nerve tissue to help normalise sensations, increase blood flow to the area, and increase lymphatic drainage. It can help with symptoms associated with the scar tissue including the appearance of the scar (it may flatten or change colour to better blend in with the surrounding tissue), numbness or desensitisation, hypersensitivity, burning, itching and pain.

Clients often have negative associations with a scar, particularly if the reason for its formation was quite traumatic. Therefore, scar release work can also help to promote emotional healing and wellbeing.

Further understanding may be gained when the scar is also considered to effect the flow of energy around the body via the Meridian system. The meridian system is a concept in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in which Life energy, known as Qi (“chi”) flows throughout the body. Meridians can be mapped; they flow within the body and not on the surface, and exist in corresponding pairs. Each scar may be viewed as a blockage, so working to release these areas can not only effect the direct area of the scar, but also effects may be felt in other areas of the body.

As an example, a Caesarean section scar bisects the Stomach, Spleen/Pancreas, Kidney and Liver meridians.

Scar Release Treatments

Scar Release work may be done as part of a Bowen Technique treatment, or as a stand-alone treatment, depending on the scar and issues being treated. Both techniques involve gentle, rolling movements over muscles, tendons and soft tissue at precise points on the body; followed by short break of a up to a few minutes to allow time for the brain and body to respond to the moves that have been made. Both techniques are very specific, and unlike those you may have experienced during treatments such as massage or osteopathy, which involve much deeper manipulation.

The beauty of scar release work is that any results tend to be long lasting, as once scar tissue has been normalised, it doesn’t revert back to its former state.

If you would like to know more about scar release work, or Bowen Technique treatments, please check out 

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