Scar tissue is a part of life: Every injury we ever have is healed with scar tissue.
Unfortunately, there are many problems associated with scars, including:
Unsightly, gnarly, or discolored scars that don't "lay flat"
Painful, tight scars that pinch and tug
Scars with numbness, pins and needles, or other strange sensations
Swelling around scars
Seemingly unrelated chronic pain and tightness
Fortunately, there is a scar tissue massage technique that is pain-free, scientifically sound, and incredibly effective.
In fact, a 2019 study showed it reduces scar tissue by over 30% in a single 15 minute treatment .
And because scars don't have muscle memory... that result is permanent.
Today we're gonna dive into why you have a lot more scar tissue than you realize, how it's hurting you, and the easiest fix ever.
How and Why Scar Tissue Forms (you've got more scars than you know!)
Scar tissue is thick, tough, inert tissue. It's your body's best attempt to glue things back together when something goes wrong.
Often times, the part of the scar we can see is just the tip of the iceberg, and there's much more beneath the surface.
Imagine a C-section: the incision went through the skin all the way down to deep organs. What we see on the skin is just the tip of the iceberg. There's scar tissue throughout the torso and it's gluing skin, muscles, and organs together.
This is how C-section scars can create problems like constipation and low back pain.
Even "minor" laparoscopic surgeries or epidural injections can leave long, deep threads of scar tissue with serious long-term effects.
Sometimes you can't see any scars at all, but there's still scarring deep beneath the skin.
Let's say you sprained your ankle. You couldn't walk for a month without pain and your ankle was hot and swollen. That's tissue damage. It was healed with tissue repair, AKA scarring. No skin was pierced so there's no scarring on the skin, but deep underneath the surface, your body is patching everything up with scar tissue.
We see this a lot of muscle strains and micro-tears. The desk worker slouches over their desk all day, over-lengthening their neck, causing tiny little micro-tears in the muscle fibers that must be patched up with scar tissue.
Over time this tissue becomes thick and immobile, your neck's range of motion plummets, and suddenly you have pain and tightness in all directions.
You can keep getting regular massages all you want, and they'll feel nice and relax the muscle, but as long as that dysfunctional scar tissue exists, the problem will keep reoccurring.
Now that you know, you can reconsider the history of your body and how much scar tissue you actually carry.
The Problem with Scar Tissue
The problem is that scar tissue is creating an adhesion... Gluing together 2 parts of the body that would really rather move independently.
This creates tugging, pulling, tightness, and ultimately dysfunction.
Scar tissue can have far-reaching effects on the body. I've seen a wrist scar create massive neck pain, and a knee scar that was pulling hard on the back and shoulder. If you come in for help with hip pain, but I can see your ankle scar, you can bet we're gonna talk about it.
Scars can also act as a dam. Scars can block the flow of circulation, so you get swelling or coldness. They block the flow of your nerves, so you get strange sensations like pain, numbness, or pins and needles around the scar.
For many scars, there's a strong emotional or energetic component, a feeling of something being stuck or trapped in the body.
And now for a bit of bad news...
Scars actually get worse over time.
Sorry if you were hoping to run out the clock on this one.
Because scars are weaker than the original tissue, but they really want to help and hold you together, your scars will slowly tighten over time to increase their tensile strength.
So your scar might feel fine when it's new - but 10, 20, 30 years later, you start to have mysterious pain...
Fortunately, with scar tissue massage, we can open up the scar to restore flow and reduce the adhesions.
Can Scar Tissue Release Help Me?
We can work with many types and ages of scars. Even if your scar is 30 years old, treatment will still be just as effective - it's never too late to start!
Some scars that benefit from scar tissue release include:
Caesarean section scars
Spinal surgery scars
Plastic surgery scars such as mastectomies
Underlying scar tissue from laparoscopic surgery
Axillary Web Syndrome or "cording"
Fibrosis after radiation or surgery
Abdominal scar tissue from Endometrisosis
Scar tissue in ankle from years of sprains/strains/sports
It takes about 8 weeks for scars to fully form, and in some cases we'll wait longer than 8 weeks to make sure the work is safe. Your massage therapist will assess when it's appropriate to begin scar tissue release. Again, it's never too late!
What does it feel like?
OK, this is the best part.
At Sage Bodywork, we firmly believe that we can't help people heal by causing them pain. So, if a technique requires large amounts of force, aggression, and discomfort to do, we'll find another way.
Traditional scar tissue massage is, well, painful. Therapists and clients alike think "alright, I've gotta break up that scar tissue!" and suddenly they're attacking the body. One popular technique is called Graston, and in some applications, the skin is scrapped with a steel instrument until bloody.
What is that? Tissue damage. What does tissue damage create? Oh yeah, SCAR TISSUE.
So that's not helpful.
That's why we focus on pain-free techniques like MSTR®. It feels like a series of steady, rhythmic flicks or pinches. I'll be honest with you, it can be a little uncomfortable if we're working on really tender or swollen tissue, but it should never feel painful.
It is remarkably friendlier and nicer than just about every other scar tissue treatment out there.
And the results are instant, long-lasting, and life-changing.
How can I get it?
Because we've seen the incredible impact this work can have and believe in it so powerfully, our entire team is trained in providing Scar Tissue Release. You can book any massage with any therapist and ask for scar tissue release as part of it.
We're so excited to share this work with you!
Not sure what to book? Try our New Client Quiz!