Gwen MacLean, CSI, RMT
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ScarWork is a gentle, effective technique founded by Sharon Wheeler that results in lasting aesthetic and functional changes of scar tissue. Sharon Wheeler is also a Structural Integrator and she recognized the importance of not only working the scar directly but also the importance of integrating all of the surrounding tissue back into the fascial network of your body.
Scars are created as the body’s natural way of mending tissue trauma. But these adhesions which are three dimensional in nature can leave us with tension, restriction, and disorganization that can lead to pulling and drag on surrounding tissues therefore creating less than optimal movement patterns, sensations and organ function.
Your scar can be connected to organs, bones and deep layers of connective tissue. If your scar was due to surgery, any part of the body that was touched internally during the surgery can have a tentacle of scar tissue leading back to the scar. An example would be if you had an appendectomy and the surgeon decided to have a look at your gall bladder while in there, there will be a tentacle of scar tissue running from your scar to your gall bladder. This tentacle could possibly create pulling and shifting of an organ, a breathing dysfunction, movement dysfunction or even an issue with sensation.
You wear comfortable loose clothes that allow access to the scar and surrounding area. We can also drape the area with a sheet for access. It is necessary to give feedback to the practitioner if you are having any discomfort during the session. The goal is to heal not create new trauma. Memories of the experience that caused your scar could come up (or not) during treatment and this is a normal part of the healing process.
Some scars are still too overwhelming for the client to touch or have worked on. We can do shorter sessions and a couple of sessions just working the surrounding tissue and still get profound change if this is the case for you. This work is not all about the actual visible scar but about bringing the tissue that was moved aside in surgery, injuries and burns back to the scar in an organized manner.
It is never too late to make changes to a scar. If you have a scar that is decades old or a relatively new scar it can be treated, and you will experience permanent change. If your scar is recent, your physician should agree you are ready for treatment. Sessions last about one hour and if you are planning on doing the Structural Integration 10 series you should have at least one scar work session before starting Structural Integration.