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Unraveling Scar Tissue

Unraveling the Scar™ is an extremely effective in stimulating the new tissue growth, reducing tightness, pain while restoring sensitivity and the appearance of scar tissue.  Scars heal in two phases, immature - a fresh scar tends to be painful, itchy and sensitive during the healing process. Mature scars have typically stopped the production scar tissue between 3-18 months. Scar-tissue responds best in the immature phase before the scar has an opportunity to develop collagenous tissue develops which can prohibit the natural flow of blood and lymph and physical limitations.   

Dysfunctional scar tissue can result in postural misalignment, nerve impingement, pain, limited range of motion, flexibility and aesthetically unpleasing to the individual.

As soon as the wound is knitted, massage therapy can be performed. During the initial immature stages of wound recovery, it is imperative that a gentle approach be taken. The following six techniques are well-known ways bodyworkers can improve scar tissue:

  1. Manual Lymph Drainage optimizes lymphatic circulation and drainage around the injured area. Gentle, circular, draining motions within the scar itself or a firm stretch to the skin above and below the scar, first in a straight line and then in a circular motion, are two drainage techniques. Placing the fingers above the scar, then making gentle circular pumping motions on the scar also helps drain congested lymph fluid. As the massage therapist gently works down the scar, the tissue will feel softer. Drainage techniques should not hurt or make the scar redden.

  2. Myofascial Release helps ease constriction of the affected tissue. To stretch the skin next to the scar, place two or three fingers at the beginning of the scar and stretch the skin above the scar in a parallel direction. Then move the fingers a quarter of an inch further along the scar and repeat the stretch of the adjacent tissue, working your way along the scar. An alternative method is to follow the same pattern of finger movements using a circular motion instead of straight stretches. Work your way along the scar in a clockwise and counterclockwise fashion.

  3. Deep Transverse Friction can prevent adhesion formation and rupture unwanted adhesions. Applied directly to the lesion and transverse to the direction of the fibers, this deep tissue massage technique can yield desirable results in a mature or immature scar. Never progress beyond a client’s comfort level.

  4. Lubrication of the scar helps soften and increase its pliability. Mediums such as lotion, castor oil, vitamin E oil or other oil can prevent the scar from drying out and re-opening.

  5. Stretching aids in increasing range of motion. This is most important when approaching scars that cross over a joint. Scar tissue will lengthen after being stretched, especially if the stretch is sustained for several seconds and is combined with massage.

  6. Heat Application helps the pliability and flexibility of the scar. Common tools used to apply heat are paraffin wax, moist heat packs or ultrasound

Massage therapists must use their training and best judgment when deciding whether or not to proceed with scar massage. While treatment is most effective when a scar is still in its immature phase, it is also a wise time to seek physician permission. A few additional cautions for immature scars include:

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