Scars come in all shapes and sizes, and can vary in tone and colour. Some are significant, and others are insignificant. When touched some feel quite normal, others are numb, and some illicit feelings of nausea or detachment. Each has a different story, and many are associated with trauma. The long-term and widespread effects of scarring on the body cannot be underestimated.
The body forms scar tissue as a natural response to trauma when the skin is punctured or lacerated either by accident or purposefully. Whilst muscles and all other structures have order in their makeup, scar tissue is haphazard in nature. The repair process results in a thickened fibrous mass which impedes proper circulation of blood and congests lymph flow. Additionally the severing of nerve tissue often results in altered sensation of not only the scar but the surrounding tissues as well. The scar tissue may also be viewed as a "road block" to the flow of the body's energy channels, or lines of fascia.
You can imagine the tighter, non-elastic scar tissue putting pressure on blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and nerves, altering the free flow of blood and lymph and nerve messages to and from not only the area of repair but to the adjacent areas as well, and the pressure that may put on the normal functioning of cells in the area. You can also imagine it having a dragging and pulling effect on the surrounding tissues, including joints. This may 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. Imbalances in the mechanical function of the skeletal structure follows with, over time, deformation of the joints (ie. arthritis).
With abdominal surgery, the resulting scar tissue typically may have an inhibitory effect on flexion, extension and rotation of the spine, and so abdominal scarring has a major impact on low back pain. Similarly we find that appendectomy scars have a major impact on right hip pain, and scars across the chest tend to round the shoulders and upper back, and pull the head forward.
MSTR (McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release) was developed by a Bowen Therapist from England called Alastair McLoughlin. The technique uses very gentle moves over the scar, encouraging the scar tissue to become more flexible, allowing more space for blood and lymphatic vessels and nerves to expand and function more effectively. Clients often notice an almost immediate response in returning sensation, colour, tension and a decrease in puffiness - the scar looks and feels different. Releasing the tension in the scar tissue resolves the dragging effect that impacts the mechanical function of the skeletal structure in the long term.
To perform the work on the scar tissue, the scar must have had time to heal properly to withstand the light pressure without causing any discomfort or tearing. We recommend considering starting work about 6-8 weeks after the surgery or accident that caused the scar.
Addressing scar tissue with MSTR is an easy and effective way to be proactive about maintaining good posture and optimal health, and can be applied equally effectively to humans and animals. Call me on 0427 143 743 to discuss any issues you think you might be experiencing as a result of scarring.
Cheers for now,
Hi, I'm Prue Duffy, a Bowen Therapist and Equine Muscle Release Therapist in regional NSW, Australia. I've been doing Bowen since 2007, and opened a practice in Dubbo in 2012. The results some of my clients get through Bowen is truly amazing.