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Frequently Asked Questions about Scarwork™ (Scar Massage)

Who can Scarwork™ help?

Anyone who has a scar from an accident or surgery could benefit from this gentle massage therapy. Find more information here.
Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal but sometimes the process does not go smoothly and the end result is not an ideal repair. As the wound heals, different layers of tissue can get stuck together in the process and form a scar that’s causing you discomfort or restricting your movement. It could be sensitive, stuck down or lumpy. Even with a scar that looks neat and tidy on the surface, there could be problems underneath.

Does Scarwork™ hurt?

No massage should ever really hurt and these techniques are much gentler than most massages. I will work around as well as on the scarring and the pressure used is very light. Sometimes as the scar tissue releases, nerves can be stimulated and you may feel some tingling or even a sharp pain. This is part of the healing process but I would still want you to feed back any discomfort so that I can modify treatment. You don’t need to “Be Brave”. We need to work together to achieve the best outcome. Some clients may get these feelings at home as the tissues continue to change between appointments. Again, it is vital that you discuss this with me so we can adapt your treatment plan.
Scarwork™ does not break down scar tissue but aims to soften it and re-integrate it back into the surrounding tissue. It can never be removed or erased but we can make it function, feel and look better.

My scar is tiny/ancient/neat – How can this treatment help?

Many people might think that because their scar is small and looks OK then they don’t need treatment. They might feel that it is not causing any issues or that the aches and pains that they are feeling are not related to their scar. They might be right. However, all scarring will have an impact on the body.
When a wound is healing, the body uses a different type of tissue to the original. This “scar” tissue contains more collagen (a type of protein) which is strong but less flexible. Scar tissue also contains less blood vessels and nerves that regular tissue. You body will adapt over time to the new normal as stresses and tensions within the tissues change. These changes can impact you far away from the site of the original wound. Scarwork™ aims to soften the scar tissue making it more flexible whilst encouraging renewed healing and better movement between the layers of the body.

Keyhole surgery looks great on the outside but the surgeon still needed to do the same work with the same tools whilst inside. There will be plenty of internal scarring that can cause layers to stick together.

Old scars may take a little longer to respond to treatment but as the body is constantly renewing itself even scarring that is decades old can be improved. I have a 40 year old scar on my shin that has now become unstuck from the bone after just a few minutes of work.

How long should I wait after surgery?

Usually between 6 and 14 weeks depending on how deep and complicated your surgery was. Infections will delay healing and some people heal more slowly than others. You will need to have been signed off by your surgeon.
If you are considering Scarwork™ treatment then it is a good idea to discuss with your surgeon or consultant at your last consultation to make sure there is no reason why they would advise against it.
If you are seeking treatment for a scar resulting from cancer surgery, it is useful to have some treatment between surgery and Radiotherapy if possible. This is because the radiotherapy can have an impact on scar healing and tissue health. Please contact me to discuss if you are unsure or need some guidance.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will depend on the individual and the complications involved. The age and size of the scar is a factor as is the outcome required and your budget.

Usually 4-8 sessions are recommended, 2-4 weeks apart. At your first appointment all these things will be assessed and discussed. Each treatment should bring incremental improvements so it is often easy to see and feel when treatment is no longer needed.

What should I wear?

Your comfort is of the utmost importance here, both physically and mentally. I will need access to the scar and surrounding area but undressing completely is not necessary. I advise that you wear sports clothing or loose – fitting garments. Shorts are a good idea if you have a lower limb scar. I have plenty of towels to cover the areas that I don’t need to work on.
If your scar is along the bikini line (C-section, Hysterectomy) then your modesty is always respected and you do not need to remove your underwear. I just need to expose the scar and about an inch under it. I can work with whatever you are happy with. If you need treatment for Breast Cancer surgery scarring then modesty can be maintained through positioning and towel drapes.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a no-obligation chat.