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Rejuvenating Scar Tissue: Love it, and it Loves You Back!
By Joy Walraven
“The wound is the place where the light enters you. Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.
Don’t turn away. That’s where the light enters you.” –Rumi
You try not to think about it too much, you try to avoid looking at it, and you definitely don’t touch it— it’s there…
Tight, painful, hypersensitive, or numb scar tissue. You probably think there’s nothing you can do about it except ignore it.
Good news! There are natural techniques that allow the scar and surrounding tissues to become softer and more flexible, and ultimately regain normal sensation.
Start with craniosacral to gently release adhesions
The connective tissue that surrounds muscles and nerves is designed to allow for smooth, fluid movement. This connective tissue is called fascia. When an injury or surgery damages tissue, the fascia becomes sticky and loses mobility, which creates adhesions and pain. Craniosacral releases the fascia by gently moving in the direction of the adhesions, increasing the flow of blood and body fluids to the specific areas that are stuck. This loosens the attachments, relieves pain, hypersensitivity or numbness, and improves flexibility.
Get some acupuncture
Ok, I know exactly what you’re thinking. The last thing you want is a bunch of needles in your scar. Here’s the thing: acupuncture improves the electrical conductivity in your connective tissues. And you want that. Increased electrical conductivity to the area stimulates better nerve sensation and even more blood flow.
Add cupping to the mix
For this technique, a flaming cotton ball is placed into a special glass cup, which is then quickly placed on the skin, creating a vacuum. By pulling the skin, fascia, and muscles upward, cupping breaks up the stagnation surrounding the scar, and also draws fresh blood to the area, which allows the tissues to soften and relax.
Why touch is so important for scars
If touching your scar makes you feel nauseated, you are not alone. Overcoming that reaction and introducing touch to the area is a crucial step in healing your tissue. Because scar tissue has very little touch sensation or nerve sensation, the body sends less blood to this area. This impairs cell growth and elasticity. When the area is not touched, there is even less stimulation of the region, and even fewer nerve endings and connections develop. The result is a thick mass of numb tissue, sometimes surrounded by extremely sensitive tissue. With increased touch, the surrounding tissue develops healthy sensitivity and feels connected to the rest of your body. Touch your scar; it will love you for it.
Joy Walraven, R. Ac., R. TCMP, CST
Traditional Chinese Medicine