What is Scar Tissue Work?

Scars and the adhesions that form will, almost inevitably, have an effect on the body, locally and even far away from the scar.

The scar may look fine on top, but it’s what is happening underneath that really matters, as many people who suffer with adhesions pain will testify.  Where the injury or operation has broken the skin and damaged the underlying tissues, the healing process is erratic, aimed primarily at repair, not at producing a tidy result.  This leaves the previously organised tissue under the skin looking very different. Adhesions develop and the effect of these can spread through the body.

Adhesions stick structures together that should not be stuck together. Nerves, blood vessels, organs, in fact any of your body’s structures, can have their function affected.

Apart from that, a scar anywhere on the body may well, via the fascia (a connective tissue) affect other areas of the body that do not appear to have anything to do with the scar.  Plus, patterns of compensation may develop as the body adapts around the degenerated and stuck tissue.

So, a scar is rarely what it seems.  When women come into my clinic with chronic backpain, it is highly likely that the  long-term results of a Caesarean section, or hysterectomy, sometimes from decades ago, are major contributors to the pain.

As I work on the scar, the previously taut, knotted tissues tend to start relaxing and softening; this has a cascading effect through the body’s soft tissues, releasing tension on the joints, and generally decompressing the body, giving it room to function and move more normally.  Sharon Wheeler’s ScarWork, which is what I work with, seems to work on scars old and new, large and small.

So, what can you do if you have a scar?

  1. You may be told to massage it vigorously once it has healed. Experience shows that light touch is as powerful, if not more so, than heavy attempts to ‘break the scar down’, and a lot less painful. However, there is no real research into this subject yet.
  2. You can use a little oil to gently massage the area. The ones I recommend are the high quality Zephorium oils which also work to rebalance the chakras (the body’s energy centres), helping to restore normal energy flow as well as to clear associated emotional issues; the physical body and the less tangible energy field are inextricably linked.  For example, someone with a thyroidectomy will invariably have a disruption of the throat chakra.
  3. Stay mobile without putting strain on the scar; good circulation helps the healing process.
  4. Try not to be negative about your scar. Research has shown that directing positive or negative thoughts towards our bodies affects the cellular health.
  5. Don’t despair – a good ScarWork therapist can never promise to heal your scar totally, but we can usually make a difference to it, and to the discomfort you are experiencing.

If you are a therapist and would like to join our next ScarWork training course you can CLICK HERE to discover more. Alternatively if you are suffering with a scar then please CLICK HERE to get in touch to see how we can help you.


  • http://www.pimhservices.com/health-and-healing-with-emmanuel-birstein/painful-scar-tissue-options
  • Bordoni, B. and Zaner, E. (2013).Skin, fascias and scars: symptoms and systemic connections. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 7: 11-24. (Online) Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3883554/.
  • Skin, Scars and Stiffness, DVD by Dr Jean-Claude Guimberteau. Distribution: www.endovivo.com
  • Molecules of Emotion; book by Candace Pert, published 1997, Simon & Schuster UK Ltd.