McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release - MSTR
All scars, small and large, are created by traumatic events.. whether they are surgery, accident, injury etc. The scar has a different collagen pattern to normal tissue which can impede lymph and blood flow as well as movement of energy (or Chi) across the scar site. The dermis, epidermis, fascia, nerves and blood vessels have also been compromised. The scar also often holds emotional trauma.
The Physical effects of scar tissue.
Physical symptoms of scars include: pain, itching, hypersensitivity, loss of feeling/numbness, reduced sensation, burning, swelling/oedema, restriction of movement, changes in tissue texture (fibrous), changes in colour (redness/paleness).
Scar tissue is often left untreated, even by manual therapists but the effect of scars on the body cannot be underestimated. According to researchers Karel Lewit MD and Sarka Olsanka: ‘If the scar is…untreated, it may be the cause of therapeutic failure and recurrence.” Source: “Clinical Importance of Active Scars: Abnormal Scars as a Cause of Myofascial Pain.” Lewit & Olanska – 2002. Put simply, untreated scars may foil our best efforts to remedy related pain and restrictions in mobility.
Our bodies form scar tissue as a natural response to trauma where the skin is lacerated or punctured either by accident or on purpose (like surgery). As the scar is formed; collagen is laid down randomly, with no pattern, leaving the tissue thick and inflexible, like a fibrous barrier. This barrier can impede the flow of blood and lymph as well as impacting on Range Of Motion. Because the scar is fibrous and non-elastic it will have a dragging and pulling effect on bio-mechanical function of all physiological systems, particularly the fascial membrane covering muscles, organs and glands. The severing of delicate nerve tissue can also result in a loss of feeling, or numbness, in and around the scar. When MSTR has been applied, the dense collagen network becomes less rigid, rendering the tissue more pliable and allowing movement of these substances through the tissue. This technique also facilitates the drainage of lymph fluid that may have been sitting around the scar for a long time
and allows blood flow through the scar, which is easily seen by a change in colour to the scar (white to pink).
Understanding the meridians used in acupuncture help us realise that flow of bio-electrical energy (Qi or Chi) can be impeded by scar tissue. Acupuncturists developed a method of scar tissue treatment centuries ago as they also know that treatment of scar tissue was vital for improvement in the flow of Qi/Chi. C-Sections for example result in a scar that bisects five or possibly six meridian lines. One interesting side-effect of MSTR® work is the common feedback from patients that they feel more energised after scar work has been performed.
The Emotional and Psychological effects of scar tissue.
Types of emotions bound up in scars include: low self esteem, sleep disturbances, loss of libido/sex drive, anxiety/depression, anger, fear, self-loathing/self-image problems, feeling as if the body is ‘disconnected’ in some way.
Every scar represents an event that created the scar and many of these are traumatic events including emergency life-threatening surgeries, war wounds, personal attacks (knife wounds/bullet wounds), automobile accidents, numerous other types of accident in the home or at work and non emergency surgeries. Let’s take just ONE of those instances - the Caesarian-Section. Maternity statistics for England for the year ending March 2014: The caesarean rate has increased by 0.7 per cent to 26.2 per cent (166,081) in 2013-14. (Elective C-sections 13.2% and
Emergency C-sections account for 13%) Source: www.nct.org.uk. There is often long term psychological and emotional reactions to the emergency C-sections. These reactions include, but are not limited to: anger, fear, anxiety, shock, guilt, failure, trauma, low self esteem and sense of worthlessness, feelings of ‘disconnection’ - the lower body to the upper. We are finding that when the physical attributes of the scar change (texture, sensation) then the emotional and psychological effects described above also can improve. i.e. integration and normalisation of the tissue seems to have a positive effect on the psychological and emotional well being of the client. If we consider that the effects of emergency C-section are likely to cause similar responses as categorised as a PSTD syndrome, then treating the physical scar for other causes of PSTD may be an interesting treatment option that needs further researching. Post operative physical effects of C-section scars may also include: dyspareunia, low back pain, abdominal pain, restriction and pain (upon flexion and extension of the spine), and bladder and bowel problems. It is noted many times that these physical effects can improve and, in some cases, be eliminated due to the successful treatment of scar tissue.
Conclusion: The treatment of scar tissue is a vital element in the treatment of musculoskeletal and myofascial pain. Untreated scar tissue may inhibit other treatment applications from successful and longer lasting outcomes. Psychological and emotional states may also improve as scar tissue is addressed and the patient experiences better integration and normalisation of the tissues.
Please note - the Contraindications for using this method include:
a. Surgical mesh is under the scar site.
b. The scar is over the site of an active cancerous tumour or if the patient is receiving active cancer treatment or if there are restrictions on any form of additional treatment during the recovery or monitoring phase.
c. The wound is infected or there is a contagious infection.
Testimonials and Research
See the MSTR website - https://www.mcloughlin-scar-release.com/research-and-results