David Weinstock, the founder of NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT) recently made some Instagram posts about testing and treating scars in an NKT context which reminded me that I've been meaning to post something about my work with scar therapy.
It's fairly common that when we have a scar, it can negatively affect the nervous system for years, even decades, affecting everything from motor control to digestion to body image, for some people merely touching their own scars even induces nausea and brings back traumatic memories. Sometimes we don't even know a scar is sore or causing pain or restriction until somebody touches it. Releasing scars has been demonstrated to have positive effects on motor control and in assisting the treatment of recalcitrant issues.
In my clinical experience even prior to learning the more refined testing skills that NKT brings to my practice, my version of scar therapy has made some profound differences to the quality of movement and of life for my patients. One example: a young lady who found that turning her head to the left was painful and restricted found that after we treated a somewhat tender burn scar on her right arm that she was suddenly able to turn her head to the right without pain, although her movement was still restricted. After another two sessions incorporating more scar therapy she told me that not only could she now turn to the left without any restriction or pain, she was now able to sleep on her front with her head turned to the left, something she had not been able to do for years.
Another lady had multiple surgical scars, criss-crossing her abdomen with some keloid formation and severe adhesions into the bowel. Her movements twisting, leaning, bending and curling (as in sit-ups) her abdomen were all painful, very restricted and very weak, but her primary complaints were very severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Psoriatic Arthritis. She also had back pain and was unable to bend backwards at all without pain. We identified several very tender points on a couple of her scars, some of which also made her feel ill when touched, and performed very gentle scar therapy without using needles, only heat treatment with moxibustion, and we were able to reduce both the tenderness and the feeling of nausea to almost nothing, pretty much instantaneously. We worked on the scars as well as general treatment for the next 8 weeks, by which time she was able to move her abdomen in all directions and bend backwards, all without pain. Her brain had been telling her body that she wasn't able to move the tissue around the scarring because the scars were neurologically over-active. As the scars were 'deactivated', her body was more able to cope with everything, and the treatment of her underlying conditions was made much easier, her digestion also improved greatly, and her arthritis was more manageable..
An interesting case was a patient with a very heavy thick black tribal tattoo on his shoulder, where the skin was raised and he had come in to the clinic because of a sensation of fatigue, heaviness and stiffness in that shoulder. Palpating the tattoo itself identified a couple of tender points and when these points were held, the heavy sensation in the shoulder was reduced. We were both surprised, as he'd been having remedial deep tissue massage on that shoulder at least every couple of weeks for several years to no lasting effect. Two sessions of scar therapy on the tattoo were enough to eliminate any tenderness throughout the whole tattoo and restore his freedom of movement.
Vaccination scars, cuts, scrapes, severe deep bruising, acne, chicken pox, stretch marks, insect bites, piercings, tattoos, surgeries - the list of sources of scarring is almost endless. If you have any scars, especially if they are painful, tender on pressure, make you feel funny or ill, please consider coming in to have them assessed and treated - they may be doing you more wrong than you think, and treating them is simple, quick and always very effective.
I often find that treating scars for cosmetic purposes can reduce their size, improve the consistency of the fascia around them and reduce any colouration they may have. Sometimes it's nice to make a scar look and feel nicer, even if it's not disturbing the rest of the body.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call, email or come and visit either in Marrickville or Glebe, all the details are up on timclearyclinic.com