There are a number of different names used to describe therapies that specifically aim to improve scar tissue including scar tissue release, scar tissue massage and ScarWork. While each might use a slightly different approach and techniques, they all share a number of common elements.

Following an injury or surgery, many people can suffer from discomfort, pain and restricted movement on or near the affected area. This is because scar tissue – much of which actually forms under the skin, in the underlying dermis and fascia – lacks the organisational structure and integrity of ‘normal’, healthy skin.

Similarly, people who have certain inflammatory conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or endometriosis, might also suffer from adhesions in the abdominal or pelvic area.

Scar work treatments involve the therapist using a variety of often very gentle techniques on and around the site of the scar or adhesions, to help improve feeling and functionality in the affected tissue.

Treatments are carried out once any wounds/scars are healed, with the client rarely feeling any discomfort (the therapist will always adapt the amount of pressure used to suit the individual). Reported benefits include improved movement in the affected area, a reduction in pain or discomfort, and enhanced appearance of external scar tissue.

Clients who may benefit from this treatment include those scarred following surgery (eg. caesarean, breast cancer surgery, gallbladder removal), road traffic accidents, burns, and war injuries. Those who have inflammatory conditions, as described above, may also benefit from scar tissue work.

Choosing a therapist

It is important to choose a qualified therapist who has undertaken the necessary training to understand the theory and practice of this particular therapy.