ScarWork by Sharon Wheeler
Painless Light touch work to improve problems from scars and adhesions
ScarWork is developed by Sharon Wheeler (Seattle, US. Originally trained by Ida Rolf) and is a gentle, painless approach designed to assist with scar and adhesion problems after surgery/injury.
How does it work
ScarWork is an accumulation of techniques developed to assist with reconfiguring the soft tissue by reducing the adhesions left by scarring and improving the scar’s appearance. Adhesions is the body’s solution to reconnecting structures have been cut apart, which also connects structures that normally should not be connected; this can restrict mobility, organ function and create pain.
- Everything in the body is connected by fascia; this means that if there is a restriction in one part of the body caused by scarring, there is inevitably a cascading effect through the rest of the body, affecting both function and structure.
- As these restrictions free up during treatment, there is a consequent release of tension throughout the body.
- This takes the strain off of joints, vertebrae, limbs, organs etc and allows the body to return to a better balance, improving posture and mobility. Releasing fascial restriction of nerves can assist in pain relief or even restore feeling to numb areas.
A scar stands in the way to restore correct balance and alignment to the body because it creates a restriction in the tissues. Working on integrating scar tissue to the fascial net allows for a more permanent result when we address other physical problems. Furthermore, the traumatic memory of injury/surgery often surfaces after ScarWork and this normally helps reduce internal stress level and improve emotional balance.
There is ongoing research is into the science behind the power of the light touch approach, and there there is evidence to suggest it to be an effective approach.
Wheeler, S. L., Blessitt, K. L., & Ennis, R. D. (2015). Integrating scar tissue into the fascial web. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 19(4), 669–670. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2015.07.007
de Valois, B., Young, T., Scarlett, C., & Holly, E. (2021). An evaluation of a ScarWork service for cancer survivors experiencing adverse effects of surgery and/or radiotherapy. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 44(April), 101327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eujim.2021.101327
How can ScarWork be helpful to you?
ScarWork is a gentle, painless therapy which assists the softening of scar tissue and reduces the tension the scar and adhesions have created within the network of fascia. The therapist works completely within the pain guidelines of the body; the client gives feedback if there is any discomfort and the therapist adapts their touch, angle, and/or technique accordingly.
A selection of the conditions clients have had treatment for:
- Abdominoplasty scar
- Bowel resection scar
- Breast augmentation scars
- Breast reduction scars
- Cancer surgery scar
- Carcinoma and melanoma removal scars
- Childhood scars
- C-section scar
- Drain and port scar
- Facial scars including accidents, maxillofacial surgery and hairlip scars
- Gallbladder or appendix removal scars
- Hysterectomy scar
- Joint replacement (knee, hip and shoulder)
- Keyhole surgery scar
- Mastectomy, WLI (lumpectomy) and breast re-construction scars (TUG, DIEP, TRAM, LAT Flap etc)
- Open Heart Surgery scar
- Scars from accidents
- Spinal surgery scar
- and many more….
ScarWork is integrated in Rolfing® sessions where we look at the effect of the scar in the whole body and help integrate the changes brought by working on the scar tissue.